Market research is an asset to your association. But before you appreciate its value, you must first review the role of this data and understand how best to use this information in decision-making which positively affects your member engagement and association growth.
Typically, market research for your association is defined as the planning, collection and analysis of data relevant to decision-making and the communication of the results of this analysis to association management and volunteer leaders. This research fulfils three functional roles: descriptive, diagnostic and predictive.
- The descriptive function includes gathering and presenting statements of fact.
- The diagnostic function is where data or actions of a target market are explained.
- With the predictive function, the association answers questions to allow them to best take advantage of opportunities as they arise in an ever-changing marketplace.
Good research data helps your association balance these three areas to provide the highest-quality and most useful material for your decision-making.
Boost your membership and marketing strategies.
With market research, your association can face a much more limited margin for error in the development and implementation of either a membership or program marketing strategy. Thus, it’s important to leverage data to answer key questions:
- What are the strategic issues and problems most impacting your membership and how do you translate this knowledge of opportunities into action?
- What are the programs and services which provide the most value to your membership?What opportunities exist for your association and how do you target and take advantage of these opportunities?
- How can you best modify the marketing and implementation of your programs and services to more effectively target the marketplace and build your membership?
The key to high-quality, beneficial research lies is in two fundamental characteristics:
- Understand the unique relationship of your association to your membership so you can ask the right questions to gather necessary information for decision-making.
- Understand how information is used during implementation so the proper conclusions are drawn from collected data.
Once you have completed your market research, your decision-making is more on point and effectual as you strive to improve member engagement, grow your association and carry out your mission.