Many of my clients track “areas of interest” within their database (maybe you do, too). These are typically checkboxes of dropdown menus that the customer can use to select the different topics or issues that are of interest to them. Associations typically use this for marketing and communications purposes, and may also use them for identifying volunteers and speakers.
But along with a member or customer’s “expressed interest,” your should also be aware of “implied interest.” Implied interest is interest based on a customer’s actions, e.g., what they purchase from you, what they volunteer to do, what events they attend, and so on.
For example, if a customer purchases a product from you focused on how to better manage their small business, you can assume that this customer has an implied interest in business management. What this means is that for future products and programs related to business management, you should market to this customer based on that implied interest.
Implied interest (interest based on behavior) can actually be a much better predictor of future behavior than explicitly expressed interest. So use it to your advantage.