In 2020, Silverchair launched Hum, a sister company born out of our New Product Development team. Hum is an audience intelligence platform that unifies an association or society’s digital systems (website, email marketing, learning management systems, etc.), allowing the organization to customize content for different segments of their membership and audience.

Learn more about Hum through the FAQs below, or by visiting hum.works.

What is the Hum platform?

Hum is a unified customer and content intelligence platform designed specifically with professional associations, societies, and member organizations in mind. The Hum platform integrates behind-the-scenes to collect data from across association systems – websites, customer management, learning systems, publishing platforms, MarTech, and more. Hum compiles and cleans that data into a single, unified view of audience and content intelligence. From there, Hum delivers key insights into the makeup, interests, and characteristics of an audience, and the content that is best engaging and motivating them to action. Forming a virtuous circle, Hum’s insights are returned to existing technology systems in the form of on-site content personalization and recommendations as well as feeding sophisticated segments into targeted marketing/call-to-action campaigns.

There is a team of real Hum-ans behind Hum who are here to help every step of the way. We provide initial training and integration services, as well as actively helping staff use Hum to achieve their goals.

Can I take a tour of the Hum platform?

Yes! Check out the quick, 3 minute demo on our website. If you like what you see, you can schedule a meeting with us for a more in-depth platform tour with our team.

Why should a publisher care about Hum?

Hum can be a significant tool for publishers, as well as for societies and associations. Just like societies, many publishers have a disconnected tech stack and siloed data, with systems like email, multiple websites, publishing platforms, and marketing tech remaining entirely separate from one another. There are major benefits from unifying these systems. Here are some of the main areas in which Hum could provide value for publishers:

Segmentation and Personalization for Publishing Marketers: Hum transforms targeting, allowing marketers to identify and reach the precise segment that they want for their campaigns. For example, a weekly email to an association’s audience highlighting new content of personal interest to them will achieve very high click-through rates because the personalization is driven by a deep understanding of reader interests and of the publisher’s content. Hum allows marketers to deploy those campaigns or to export segments identified and produced in Hum to other platforms for deployment. The need to rent lists and deploy campaigns through third parties should be a thing of the past.

Data and Commercial Revenues: The granular understanding of profiles and segments translates directly into better and more valuable targeting for ads and other sources of commercial revenues.

Vendors: The opportunity for many society publishers to monetize their relationships with vendors is probably the largest untapped source of revenue. Hum provides the data and insight to address this.

Authors (and reviewers and editorial board members): Hum’s deep knowledge of all of the interactions with its content supports the recruitment of new authors (especially important in an OA world), reviewers, and editorial board members. It can also support more sophisticated author dashboards.

New Content and Product Development: Hum is different from other data platforms in that it shares not just audience insights, but also in-depth content intelligence beyond the typical page-view level of insight. Hum content intelligence shares details like when readers drop off or stop reading content, and how many and what types of articles they interact with in single sessions. Hum also creates content affinity profiles that could help publishers understand topical interest trends amongst their readership. This level of content intelligence that Hum gives publishers, combined with the segment data, provides a data-driven foundation for thinking about content improvement or exploring new products. Hum allows publishers to see what their users have been reading, at a deep level.

Personalized content recommendations: By leveraging knowledge of content preferences and interests, other content recommendations to users will be more accurate, driving time on site to benefit usage for any subscription content, and overall user engagement.

What types of publishers would benefit from Hum?

Hum is most beneficial when it is connecting silos and using insights from collecting and organizing data from across many different activities and content sets. That is why societies and associations are Hum’s sweet spot: these are siloed organizations that do a lot of different activities and publish a lot of different content across events, learning, advocacy and policy, membership, publications, and news, all of which can be helped by insights from data gained across all silos.

Hum is also particularly useful for society publishers because it shows how important ‘Publications’ are to the rest of a society. Publications have long been a major source of revenues, but Hum reveals their importance as a source of something that is now equally or more valuable: data. With many readers pouring through publishing artifacts every day, this data is often the richest source of real-time information on the interests and key concerns of the membership.

However, publishing is, in turn, a beneficiary of data collected on all of the society’s digital properties, able to leverage data about membership, meetings, education, advocacy, and so on to tailor their offerings and maximize value and engagement.

How do I determine if my organization is ready for Hum?

We’ve worked hard to reduce complexity so that marketing teams, membership, executives, and content teams can quickly benefit from using the platform.

However, not every association, society, or publisher 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 organizations 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 future, and they should want to invest in that future.

How does Hum relate to the Silverchair Platform?

Hum is separate from the Silverchair Platform (but does integrate with it!). While Silverchair helps you ingest, organize, publish, and disseminate research and professional content, Hum impacts an entire society’s operations. Hum is a unifying overlay connecting to a society’s full technology ecosystem, including a society’s website, its learning systems, marketing technology (like email), event software, membership systems, as well as its publishing systems, like the Silverchair Platform.

What kind of staffing does Hum require?

We’ve worked hard to reduce complexity so that any staffer can use the 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.
  • Publishing Teams (Research and/or News and/or 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, to new product development, the content teams will find significant 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.
  • Events Teams: Using Hum’s insights into audiences and content, the programs for annual (and other) meetings and webinars can be carefully constructed to be of maximum interest and use to the membership.

What kind of integrations does Hum support?

Hum supports integrations with all elements of your existing technology stack, including websites, content systems, learning systems, publishing platforms, member/customer management systems, and your MarTech systems like email platforms, events systems, and more.

If you require special integrations or platform connections, we’re happy to explore creating them for you!

What does Hum’s sales process look like?

We want to make learning about Hum easy and stress free. You will have the chance to walk through the Hum platform one-on-one with our Chief Growth Officer. If you like what they say, we set up a follow up meeting to review use cases and next steps specific to your organization.

How does pricing work?

Hum’s platform fees are organized around the number of active users across all your systems. You’re charged for the total number of active users in a given month. “Active” implies activity on your properties. A visit to your site, opening an email, or reading your blog are examples of actions that indicate activity. Hum does store information on inactive profiles, but doesn’t charge you for them.

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