GENEVA — Members and customers rate highly their association’s performance in creating a wide array of products, but rate these same products as offering only marginal value to them personally, with the exception of certifications. This was one of the key findings revealed in the inaugural Global Engagement Index (GEI) undertaken by the MCI Group in collaboration with global market research firm FairControl, it was announced Aug. 25.
Launched in February, the GEI measures the performance, relationship strength and outcome of engagement tactics as seen through the eyes of associations’ customers and members. The 2016 edition targeted the global community (customers and members based outside the U.S.) of associations headquartered in the U.S. More than 130,000 non-U.S. members and customers from around the world were consulted in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic and simplified Chinese.
Other key findings include:
• Designing and delivering marketing and sales programs matching local member and customer preferences is key. Average rated associations pump out products and services globally without a focus on how they impact members and customers, which affects their ability to improve engagement and hinders leads to renewal, purchases or other forms of engagement.
• Respondents overwhelmingly indicated that word of mouth or referrals from people they know and respect was the leading channel that first introduced them to the associations that deliver value and support their local needs.
The 2016 GEI provides associations with a benchmark that illustrates how the global community perceives associations’ value, performance and engagement efforts. It also provides in-depth analysis of what is driving relationship strength and engagement.
Under an innovative crowd funding model, 15 associations spanning across nine industry sectors and professions, including engineering, healthcare, supply chain, ICT, financial management, quality assurance, facilities, automation and manufacturing, measured their member and customer views on their relationship strength.
The GEI results were first unveiled at the Global Engagement Summit organized by MCI and FairControl in Washington, D.C. last June, to an exclusive group of 75 executives, including 25 executives from the 15 participating associations in the GEI.