What Can Associations Learn from Netflix About Member Analytics?

Kate Jones

Today we welcome a guest post from Audrey Smilgys, Senior Solution Consultant at Protech Associates, Inc. You can see Protech next week at the Informz Users Conference in Arlington, VA.

Associations today must compete for members with for-profit organizations that offer similar services and education at lower prices. Likewise, Netflix must compete for subscribers with other video streaming providers like Hulu and HBO Now. In spite of the competition, Netflix reports it has over 86 million subscribers, which is far greater than the 12 million reported by Hulu and the 1 million reported by HBO Now. How does Netflix rise above the competition? By using analytics to determine what members are looking for and then delivering on the resulting insight – a winning strategy that you can apply to your association.

Netflix invests a lot of time into collecting and analyzing data on subscribers’ viewing behavior. The company uses this data to identify its most-watched programs, decide what to renew and what to license next, and determine what original programming to develop to keep members engaged with the platform. According to Jenny McCabe, director, global media relations at Netflix, “We always use our in-depth knowledge about what our members love to watch to decide what’s available on Netflix.”

By selecting and providing content it knows people want, Netflix is able to not only retain members but also grow its membership base. In Q3 2016 alone, the company added 3.6 million new members. Netflix attributes this significant growth to high-performing original content like Stranger Things and Narcos, both of which were renewed for additional seasons based on their popularity with members.

In the same fashion, associations should look at data from across their membership to understand how members interact with the organization and what aspects of membership they find the most valuable. By learning more about your members, you can provide more of what they want and drive improved engagement.

What Your Members Want

Members look to associations for the tangible and intangible benefits associated with networking opportunities, local and national advocacy, community, education, and professional certifications. So, ask yourself: Where do members see the benefit in my association? Where are my members getting value? To answer these questions, you need to track member activities within membership management software.

Tracking member activities will give you a clear picture of what products and services your members use the most – those are where your members see the value in your association. With this knowledge, you can develop additional resources that sustain that value, similar to how Netflix greenlit additional seasons of Stranger Things and Narcos based on their popularity with members. In order to market to a member, you can look at your members’ activities and find a lot of members downloaded a specific white paper, then you know that type of information is important to them. You can then develop or obtain additional white papers, e-books, webinars or other offerings that extend the conversation and keep them coming back to your organization for more continuing education.

Targeted Member Engagement

With proper tracking functionality, coding and member analytics in place, associations can identify what content resonates best with specific members and potential members and use that knowledge for targeted engagement. Netflix does this with its “Top Picks,” which provides its members with suggestions for shows and movies based on ones they previously watched. If a member watches Zootopia, then Netflix will suggest they watch Finding Nemo next. You can apply the same strategy in your association by targeting outreach to groups of members or prospective members with content you know is important to them, instead of just general information that they may not find relevant.

For example, you might send out an email about an upcoming webinar to 5,000 potential members and then notice a spike of 500 new members the following month. Through proper tracking functionality, you can determine that those new members came from that webinar email. You can then target your correspondence to those new members with information related to the webinar that prompted them to join. When you send relevant content, members and prospects are more motivated to take action.

If your association is struggling to compete with looming for-profit organizations, then take a page out of Netflix’s playbook and use data and analytics to understand how your members and potential members interact with your organization. You can then provide them with more of the services and knowledge they want, thereby driving positive member retention and growth.

To learn more about how analytics can help your association accurately target members and potential members with the services and information that drive them to take action, download Protech’s free tip sheet “4 Analytics that Elevate Membership Management.”

About the Author

Audrey Smilgys is a senior solution consultant at Protech Associates, Inc. Audrey comes from the association world. She has worked for the National Association of Realtors (NAR); an association management firm, Bostrom; and a nursing certification organization. When she works with Protech customers, she understands the unique association perspective because she’s lived it. She knows it’s all about the members.

Don’t forget to stop by and see Protech at the Informz Users Conference in Arlington, VA next week. In the meantime, learn more about the Informz for Protech integration here.

About the Author
Kate Jones

As Digital Marketing Specialist at Informz, Kate manages the company website, social media strategy, press releases and marketing collateral. Outside of work you can find Kate chasing her toddler and dog and laughing at the chaos with her husband.