Here’s a question for our association readership: How many of your C-level executives are regular users of your association management system (AMS)?

I’m guessing not many.

Because, traditionally it’s those on the frontlines who use the AMS as a tool for day-to-day tactical operations, such as managing membership renewals, overseeing event registrations, and administering other transactional activities.

While your AMS is a very effective tool for all of these use cases, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what a modern AMS can do. Because, a current, powerful AMS enables you to not only tackle the tactical, but support the strategic.

With the abundant data already housed in your system, you could be using your AMS to substantiate strategic initiatives, inform strategic decisions, and ultimately add value for members.

Substantiate Strategic Initiatives

Does your software have the capability to quantify the value of members through affinity scoring? A tool like this can help you measure the “stickiness” and value of a member. By configuring a point structure for various initiatives and programs, you can determine how engaged each member is in your organization and your offerings.

You may want to tap members with high affinity scores for mentorship and leadership roles, and you certainly want to communicate with this group differently than you would members with low affinity scores. On the flipside, low affinity scores may trigger the need for new engagement initiatives and renewal strategies.

Looking at affinity scores as a whole can also help you identify trends in your membership engagement. (Have overall scores slipped since you discontinued your co-branded credit card offering?)

Moves management is another strategic initiative that a modern AMS can help you accomplish. Moves management is the process of moving someone from one stage to another in a workflow or pipeline. A moves series is the discreet process of guiding a member towards an action, for example, to purchase your newly published research report.

Like affinity scoring, each action, or inaction, can give you great insight into a strategy or initiative.

Inform Strategic Decisions

The business intelligence (BI) you gain by using data analytics can inform strategic decisions. Data analytics can be everything from querying and reporting to statistical analysis.

Let’s say your association is operating under the assumption that those members who attend your annual meeting are more likely to renew their membership, year after year.

However, when you analyze meeting attendance and membership renewal, you find absolutely no correlation between the two. You may now decide to realign your resources and day-to-day focus with a different strategy. BI enables you to pivot and adjust more quickly to members’ needs and environmental changes.

Add Value to Members

All of the rich data housed in your AMS, along with the robust analytics you perform, give you a much better understanding of your membership, what they want, what they need, what motivates them, and what moves them up the ranks in your organization.

Armed with this clear picture, you can now target messaging, appeals, and offers to segmented audiences. This one-to-one engagement (versus one-to-many) makes you and your organization more relevant and trustworthy. And, in an era in which you’re competing for members with not only other professional associations, but also the entire Internet of Things, relevance and trust could be keys to retaining and growing your association.