(Value Proposition Step 1)

nsight_091515blogHave you ever been to a party when someone suggested, “Let’s play charades and the teams are the boys against the girls?” That is the most basic kind of segmentation – or clustering.

A cluster is a group of like people who have one or more like characteristics.


  • If you approach your entire membership all as a single group, you’ll dilute your decisions
  • It’s impossible to sell to your whole membership – so it helps you prioritize
  • If you market to everyone, you’ll waste time & resources marketing to people who aren’t interested or who don’t benefit from what you offer
  • It requires you to think about the people you serve as individuals, versus one big group

Simple segmenting looks at the customer as “this” or “that;” they are generic groups – like girls and boys. These groups are very broad. Depending on your offering, this kind of grouping doesn’t give you enough information to pinpoint a problem of theirs that you can solve.

There are dozens of different types of member groups in your association. Common segments might be:

  • Agents and Brokers
  • Front line people and supervisors
  • Members and the public
  • Full-time practitioner and affiliate members

Don’t put every single member into a specific group. Instead, brainstorm all the possible groups and then narrow them down using the criteria here.


1.  You can measure this group of members AND it is a significant % of your population
2.  The group has similar characteristics and needs
3.  The group has pertinent potential use for your programs (large enough that you’ll see a ROI from a problem you solve for them)
4.  You have the ability to reach the group through your marketing activities
5.  Your association’s work is not in direct conflict with this segment


: Do not choose member types that are alike. Choose three very different groups because:

  • You’ll get to know these group members better
  • If you solve a problem for them, your chances of creating more value goes up
  • You’ll find out what you need to focus on to help them
  • You can target feedback from these groups to find practical solutions they will value; then if you implement suggestions from them, you’ll show them you know what they need
  • You can build the right goals for your organization


Most people believe by choosing a segment, they are excluding the others. In fact, the opposite is true: When you get into the heads of three diverse member types – you have a better chance of relating to many other member segments beyond them.

  • Cluster your membership because it is the first step to understanding your members.
  • When you understand your members better, you will make more relevant planning decisions.
  • When you begin with knowing specific problems you solve, your communications will be clearer.
  • With better communications, you make stronger connection with the members you most want to influence.

Have a question about clustering your members? Contact me today and let’s talk!