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What is Profile Data and Why Does It Matter?

May 3, 2024

Of the various types of data gathered by organizations today, profile data is the most essential information gathered on members and prospective members. Often, the bulk of this data is gathered during a membership transaction, including some combination of the following:

  • Full Name
  • Email Address
  • Company
  • Title
  • Credentials
  • Phone Number(s)
  • Address(es)
  • Specific area of focus in industry

I know: this information is basic and a little dull to read about. But it’s very important to an organization. At first, the data gathered is straightforward and up-to-date. No problem. The member’s profile goes into the organization’s AMS or other CRM, the member receives communications and benefits and all is well.

What happens next is where it gets a little messy.

The member with an initially pristine profile might change jobs or move over the course of a year. She might gain a new credential. She might get promoted, or get a new phone number. Maybe she gets a divorce and doesn’t even have the same last name.

You know what the last thing on her mind is when any of these changes occur? Updating her profile with her membership organization.

From this point, member engagement becomes an increasing issue. If her old address is still in the AMS, she isn’t going to receive her quarterly print magazine. If her primary email address is her work address and she changes jobs, now she’s not receiving email communications. For months, she misses emails about early bird conference registration pricing, and once she remembers, it’s too expensive, she’s too busy and decides not to go.

In this scenario, the member’s perceived value of membership decreases over time due to lack of engagement and not receiving her member benefits. She misses the annual event, and as a result, doesn’t have the experience and connection she received in past years. And then one day, her membership lapses.

The organization now has one less member and missed out on event revenue - all because of inaccurate profile data.

This scenario is all too common. Thankfully, there’s an antidote to this chronic membership challenge: two-way, ongoing engagement with members, with check-in communications that can solve profile data issues like the one described above. PropFuel organizations are using the Ask-Capture-Act methodology to check in with their members frequently, both to gain context and collect valuable profile information on a regular basis (and writing this important data back to the AMS or marketing system).

When it comes to membership fulfillment and engagement, profile data isn’t so dull after all. It’s an essential and ongoing priority of healthy organizations and fully engaged members.

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