Shugoll Research is uniquely qualified to help associations and not-for-profit organizations optimize their business decisions to address challenges and make the most of opportunities. We have helped numerous trade, consumer and professional associations identify ways to grow membership and boost satisfaction and involvement among existing members.
Organizations that carry the mantle for many important social issues have used our expertise in generating financial support, identifying key audience segments and testing the messages to influence opinion and policy.
A large part of our business is answering critical questions and providing actionable direction. Here are some of the questions Shugoll Research has helped Associations and Not-for-Profit clients answer over the years:
Maintaining membership is about providing value. Shugoll Research surveys current and lapsed members about their use of, expectations for and satisfaction with membership. This, combined with the use of our proprietary Power Pricing Index, indicates the price-value relationship of different segments and identifies segments most “at risk”, as well as highly satisfied groups with room to increase fees. This has been used successfully to adjust membership fees by category with minimal or no loss among those facing higher fees and much lower attrition rates among those facing lower fees.
Expanding participation requires understanding the obstacles that prevent non-attendees from participating and determining what would motivate them to attend. Thus, while surveys of attendees are needed to ascertain which current programs are valuable to ensure that proposed new programs or potential changes will not alienate current attendees, Shugoll Research also surveys lapsed attendees and potential attendees to understand what changes must be made to attract a broader group. Using this multi-segment approach, Shugoll Research has helped organizations greatly expand attendance by restructuring/ reformatting their meetings and addressing issues such as date and duration changes, optimal locations/types of settings, fee structure for different types of attendees and mix of activities, learning formats and content areas.
In many cases, demand for products offered by associations or not-for-profits is hindered by a lack of awareness of the product or a lack of understanding about product features, benefits or means of access. So, the first step Shugoll Research takes in assessing sales opportunities is to undertake a Benefits Audit Survey among client members. This process assesses awareness, use and frequency of use, reasons for non-use and perceived value of existing products. We also look at unmet needs, including time frame and delivery mechanism requirements, to determine if current products can be repositioned or if new products are needed. Using the Benefits Audit Survey, Shugoll Research has helped associations and non-profits to identify their strongest product offerings and make minor modifications to existing products to greatly broaden their appeal. We have also identified under-utilized products that only needed increased promotion because the products were valued but not well known or understood.
Public education and communications campaigns are best evaluated by taking measures of the target audience’s attitudes and behaviors prior to the campaign baseline and at periodic intervals tracking throughout the campaign. Using this methodology, Shugoll Research has evaluated the impact of communications campaigns for industries, issues and policies. This research has been used to develop and refine specific messages, test the effectiveness of communications programs and to fine-tune the media mix.
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