MGI Tipster – Volume 11, Issue 6

June 13, 2012   |   Vol. 11   |   Issue 6
Membership Marketing Competitive Set Analysis

Putting the 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report to Good Use

Marketing General Incorporated this month published the findings from its fourth annual Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, which assesses membership growth trends and the techniques that associations use to generate those results.

If you would like a copy of the 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, click here to download the file. It’s a large file, so please be patient.

This year for the first time, MGI has developed the ability to benchmark individual membership organizations against the overall Report findings to pinpoint how organizations measure up on a number of key characteristics.

Renewal rates, for example, can be compared to the renewal rates of the entire 2012 studied group or against subsets, such as individual association types such as healthcare or education.

It’s Called Competitive Set Analysis

Competitive Set Analysis is a system that enables MGI to identify an organization’s space in the association universe by comparing and contrasting results as well as the methods the organization uses to achieve those results.

MGI is able to extract pertinent data from the Benchmarking Report to generate a personalized report thanks to the extensive cross tabulations generated.

How Competitive Set Analysis Works

The 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report collected data from nearly 700 associations to develop a better understanding

Attention Association Meeting Planners!

The MGI 2012 Association Meeting and Trade Show Benchmarking Survey is currently underway. If you are involved in planning, promoting, or carrying out your organization’s annual conference or trade show, your participation in this first-of-its-kind study is vitally needed.

Simply click here or go to https://marketinggeneral.us2.
1Y8e3fp15TnRtfS and let us know how you go about convening your annual meeting, or forward the link to the appropriate individual in your organization. Your input is greatly appreciated!

It takes only about 20 minutes to complete online and the information gathered will provide insight and opportunity to benchmark your organization’s meeting preparations, processes, and outcomes against others. Participants will receive a copy of the final results.

of the strategies and tactics they use to recruit, engage, and retain members. The Report is the most exhaustive and comprehensive in the series to date.

The Report generated sufficient data to be able to support analysis of three segments within the association market space with statistically significant accuracy—healthcare, education, and engineering.

A healthcare association, for example, can benchmark against the healthcare organizations that participated in the larger membership study, drilling down for a far more focused and useful comparison of trends and directions just in its own field.

What Competitive Set Analysis Finds

The Competitive Set Analysis focuses on changes and trends in acquisition and renewals. It compares the renewal rates, for example, with the overall median renewal rate for the participants in the Benchmarking Report, and also compares the rates with just those associations that are in the same profession.

A key feature of the report is to cross tabulate specific marketing practices with reported membership outcomes to determine which practices support better results.

The analysis then examines recruitment channels and engagement levels to develop a profile not only of the rates themselves but also the systems used to arrive at those rates. This results in far more discrete information that is actionable by the organization.

Analytics That Reveal How to Maximize Growth

The Competitive Set Analysis also reveals the inverse of the suggested solutions—the greatest challenges to growth that are pathways best to avoid. This offers a far clearer tactical picture of the methods necessary to prioritize membership goals and maximize membership marketing spending.

The names of the participant organizations are not released to the client commissioning the Competitive Set Analysis; only the aggregate data is, to ensure the privacy that was promised all member associations taking part in the Benchmarking Report.

How the New Research Tool Came About

This new research tool is an outgrowth of the work done by MGI’s Research Director Dr. Adina Wasserman and Market Research Analyst Jeffrey Tranguch on a project initially conceived by MGI Vice President Erik Schonher.

“This is a comprehensive analytical tool that associations and other membership organizations can use to frame where they are, how they compare to others, and ways to improve their performance,” said Schonher.

For More Information

To discuss the Competitive Set Analysis in greater detail, contact MGI President Rick Whelan at 703.706.0350 or email him at, or contact Dr. Adina Wasserman at 703.706.0373 or by email at

Posted in: