Can Member Personas Help You Better Segment Your Chapter Benefits?
Updated: Sep. 24, 2019 | Categories: Membership
Without members there’s no reason for your chapter. And it’s for this reason that a plan for keeping your members engaged, happy, and satisfied is a must. To do that, you first need a strong understanding of who they are. What do you know about your members? Can you easily share their average age, location, habits, interests, values, likes, dislikes, etc.?
If you can’t, how can you be sure you’re giving them what they want and need? Creating member personas, fictional representations of your ideal and/or actual members can provide clarity around each of your different member groups. This level of detail can help you better segment your offerings, because you know at a granular level, who you’re (trying to) communicating with.
Member personas can help define details like:
- Age, gender, location, education, career level (i.e. income level, role, level of (technical) knowledge, etc.)
- Values, likes and dislikes
- Challenges they face in their roles, frustrations and pain points
- What is important to them and what isn't
- Resources they find helpful.
Here are some questions to get you started creating your member personas. As with many member-related exercises, your personas won’t be exact, nor are these one-time exercises. As the needs of your membership change, so should your personas, and ultimately what you offer each group.
1. How old are they? Are they married? Do they have children? What’s their gender? Where to they live? What’s their income/their household income? How far do they drive to work/to your events?
2. What’s their education level? What kinds of schools did they attend? What kinds of degrees do they have?
3. What was their career path? What is their current role? Was their career path traditional or did they come from a different industry? Who do they report to? Who reports to them? What skills do they need for their job?
4. What kind of company do they work for? is it large and multi-national? A non-profit or a small start-up? What’s the company revenue and how many employees do they have?
Values, Likes and Dislikes
1. What values are important to them? If possible, rank them.
2. What do they like about their job? Dislike?
1. What are some of their biggest challenges?
2. How have they overcome these challenges?
3. Is there anything they want to change about their job or their industry?
1. How do they digest their information? What publications or blogs do they read? What social networks are they part of, i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.?
2. What organizations do they belong to?
3. What do they want to learn about? How do they want to learn it?
Member Personas are not Member Types
They’re two separate entities, and we’re not suggesting you eliminate your member types. Member types give members and prospects something to easily identify with, like “I’m a XXX…” Student, Mid-career Professional, Young Professional, etc. With them, they know where they fall in your chapter, for example, how much it will cost them to be a member and what their membership level entitles them to. And you know how many of each you have.
Personas go deeper. With this information, they can help you market to those member types more effectively and better segment the benefits you offer each type. For example – are all of your young professionals focused on one niche, or do some of them work in multiple areas? And do those that focus on one area want the same out of your chapter as those who do work in multiple areas? Maybe yes, maybe no. With member personas, you’ll have that information and can be more certain the what your providing is what your audiences really want. (By the way, the StarChapter software allows you to treat each of these subgroups differently when it comes to messaging.)
Going through a persona exercise may also show you it’s time to reevaluate your membership benefits, to continue to provide what your members and prospects want and ensure your chapter value is aligned with those benefits.