Case Study

Royal College Of General Practitioners

The Challenge:

RCGP is the largest membership organisation solely for GPs in the UK. Founded in 1952, it has over 51,000 members who are committed to improving patient care, developing their own skills and promoting general practice as a discipline.

In 2016 RCGP commissioned RbD to overhaul its annual membership survey. The College wanted to better capture the ‘Member Experience’ and understand the more intangible aspects of membership, such as pride and sense of belonging.

As might be expected, the research identified differing member needs, experiences and expectations, as well as varying levels of pride, connectedness to the College and sense of community. Given that increasing member engagement and retention is at the core of RCGP’s strategy, the College commissioned RbD to further analyse the Member Experience survey. The aim was to help it better understand how members segment according to their attitudes and needs, and how it can improve its member benefits and communications to strengthen member loyalty and advocacy.


The Solution:

The starting point for any segmentation analysis is the determination of the variables to use as inputs. To help us with this we referred back to our Membership Engagement Model, ensuring each quadrant of engagement was sufficiently and appropriately represented.

Engagement toolkit diagram

We used correlation analysis to refine variables, and regression and cluster analysis to arrive at the solution of six segments.

Identifying each segment and statistically understanding their different characteristics, attitudes and needs was good but not enough, however. The College wanted a real depth of understanding that would allow it to truly refine its communications and benefits packages for its members.

The next stage then was to supplement the statistical analysis with a series of focus groups and in-depth interviews with members of each segment. Using these classic research tools we delved further into their needs, emotions, drivers to engagement and communication preferences, and built really detailed profiles of each segment. Not only did we learn more about their engagement levels, but we also ascertained the potential for members to move across segments.

Names and imagery were collaboratively developed for each segment to aid comprehension amongst communications, marketing and service delivery staff within RCGP. We also developed a set of golden questions to enable the College to identify and allocate new and existing members to a segment.

The Impact:

The key to an effective segmentation is ensuring it is fully embedded within the organisation. To achieve this within RCGP RbD hosted a full day workshop with key stakeholders from various departments across the College. During the workshop we took on the role of a typical member from each segment, delivering an explanation about the segment and answering questions from the audience. We then facilitated the development of ‘whole College’ action plans for each segment.

For each segment, these action plans are being used to develop different communications strategies and create tailored benefit bundles. Ultimately, enhanced segment focused retention strategies are being designed that will impact the whole of the College and every member. It is too early to report further on these but expectations are high. Watch this space!

More like this

Member of Member Wise
Member of Memcom