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Measuring Performance & Relationship Strength with AEI


In 2017, MCI partnered with FairControl to launch the American Engagement Index (AEI) to measure the performance, relationship strength and outcome of engagement tactics as seen through the eyes of association members and non-member customers in the USA. The data from thousands of respondents allows us to create benchmark performance scores against 10 leading association brands across multiple sectors.

The impetus for the AEI – a companion study developed from the landmark Global Engagement Index (GEI) released in 2016 – was how little is understood about improving “engagement,” how little data exists on what is healthy engagement and what is not, and what precisely is needed to close the enthusiasm gap between customers/members and associations.

The overall AEI engagement score across all associations averaged 75 (AEI scoring ranges from a high of 150 to a low of -50), signalling a borderline weak engagement. Such a score reveals two significant considerations:

  1. Something important is missing in the American member and customer experience (and similarly in other mature markets such as Europe)
  2. Experience and relationship quality is much better in emerging and developing markets.

Delighting members or customers doesn’t build loyalty

The detailed analysis of member and nonmember customer behaviour resulted in a five-level “typology of engagement.”

  • Passive – a member who pays dues but is otherwise uninvolved with the association
  • Open – a person who has shown interest in the association’s products, services, and member benefits, but has not purchased a product or only participated in a limited fashion
  • Active – someone who is engaging with the association through purchasing and using a single product
  • Loyal – someone who repeatedly interacts with the association and purchases/uses its products and services on a regular basis
  • Multiplier – a strong promoter of the association who eagerly brings others into the fold and who buys even more products than those in the loyal segment

The full article authored by MCI’s Senior Advisor of Global Development Strategy, Peter Turner was published in the latest issue of MCI’s owned publication for association news and global trends, FOCUS magazine. Download your free copy and get more insights on the most suitable ways to improve engagement, as well as the areas for further consideration here.

For more information on how to get more return on investment from engagement through stronger relationships, listen to MCI’s the webinar recording on dedicated association website under ‘Association resources’.

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