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Posted By Leah Baker

Are you looking for a cost-effective way to do member segmentation and target marketing? With our program, YTheyJoin™, there is an option for those wanting to do a test drive before implementing it on a larger scale.

 

YTheyJoin identifies nine types of members based on their professional needs and motivations and it starts with a one-page survey that we call a tagging form that goes to all members. For those wanting to do a test drive, you can distribute the form only to new members.

 

New members have the least ties to the association and may be the most likely not to renew membership at the end of the year. Intervention is essential! Include the tagging form with the member application or welcome-aboard packet and the new member immediately sees that you want to meet their specific needs. The form asks them to spend 100 points on the various association services that they consider the most important.

 

With this info we can identify nine types of members including Mailboxers, Relevant Participants, Shapers, CompShoppers, Cognoscenti, Boosters, Altruistics, Doubters, and Non-Relevants. Each new member is identified with a 3-digit code that goes into your data base. You also receive a Pie Chart that shows which member types dominate your association, a Summary of the Implications, and our Workbook with marketing ideas for each member type.

 

Now you know what each member wants and you can do very effective target marketing and communications!

 

Call for a quote and more information. 703-772-5263 Or e-mail us at AllegianceResearch@gmail.com


 
Posted By Leah Baker

Here are some tips to use when writing your next RFP for surveys or other research services. We like to divide our proposals into the following sections: Introduction and Goal; Questionnaire Design; Research Methodology and Sampling Strategy; Computer Programming and Data Entry; Final Report with Statistical Tables and Graphs; Schedule; Costs; and Company Background.

 

Company Background--At least one executive should have a college degree that included statistics courses. This can be a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree or Ph.D. with courses in research methodology is preferable.

 

Ownership--Be sure that your assn owns the results.

 

Costs--Ask for a fixed cost for the research services and it is usual to pay half to start and half at the end. The cost should include design of research methodology and any sampling strategy, q're design, computer programming, data entry, and final report with tables and narrative analysis. With mail surveys there will be additional costs for printing, postage, and mail-related services. With Internet surveys there may be additional costs for sending and hosting.

 

Schedule--After you cut-off the surveys, it should take no longer than 3 to 4 weeks for the company to produce the final report. In my opinion, if it takes longer than a few weeks they are wasting your time and money.

 

Final Report--The final report should include a methodology statement, tables, narrative report with analysis, graphs such as pie charts/bar graphs, and an Executive Summary. What if you want more crosstabs in the future? My company offers to produce any crosstabs in the future at no extra cost. The summary statistics at the bottom of each crosstab table should include chi square and mean and possibly more since these help guide the data analyst. Results for salary surveys can be reported by quartiles or every tenth percentile. The summary statistics (at the bottom of each crosstab table) for salary surveys should include mean, median, and mode as well as the lowest and highest salary.

 

For more info call 703-772-5263


 
Posted By Leah Baker

Dr. Dale Paulson, President of Allegiance Research Group, finds that target marketing, even when using snail mail, can be fifteen times as effective as mass mailing, or more.

 

Recently, a large mass-mail company conducted a study of the effectiveness of mass marketing/direct mail to prospective members in the past three years and found the following: one to three mailings showed a response rate of 1%; four to seven mailings, 1%; and eight to ten mailings, less than 1%.

 

I suppose this demonstrates that assns should use less mass mailings but my question is “With such abysmally low response rates, why do mass mailings all?” It is marginally successful, wastes money, and turns off the large majority of people who receive the mailing and throw your brand into the trash basket.

 

Contrast this with a strategic, targeted mailing to lapsed members that Allegiance Research Group did for an assn. The members were considered lapsed after they failed to respond to four mass mailings by the assn. Then the assn asked us to apply our YTheyJoin™ system to this problem. Dr. Paulson invented this system to identify nine types of members based on their professional needs rather than traditional demographic categories. For example, Cognoscenti want specialized info not available elsewhere, and Altruistics believe in your mission and want a legislative voice. Then we write distinct renewal letters for each member type.

 

Fortunately, when these lapsed members belonged to the assn they had completed the YTheyJoin form where we identified their member-type. We used this info to write the letters and, after receiving one targeted letter, many of these lapsed members joined the assn again. Here are the results, and notice how much higher they are than the 1% results from mass marketing.

