Research by Design is the leading market research agency for membership associations in the UK.
We have a dedicated membership team who work with our membership, professional and trade association clients to deliver expert insight. Our breadth of clients in these sectors also means that we can benchmark performance through our normative database.
Our unrivalled experience in the membership sector has given us a deep understanding of the complex and unique challenges that membership associations face. This in turn means that we can offer tailored insight that not only gets to the root of our clients’ issues but delivers robust recommendations to help drive their strategy and future proof their organisation.
Understanding member loyalty, the drivers to member retention and attrition, and the importance of representation and different member benefits are key to building a strong, sustainable brand that members are proud to subscribe to.
One of the much talked about topics in the sector is also member engagement. With the sector finding it difficult to agree a definition let alone a way of measuring it we thought we’d step in and help. Through a review of literature written about consumer and staff engagement and our own research in this area we are in a unique position to be able to:
Define member engagement
Understand member engagement
Measure member engagement
And help our clients increase member engagement
You can read more about our latest thinking on engagement here.
We asked RbD to help us understand our members better, identify the key challenges we face, and to inform our thinking as we develop our future strategy. Their professionalism, expertise, and knowledge of the professional membership sector were all exemplary and helped ensure the programme rolled out on time and met our expectations. The RbD team was driven to ensure the quantitative survey was in an appropriate format and asked the right questions so that the resulting data would be appropriate and useful. It was, and their help in translating the findings into strategic planning was invaluable. RbD see themselves as partners rather than simply suppliers, and that makes all the difference.
Research by Design took the time to really understand our organisation and how we are trying to deliver our strategic objective to ‘greater match the Society’s activities to the needs of its membership’. They incorporated this knowledge into the research and suggested a number of areas we might have otherwise overlooked. It is often tempting to use an existing supplier, but this is the first time we have used RbD and we are very pleased with their work so far. In fact within the first day of the online survey starting they had exceeded our previous total response rates. The strategic thinking, enthusiasm and excellent communication has been invaluable.
RbD has invested a great deal of time and energy in understanding our research needs and ensuring that the surveys we send are both strategic and meet our overarching objectives and requirements. The reports they send are clear and the team do a good job at pulling out the important recommendations. RbD are also very flexible about coming up to London to meet with us in person, both as we start a project, during, and then at the point of project delivery. We talk through the findings in a very open, honest and relaxed way, and discuss how best to apply these recommendation going forward. RbD also do a good job at applying the learning from one survey when working on other projects, so that the benefits of working and developing an honest relationship with them is really evident.
We used Research by Design for a number of projects at RICS and found them innovative and great value for money. What impressed me most was the time spent understanding our requirements and being prepared to challenge our ideas and come up with a better solution than we originally envisaged. I first used RbD after having devised a new inspection programme and I needed to ensure the Regulatory and Customer Service requirements were being achieved. The information gained helped me as a manager to review and amend the visit programme. In addition it provided valuable feedback for the Regulatory Board to ensure the regulatory objectives were achieved.
On the strength of this I used RbD on a number of other projects and always found the service to be consistent and effective.
The British Chambers of Commerce has worked with Research by Design on a number of membership surveys over the years. The results and analysis undertaken by RbD have helped us to greatly increase policymakers’ knowledge of the issues facing small and medium-sized businesses across the UK – and have contributed directly to some important policy wins. Without RbD’s forensic attention to detail, high levels of customer care and sheer hard work, we would not have been able to achieve such positive results.
BASW and Research by Design worked closely together to undertake market research with UK members to establish the future direction of the organisation. The research outcomes have formed the strong foundation of our forward planning. The flexibility, commitment and skills of RbD staff meant this was achieved in a very tight timescale. We are looking forward to continuing to work together.
Our experience of working with RbD on a comprehensive member and customer research project has been very positive, meeting all our objectives, but in particular, providing us with invaluable input into our strategic planning process. The team provided expert guidance throughout the project ensuring we achieved the best possible outcome – something we couldn’t have done on our own. Their extensive knowledge of the membership sector and benchmarking data sets them apart from other agencies. The work was planned and delivered to a very high standard. The presentations, analyses and communications with ourselves and our stakeholders were clear and relevant. They came across like they really cared about our organisation and we look forward to working with them again.