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4 Things We Learned from MemCom 2019

1.     Use it or Lose it 

Everyone loves getting a shiny new piece of tech, software product, or even (if you’re lucky), a brand spanking new website. However, these new software/technologies are a lot like gym membership, splashing the cash alone won’t get you in fighting shape. You have to physically put in the hard work and use the tools that are right to get the results 😉 

From the conversations we had at MemCom 2019, its apparent that many membership organisations are taking big strides towards improving membership engagement, acquisition and retention.  

It’s clear that a big part of the strategy is to update and invest in various ‘infrastructure’ such as new CRM systems, websites and reporting tools. While having the right tool for the right job is critical, any master craftsman will tell you that that’s only half the battle. Learning to use the tools correctly is equally, if not more important if you want to unlock the value from your initial investment; it’s all about enablement.  

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If you’re struggling pulling everything together, defining your plan of action, or refining your skills with additional counselling or coaching, we can help. 

2.     Blinded by the Byte – (Yes, That’s a Really Sh*t Springsteen Pun!!)  

We all know that data has the ability to transform an organisation. Typical data silos and a company’s structures often make you either thirsty for data or drowning in an information tsunami. It becomes almost impossible to get or identify which data is useful for business decisions. From the conversations we had at Memcom, most delegates seemed to fit into one of these camps. 

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Solutions we suggested were: 

  • Plan - First make sure you and your organisation have a good idea of what you are trying to achieve

  • Communicate - make sure everyone internally is aligned

  • Cook - Even though it’s hard, boil down your KPI’s to just a few 

  • Make sure KPIs are relevant - while a company should have a small shared set of KPIs, the CEO shouldn’t have access to the same set of KPIs as an intern

  • Any measure or report should allow an action. If you haven’t used the report decision in the past few months, bin it

3. Everyone’s a Jack of all Trades - But an Expert in Data? 

When we asked people at Memcom whether they had someone responsible for managing/looking after data within their organisation, the responses were a mixture of – “technically yes we do, but not really”, or “we all look after data”.

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To improve data-quality and decision-making, it’s important to set clear roles and responsibilities for who is responsible for data across your organisation. Then communicate this properly across the company. 

For a great experience and a tasty, memorable meal, a restaurant needs an entire team with an array of skill-sets to run a successful restaurant.  

 As data is now a key and litigious ingredient to any organisation, if you’re the only chef in the kitchen, you really need some help. We can help you define a data-strategy and help you share new value you can extract from this data. Trust us, data can taste good.  

4.   Analysis Paralysis   - Seeing the Wood from the Trees 

Collecting data and storing it is the easy part. Sifting through it and making decisions is the hard part. Perversely, big data has made it easy to hoover-up masses of data, which is often useless, and just creates more work for you to sift through. Only collect data that has value, Then, just feed this back into your business objectives. 

Data is one thing but how do you turn data into valuable insight? #Analysis   

A lot of people at MemCom explained that even though accruing data was not necessarily an issue, they had no idea how to analyse or make sense out of what they’ve got.   

So, there’s no value in data? 
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Data can only add value to your organisation if you have someone (either in-house or externally) with an understanding of how to leverage it and share learnings across the organisation.  

If you’ve got data, have fun extracting real value from it. Understand more about what your members are doing. More about what they want from you, or more about how to extract more value from them. Even use data internally to settle those arguments derived from loose assumptions - not based on any facts.  

Using a range of data-cleansing, segmentation and analysis tools and techniques, we can help you whittle down your data into something of beauty and real value. 

The problems are obvious but what are the solutions.

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The main take away from this year’s MemCom conference was the fact that everybody was open to finding out about new ways of working. Every single person that we spoke to had real insight into the way their organisation worked, the challenges they face and why those challenges exist. With that being said, there was a sense that some people were feeling slightly out of their depth when it comes to data analysis and strategy, and so they should, (unless of course you’re a Data Analyst).

All of the marketing professionals we encountered were super-switched on and were expressing an admirable eagerness to implement changes. The issue is that they can only do what they can do. I mean, you wouldn’t ask a salesman to handle finance, would you? Well equally, marketing professionals and admin assistants shouldn’t be expected to manage data. Ultimately once marketing heads are given access to the support that they NEED, the membership sector will start to transform into a relevant, engaging and useful space for the modern man and women.   

 The membership, trade and association sector is ever-evolving. MemCom is a fantastic place for organisations to come and learn about new ways of doing things. With the world now being so data driven it’s never been more important to unlock the value within your data. YFS are here to help ensure that organisations within the sector are not left behind.   

 

 

 

Julian MitchellComment