The public report from the Global Engagement Index 2016 was released today along with a companion white paper on recommendations for action. Collected from nearly 9,000 non-US respondents from the members and customers from 15 associations, the GEI opens a window into new thinking about growing and sustaining business around the world.
Among findings was the introduction of an “engagement typology” representing the different “types” of members and customers based on their own survey responses to questions that uncover empirical evidence about how they view the strength of their relationship to their association and how “engaged” they are.
For the first time, GEI2016 introduces a five-level engagement model categorizing members and customers:
Passive—a prospect or potential customer, or a “pure member” who pays dues but is otherwise uninvolved or disengaged with the association.
Open—a person who has interest in the association’s products, services, and member benefits, but has purchased or participated only in a limited fashion.
Active—someone who is engaging with the association in some way, such as attending a meeting or purchasing a product.
Loyal—someone who repeatedly interacts with the association and purchases/uses its products and services on a regular basis.
Multiplier—a strong promoter and supporter of the association who eagerly brings others into the fold.
One critical insight is that members who dont buy products are significantly more likely to be “passive” or having the worst relationship with the association. This suggests that a membership first strategy dooms the relationship in the long run.
For the first time ever, association executives will be able to better understand how relationship strength impacts the ability to improve engagement with members and customers through empirical data.
MCI along with its partner FairControl (a German-based global market research firm), launched the Global Engagement Index to measure the performance, relationship strength and outcome of engagement tactics as seen through the eyes of associations’ customers and members, allowing like-minded associations to benchmark their performance against that of 15 leading brandsacross multiple sectors.
MCI and FairControl were joined by: American Concrete Institute, American Institute of CPAs, APICS, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society for Clinical Pathology, ASIS International, American Society for Quality, American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, International Facility Management Association, International Society of Automation, Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Material Research Society, NACE International, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
We sought to understand:
How strong is the relationship with members and customers outside of the US?
What is impacting for good or bad the quality of these relationships?
What resources deliver the most value and impact engagement the most?
How relevant is the value proposition to the needs of local members and customers?
What levels of engagement are there and how do members and customers fit into this model?
With GEI, we now have dedicated data and measures that can be utilized to answer these questions and help association executives adapt existing strategy and operational resources to be more effective at building and nurturing relationships that convert financially and sustainably.
The sample size of the GEI is substantial, more than 123,000 non-US contacts were invited to respond to the survey through contact lists, who were invited to respond to the survey in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, and Simplified Chinese. Nearly 9,000 respondents from around the world ultimately completed the survey. Through an innovative crowd-funded model, the 15 participating associations will gain in-depth data and feedback as to how their global community perceives their value, relevance and engagement efforts and where they stand comparative to the Index.
The complete public findings and recommendations will be released next month during ASAE’s annual meeting. An overview article meanwhile can be found here: Global Engagement Index 2016.