How to Segment a Corporate Alumni Community
Corporate Alumni Programs have diverse communities that span generations, career types, locations, and interests. Catering to all members is a challenge, but we recommend breaking down the audience in a number of ways for better communications and events.
One of the more interesting facts about Corporate Alumni Programs is alumni of large companies can go back decades. There are alumni communities specifically for retirees, but primarily we see programs include all career stages. Within one community there can be recent young leavers, middle managers, active executives, and of course retirees. Not only is career level varied within this community, but programs are often global – meaning that location and culture are also quite wide-ranging. Add in that there are different motivations for why an alumnus participates in the community, and there are now a lot of options. Dividing members up based on a few key factors will help any manager stay organized and on message.
Thinking through how to segment alumni will save time in planning and execution of communications and events, but will also help set up a strategy for engagement. Going through this exercise will also inform what kinds of questions to ask on the alumni profile in the platform when they sign up.
Some of the below will also depend on the integrations in place and the quality of overall data, but thinking broadly a few ways to segment are:
Segment by Geographic Location
This is the easiest and most inclusive way to organize alumni. Where are they currently based? Hopefully they’ve provided this information in their profile, which enables you to include them in global, regional, or locally specific communications. Depending on the platform setup, you may also be able to sort by a most recent or previous office as an alternative.
This is especially important for events. For example, if hosting an in-person event in New York City, you’ll only want to invite those who live in NY, NJ, or CT and not other more faraway places. The same goes for online events when factoring in time zones.
Segment by Industry
This is information you’ll need to collect in the platform profile when an alumni signs up to join the program. Understanding what areas your members now work in will be helpful for events, recruitment, communications, and business development purposes. Also, it will be a nice option in the directory for alumni to find others working in their space to make networking more productive.
Segment by Career Type
Job titles vary wildly at companies around the world, and departments often change, merge, or get created. Seniority is often one way to segment and this way you can have content specifically available to each segment. For example if you work at a professional services company segmenting by “Consulting” or “Partner” or “Support Staff” could be an option.
Segment by Importance
Alumni communities often have goals of business development or recruitment, and there are specific “star” members that might be of more interest for different reasons. Perhaps these are alumni that work at clients or opportunities, or were senior members when they left the company. Keeping in touch with this A-List of influential people might include small exclusive dinners, or more one on one networking, and require a much more specific type of content and benefits for this exclusive, influential group.
Segmenting by demographics, geographics, or psychographics is up to you, but it is very important to understand the makeup of the community and who the largest populations are. You’ll want the platform to be flexible and work with you to create these groups and then target your communications and events appropriately. You may also be able to get more creative in thinking through your groups.