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Information for Association

Do you work with professional associations and non-profit organizations on digital transformation, content strategy, business intelligence, member engagement, new revenue models, or marketing strategy?


If so, Hum can play a key role in rapidly turning your recommendations into reality. Use the resources on this page to quickly determine if Hum's CDP will be a good fit for your clients. 

What is Hum?

Start by watching this quick video summary of the Hum Customer Data Platform (CDP). 

Or, if you prefer reading to watching, check out this blog post overview

Hum directly supports these digital transformation goals:

  • Integrating existing systems for true 360-degree audience intelligence 

  • Dramatically improving audience segmentation

  • Personalizing member/audience experiences across all digital platforms, whether the audience member is identified or not

  • Providing deep intelligence about content use and engagement

  • Increasing marketing/email effectiveness

  • Expanding sponsor offerings / creating new revenue lines

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What are some common CDP use cases for associations?

There are three broad use cases for Hum. And then there are some additional benefits to running a CDP like Hum. Any of these are reasons for your clients to consider a CDP: Grow membership and audience. Use detailed behavioral audience and content data to learn what their current membership loves about their organization. Then use that information to find, attract, and convert similar people - those most likely to become members-- using modern digital marketing techniques. Amplify programs and events. Know with 100% certainty that they’re building the right new offers. Let behavioral data be the guide to designing the new programs and products their members, subscribers, and sponsors crave. Because Hum offers real-time insights, no more relying on infrequent surveys of what people say they want. Your clients can use information about what members and audience are actually doing on their sites to launch new (and retire underperforming) programs and products, test price points, and determine the most engaging materials they are creating. Boost engagement and retention. Use data intelligence to understand which content, products, and programs interest their members most. Then serve them what they want and need in ways that they will see--including via deep personalization. Bonus: Hum both improves and future-proofs your clients’ tech stacks. Because Hum sits in the middle of your clients’ tech stack, it offers three architectural benefits to associations. First, it allows your clients to adopt point solutions as part of their technology while retaining the ability to offer a leading-edge, data-driven experience to their members. Second, Hum makes the individual components of your clients’ existing tech stack stronger, feeding them better data, enhanced segments, and superior insights. And third, Hum allows hot-swapping of those point solutions if your association ever decides it needs to replace it. No more time-consuming and laborious software and data migrations.

What does your sales process look like?

We want to make learning about Hum easy and stress free. Your client will have the chance to walk through the Hum platform one-on-one with one of our team. If they like what they see, we set up a follow up meeting to review use cases and next steps specific to your client's organization.

What is Hum?

Hum is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) specifically designed specifically for professional and trade associations. Because Hum is purpose-built for associations. It has several features that make it unique in the CDP market:

  1. Hum not only profiles people, it profiles content and product. Most associations produce a lot of content (journals, articles, books, newsletters, blogs, webinars, courses, white papers, and so on). Hum lets associations determine which content and in which formats are most popular with which segments of their audience. This allows associations to use real-time data to determine which programs to pour gas on and which to sunset.
  2. Hum has the most friendly UX on the market. It is very powerful in terms of the data, dashboards, and analysis it provides, but it is also extremely easy to use. No data scientist required. Hum does the heavy data lifting, allowing association staff to focus on applying what they are learning, and minimizing the amount of training required.
  3. Every Hum customer gets robust integration and ongoing operational support standard. Making the change to being a data-enabled organization is not just about technology; we help with implementation, integration, staff training, and ongoing projects.
  4. Hum is priced with associations in mind. For a fraction of the cost of an assistant, an association can get up and running with Hum.

How do I know if my client is ready for Hum?

We've reduced complexity so that association marketing teams, membership, executives, and content teams can quickly benefit from using the platform. However, not every association is ready for the data-driven engagement strategy that Hum enables. We don't want to be another piece of technology that goes unused. Ideal Hum adopters have a desire to be nimble and entrepreneurial. They will know that their current methods of gathering member feedback (static surveys, post-event intelligence gathering, etc) don't cut it. Before onboarding Hum, an organization should show an active interest in improving the way their members, subscribers, and partners digitally interact with their organization. They should know that personalized and digital-first is the association experience of the future, and they should want to invest in that future. If you have clients like this, we invite you to introduce them to the power of Hum and first-party data.

Who within an association would actually use Hum?

