Personalisation for Membership Organisations: The Next Digital Curve

Digital Marketing
More Thinking

Personalisation in an analogue world is when the owner of your local Indian Restaurant greets you at the door and says, ‘Hello Mr Berry, would you like the chicken dopiaza?’ This is exactly what happens in the exquisite Indian Restaurant, Sitari, in Ledbury, Herefordshire where I partake in a few too many takeaways.

Being a national membership organisation and retaining that depth of personalisation is not easy. Gone are the days when members actively turned out to lots of network events to drink and socialise. Even more decisively millennials are increasingly less likely to pick up the phone and talk. Building personal relationships is getting hard.

So in this fast moving and ever increasing digital world, how do member organisations and associations personalise their offering? And, more pertinently, retain members?


Personalisation explained

Every online visitor has a unique digital footprint. Instead of traditional member surveys, the internet has transformed the way organisations can gain insights into their members. The internet provides rich evidence into which websites members visit, what content they read and what truly interests them. 

It is possible to use analytic and personal data to sculpt a member’s experience of the organisation. From this data it is possible to build personas and develop content that will provide a significantly enriched experience. 


This is not marketing automation

At the juncture of waking up to the potential of digital personalisation so many marketeers become vulnerable to the buzz around marketing automation. 

Marketing automation has an important place, but rather than personalise the journey, it simply is some software that exists with the goal of automating repetitive tasks such as emails, social media and other website tasks. 

To truly personalise a member’s digital experience the marketeer must move beyond automation and grasp the potential in inbound marketing. 


The inbound journey

Inbound is a strategy that utilises many forms of pull marketing – relevant content, blogs, events, SEO, social media and more. The approach is to draw on the digital evidence of what interests your members and then put relevant content in front of them that matches their current interests.

For example, if a member is interested in their Continual Professional Development (CPD) and has been reading some content relevant to CPD, the membership organisation can target the users’ key digital channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, the members website etc) to place in front of them content that truly hits the spot. This is called inbound marketing. 


It is the next digital curve…..

Many member organisations are grasping the opportunity and truly transforming their offering. Many sadly are not and in this fast disruptive world will sadly leak members and ultimately lose their relevance.

Find out more?

Do you want to really find out how to develop an inbound marketing strategy for your membership organisation?

Then, download our free guide

Not only does the book deal with the shifting digital landscape, but it gets into the nitty gritty of digital communications, digital content and most pertinently digital personalisation. 

It will even give you some guidance on what marketing budget to establish.




Contact the team at Cognition Agency for all your digital marketing requirements.