Don’t assume a membership is for you.
What? Is this statement coming from the same group that’s been celebrating memberships all year?
Yup. It is.
Look, we love memberships, and so do many companies across media, events, retail, restaurants, business services, financial services, and so on. But implementing a membership simply because it’s trendy, without doing any analysis, runs completely counter to what we stand for!
It’s true, we usually end up working with clients to build a membership program. But that’s only after the data and customers tell us one is needed. There are also cases where membership is not the right option.
It’s time to take a huge step back. It’s time to ask a different question. Instead of asking, “Is a membership right for me?” we should be asking, “How can I listen to my best customers to identify strategies that will generate predictable growth?”
Chances are you’re seeking out fresh organic growth ideas. You’re looking for new products and services. You’re trying to figure out how to enter new markets. You’re hoping to optimize your sales and marketing processes to make more money with what you already have.
At the same time, you’re hearing this buzz about data and technology. These tools are supposed to help you make better decisions and get faster results. But your data is a mess—spread across a myriad of places—and you’re not fully utilizing all the technology you invested in.
This is the real problem we solve. We find a way to take all this technology and data and turn it into insights—insights we can act on to predictably grow your business through sales and marketing optimization, new products, and new markets.
And here’s the secret that we’ve been sharing with everyone: The group to study is your best customers. Use data to identify them and analyze their behavior. That’s the ticket to organic growth.
So while we’re going to continue to write about memberships, we’re going to be spending more time telling the stories of leaders who have taken a step back, asked the right questions of their data, and gotten phenomenal results.
So in that spirit, we’re rebranding our newsletter Data Scout: how analyzing your best customers leads to predictable growth. Please encourage others to sign up by clicking here.
In the meantime, see you at Burger King for the $5 daily cup of coffee membership. Just kidding…maybe.
P.S. We want to hear from you! Have you made sense of your data and seen dramatic growth in your revenues as a result? Please drop us a line, we’d love to hear your story.
About the Sterling Woods Group, LLC
The Sterling Woods Group’s mission is to help clients make sense of their data to build deeper relationships with their best customers, launch new products and membership programs, and execute smarter marketing strategies.
We use a hypothesis-driven, data supported methodology to discover your “spin”—a simple insight that no one else is paying attention to. Then, we help you assemble the right technologies, marketing plans, and resources to seize this opportunity.
About the Author
Rob Ristagno, Founder and CEO of the Sterling Woods Group, previously served as a senior executive at several digital media and e-commerce businesses, including as COO of America’s Test Kitchen. Throughout his career, his focus has been on embracing technology and analytics to spur strategic development and growth.
At the Sterling Woods Group, he and the team are passionate about helping clients understand their best customers through data, and developing products and membership programs that exceed expectations – and generate impressive revenues.
Committed to spreading this message, Rob is the author of A Member is Worth a Thousand Visitors and is a regular keynote speaker at conferences around the world. He has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and Digiday.
He holds degrees from the Harvard Business School and Dartmouth College and has taught at both Harvard and Boston College.