I don’t recall where I first heard the term, but I’ve been using the concept of “implied interest” since back in my days as a marketing director for a small association.
Put simply, implied interest is inferring interest about an individual based on their behavior with the association. For example, if an individual attends an event on the topic of medical devices, then that person has an implied interest in medical devices, without ever having to tell me that explicitly.
Of course, this is valuable for marketing and communications. In the example above, when trying to target a market for promoting an event or publication about medical devices, one set of individuals that I would select is those who have attended a past event about medical devices.
This is one of the strengths of a centralized data management system. When your association captures all of an individuals activities with the association (e.g., membership, donations, web browsing, newsletter subscriptions, phone calls, etc.), it is collecting a whole host of implied interest. And this implied interest can be used very effectively in marketing and communications.