Here’s the latest post in our “INDUSTRY INSIDERS” column. Every Monday, we’ll be bringing you the inside scoop from several awesome association technology vendors and consultants who will share the insights they have gleaned from years of working in our association industry. Our columnists include Ann Yoders of Terpsys, Chris Bonney and Ray Van Hilst of Vanguard Technology, Midori Connelly of Pulse Staging, Patrick Dorsey, Carlos Restrepo and Ben Martin of Avectra, Bryan Kelly and Amith Nagarajan of Aptify, Garry Polmateer of Red Argyle, Christina Smith of YourMembership.com, Kevin Jackson of Biz-Zone, and Paul Schneider of Socious. All of them are smart and savvy bloggers, and we know you’ll enjoy what they have to say!
This blog post will teach you how to quantify member engagement and leverage that knowledge to make your members happier and your association stronger.
Introduction and Overview
Member engagement has always been crucial to the ultimate success of any association. Understanding why, how, and to what degree a member engages with his or her association can make all the difference when it comes to growing a thriving non-profit.
It’s no secret, then, that member engagement is imperative to the association, yet it’s never been quantified in a consistent way. While taking such a measurement can sound daunting, it doesn’t need to be.
Composite Engagement Score (CES) is a new, unique, and powerful tool that measures engagement with a single number. As a measurement system, it’s simple to compile and understand, yet is comprehensive enough to provide a clear picture of the level of engagement an association has with its members. And conveniently, CES is generated with information you already have. By viewing your own data in a different way, you’ll be able to improve member relationships and drive explosive growth for your organization.Starting now and in the coming weeks, I’ll share with you how you can easily and effectively score member engagement by doing the following:
- Align Your Engagement Objects with Your Strategic Goals
- Select Key Performance Indicators
- Build a Model to Combine KPI’s into a Unified Measurement
- Implement the CES Model Inside or Outside Your AMS
- Leverage the CES Model with Analytics, Trends, and Alerts
- Move the Needle to Improve Engagement
Step 1: Align Your Engagement Objectives with Your Strategic Goals
The first step is realizing that engagement, unlike revenue or a member count, is fluid. In other words, all organizations understand and view revenue figures in the same way, but engagement behaviors desired by one organization may be entirely different from the needs and wants of another. And the engagement needs within an organization may change over time, too—at one phase, conference attendance may have the most value. At another time, the goal may be to grow social media, so member engagement on Facebook or Twitter may trump event attendance. All organizations go through these different phases in their lifecycles, which is why it’s critical to be able to measure engagement as the needs and strategic goals of your organization change.
Once you outline your strategic goals for certain time periods, define exactly how you want your members to engage with you. Are they reacting the way you planned? How can you tell?
The ability to score member engagement allows any association to monitor the effectiveness of their members—as individuals or as a collective—at any point in time. How do you do this? By having a metric that can accurately compare engagement levels both at a single point in time and over longer intervals. CES scores member engagement across all segments and provides for historical comparison, as well, so associations can pinpoint what’s working and change what isn’t.
This series is based on the eBook Scoring Member Engagement: What Engagement Really Means and How to Measure It. To download a copy of the full eBook, please click here.
Amith Nagarajan co-founded Aptify in 1993. He is responsible for the long term strategy of the organization as well as the day-to-day operational leadership.