 

    Response Rates for Renewing Lapsed Members with Target Marketing

 

Shapers 23% renewed; Relevant Participants 20% renewed; Altruistics 13% renewed; Cognoscenti 12% renewed; Mailboxers 8% renewed; Boosters 6% renewed; and Other three categories 11% renewed.

 

Free Offer-If you want to see how this would work for your assn contact us and we will code 100 of your members at no charge. Call 703-772-5263 or e-mail AllegianceResearch@gmail.com


 
Posted By Leah Baker

Focus groups are useful research tools that enable you to talk in-depth with your members or consumers. But please keep in mind that they reflect the views of  very few people, usually six to ten persons per group, and you should be cautious about generalizing from the results. Here are some tips.

 

Relaxed Setting – Focus groups are often conducted in a cold, impersonal facility with that all-intrusive mirror. We prefer to conduct them in a relaxed setting and often use a place such as the Residence Inn where you have an attractive living room and kitchen setting. Light refreshments and beverages are served.

 

Incentives – These are important to help recruit participants and also to thank them. Incentives do not need to be expensive and we have used a variety of them including a check or a bottle of wine. We once did a focus group of nurses some of whom worked for the Federal government and they said rules prohibited them from taking any gifts so we made donations to charity.

 

Good Moderator – Go for the best. You need a moderator who knows the topic or takes the time to learn about it, and knows how to keep one person from dominating the group. Here is a good tip if that happens: if the moderator stands behind person who is talking too much, that person soon stops talking because they have a hard time stretching their neck to see the moderator.

 

Pictographs – Depending on the topic, it helps to have pictures or drawings. We have done focus groups for builders and architects to help them design new homes. When the drawings were shown to the group, some surprises emerged. For example, the architects planned attractive, secluded entrances but participants said “great place to get mugged!” As a result, the entrances were later modified. Drawings can also help with the design of magazines, Web sites, ads, and even with the design of Expo’s.

 

Silent Intercom – We developed this so clients can watch the group (without that intrusive mirror). They sit in a room away from the focus group, usually in the adjacent hotel room. The tv in their room is hooked up to the focus-group-room camera enabling the clients to watch and hear the group. Meanwhile, there is a host or hostess in the focus group room who operates the camera and wears an ear bud where they can hear comments from the clients in the next room. For example, the client may say “I would like to hear more from Mr. Smith.” The host hears this and makes a suggestion to the Moderator who then follows through.

 

For more info call 703-772-5263


 
Posted By Leah Baker

If you are in charge of membership or marketing you may have problems. First, you probably have several bosses. In a sense all of your members are bosses, plus there are the volunteers some of whom head membership or marketing committees. Of course, they all have the direct phone number to your main boss, the Executive Director.

 

Also, most associations want more: more members; more sales; more people attending seminars; and more people at the convention. Guess what, this is your responsibility and did I mention that we are in the middle of a recession? Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of tools to work with especially if you depend on mass marketing which is cold and impersonal and treats everyone the same.

 

This is where member-segmentation and target marketing can help. Let’s say your Executive Director wants a ten-percent increase in attendance at the next annual convention. Where is the growth going to come from? Try the following strategy.

 

Send everyone a notice about the convention (and be sure to mention the most exciting speakers and topics). Then target the people most likely to attend, and for those of you who use the YTheyJoin™ program this would be the Shapers and Relevant Participants. If you do not use the program, this could be those who attended in the past, possibly new members, and people living within 200 miles of the convention city. Send repeated announcements and any expensive color brochures to these people; just send postcards to the others. This type of targeted marketing will save you money and should also result in increased attendance. We know this because our clients have used this strategy with excellent results.

 

A good strategy for increasing membership is your member application. Take a good look at it. Is it cold and impersonal? Intimidating? Like a laundry list? You can change this by simply allowing a little white space where you ask the person to write about their professional needs and expectations. Better yet, include the YTheyJoin tagging form where they get 100 points to spend on your products and services, etc. to explain what is most important to them. We often get comments like “Thanks for asking!” And a check follows.

 

Do you have ways to get more members, more sales, etc? If you do not have ideas and good methods, your job may be at risk and a raise or promotion may not materialize. Member segmentation and target marketing can make you look like a star! For more info, call 703-772-5263.


 


 
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Leah Baker
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