(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.

WHY CLUSTER (or SEGMENT) YOUR MARKETING ACTIVITIES?

  • 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.

HOW TO CLUSTER YOUR MEMBERSHIP

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

NARROW DOWN YOUR LIST TO THREE

CAUTION
: 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

WILL I EXCLUDE MEMBERS?

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!