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What is Behavioral Data?

Brianne Wheeler
December 14, 2020

Behavioral data represents a wide range of actions and engagements by members and prospects of your organization. While some behavioral data could be sitting in your AMS or CRM, it’s likely that a lot of this data is recorded and housed in your marketing and communications platforms.

Decades ago, we measured behavior in ways that often related back to transactions, such as at what point in the annual membership cycle a member tends to renew. With the use of marketing automation systems, more sophisticated association management system capabilities as well as other tools to measure behavior, now we have the opportunity to see so much more of what members and prospects are doing – quite literally.

This activity might include real time page visits, downloads of organizational resources, shares of content on social media, among many other actions that demonstrate varying levels of engagement. Unlike transactions, behaviors are much more nuanced and numerous for each individual. If you chose one of your members to study, you would likely find dozens, if not hundreds, of behavioral data points!

Now that you have all of this behavioral data, what do you do with it? This has been a topic of conversation for years across industries including the association space, where marketing and IT teams are often limited by budget constraints, small teams and large workloads. It can be overwhelming to have so much information at your fingertips and try to figure out how to use it. And, even if you put together some great campaigns with that data based on past behaviors, there is still some guesswork involved in determining and delivering what members actually need.

For example, if your marketing automation system shows that a member downloaded two educational documents on a particular certification last month, your organization might assume that they are interested in that certification. From there, your automated workflow might send them additional information on the certification and how to take the exam.

However – are you sure that’s what they were looking for? Maybe it was. But maybe not. It could be that they were doing a research paper on industry certifications, or that their nonmember colleague needed the information, so your member grabbed it for them. In that instance, your member doesn’t receive what they want and need at the time.

The missing link? Context. If you had some context around why the member was downloading those resources, wouldn’t you be able to serve them better? At PropFuel, that context is what we’re helping associations get to in engaging their members.

Behavioral data is important and relevant for today’s marketers. And when we pair it with input directly from members – context – we gain rich insights into their individual needs and wants to engage and serve them better.

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