We've worked hard to reduce complexity so that any association staffer can use the Hum platform. But some departments are better suited than others to run an organization's intelligence. Based on our experience, here are a few positions that are well-suited to run Hum: Director of Marketing / Marketing Manager: The marketing department is often the primary operator of Hum because many of the activation activities that Hum orchestrates will be led by marketing. Hum includes campaign and commerce modules that help marketers mobilize audiences across their MarTech stack, and track the success of these campaigns. In terms of consistent, daily use of the tool, marketers are likely to be the most frequent users. Director of Communications / Education: The news, publishing, and education departments are also ideal Hum operators. Hum's content module will help the teams continuously improve content. From topic refinement, to gaining a better understanding of how audiences interact with content artifacts, to improving the way content is distributed across channels, the content teams will find wonderful uses for the Hum platform. Director of Membership/ Community Manager: Hum's audience module shares critical member, audience, and partner intelligence that will transform the way the membership team communicates with current members and prospects.

Does Hum have a partnership program?

Yes. We are happy to co-present to your clients. If you think Hum would be a good fit for multiple clients, please reach out – we’d be happy to co-create a more formal program with your input. No one knows how consultants work with association clients better than you.

What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) and why would an association need one?

CDPs come out of the B2C space, and are a relatively new class of software (~8 years old). Most associations don’t run CDPs, either because they are too new (and associations don’t know about them yet) or because they want one but the total cost of ownership has been too high. But the need is real: every association needs a CDP to be able to delight its modern members, and it sits at the heart of every digital transformation. CDPs integrate behind-the-scenes to collect first-party data from across your clients’ association systems – CMS, LMS, CRM, /AMS, MarTech, Events, Community, Social, and more, and bring it into a single, unified record. There it can be viewed, sliced, diced, analyzed, and actioned. Some other software classes claim to offer unified customer records, but only true CDPs do this for a living. For many associations, this unification is huge. But CDPs do more than package data - they pull out insights to help associations act on their newfound intelligence. CDPs deliver key insights into the makeup, interests, and characteristics of an association’s audience, and reveal the content that is best engaging and motivating them to action. Forming a virtuous circle, these insights are then returned to existing association systems in the form of on-site content personalization and recommendations as well as feeding sophisticated segments fed into targeted marketing/call-to-action campaigns. In short, CDPs help associations mobilize audiences, engage members, and grow revenue. Thus, CDPs offer associations:

  1. A single, 360-degree “golden record” view of a member, collecting data from all an association’s digital properties into one place (CMS, AMS, CRM, LMS, Awards, Events, Community, and Marketing & Social, etc)
  2. Data harmonization, cleaning, and transfer among all connected digital properties (aka ETL (extract, transfer, and load).
  3. The ability for association marketing and product development staff to create segments on the fly and in real time, merging behavioral, demographic, financial, and attendance/completion data.
  4. The ability to feed data back to your client’s existing tech stack, allowing them to personalize a member’s experience across all digital properties in real-time, and allowing associations to get more out of their existing tech stack without any upgrades or changes.
  5. The ability to use data to drive business decisions—around pricing, events and conferences, new products, course design, and so on.

Why is a CDP important for digital transformation, and more importantly, why now?

Associations are at a pivotal, almost existential moment. For most, membership is down (in particular, younger members are not joining as fast as older ones leave) and revenues are declining, helped enormously by the dramatic decline in attendance at in-person events. Association executives are trying to execute their digital transitions, come up with new product ideas to secure non-dues revenue, ignite member engagement, and prove their value proposition to membership. All while under fiscal pressures and while trying to bring their teams up to date with modern marketing technologies and methods. And to top it all off, non-traditional competitors are taking the attention of potential members and disaggregating associations’ value propositions. These new competitors have mastered the digital game, and are enticing Millenials and Gen-Z members, who expect deeply personalized experiences. We’ve built Hum to help associations make this move. Hum is a next-generation customer data platform (CDP) purpose built for associations. In five years, every thriving association will have a CDP. Why not help your clients get in front of the curve?

Does Hum come with any support services?

One thing we often hear is "My clients would love this, but some of them might find it difficult to act on all the data coming out of Hum right away."

There is a team of real people behind Hum who are here to help every step of the way. We provide initial data audits, technical integration services, training,and integration services. We also actively help association staff use Hum on an ongoing white-glove monthly marketing support to help association staff to achieve their goals.

How long does it take to get Hum up and running, and offering value?

Not long at all. Unlike almost every other part of an association tech stack, CDPs are extremely quick to install and get running (sublect, of course, to cooperation from your clients’ tech teams). We’ve gotten customers up and running within a week across their key systems. And as soon as the data starts flowing over Hum, the insights start to amass. We tell clients to expect to see actionable intelligence within 90 days. And because Hum sits outside the existing software, nothing else needs to be replaced or migrated. Installing a CDP is the easiest software upgrade you’ll ever do for a client.

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John Challice
SVP, Business Development