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Why are you crying???

Dave Will
November 2, 2020

Anyone who has, or has had, a baby probably remembers those late nights/early mornings, up at 3 AM holding your screaming cherub muttering, "Why are you crying?!?"

It was a struggle to figure out what it was your baby needed? You would look at the data...

  1. sniff the diaper... nope, but I'll change him anyway.
  2. feel the belly... ok, maybe constipated, pat the back and wait.
  3. hungry? maybe... bottle.
  4. lonely? needs a snuggle.

Eventually after several guesses you usually get it right. But, the process was challenging. Wouldn't it have been easier just to say, "Why are your crying?" and find out that maybe a piece of the diaper was causing a weggie?

Now multiply that process by 30,000 members. We can't easily identify their needs and cater to them at an individual level over and over again. So we use information sending tools to send mass quantities of emails to make up for our lack of context.

When you go to the doctor for a physical, what's the first thing that happens? They get the transactional data: Forms to fill out, Pulse, Blood Pressure, weight (oy vey!). And then you walk in. The doctor looks at the transactional data, but then asks, "How are you feeling?" ... Oh really? Tell me more about that."

Your doctor is gaining context so she can treat whatever bothers you more efficiently. Can you imagine if the doctor started rambling off 50 different possibilities based on potential symptoms without asking if you had them? That's what many associations are doing with their member communications and engagement efforts.

ASK, CAPTURE, ACT. That's out methodology for fixing this problem of guessing what it is our members need.

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