AARP | Stem Attrition in Key Market Segment

AARP LogoAARP is a United States-based membership and interest group founded in 1958. Membership is comprised of people age 50 and over and operates as a non-profit advocate for its members and is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the U.S. The AARP Foundation's website claims the nonprofit "wants to win back opportunity for those now in crisis, so thousands of vulnerable low-income Americans 50+ can regain their foothold, continue to serve as anchors for their families and communities and ensure that their best life is still within reach." Key areas of focus are hunger, income, housing and isolation. The Foundation's vision is "a country that is free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable".

As of April 2014, AARP claims it has more than 37 million members, making it one of the largest membership organizations in the United States.


AARP’s membership was not growing, specifically in the 50-60 age segment. Opinion of the brand and renewal rates were declining. AARP needed to keep their current 65+ age base who were mostly offline users while also gaining clarity around the digital preferences of the boomer generation. In order to identify these gaps, and close them, AARP asked for a complete audit of the customer experience as well as an “inside out” view to identify the root causes thwarting a better experience.


We completed an organizational assessment across the brand, marketing advocacy, the Foundation, and Customer Car to determine gaps in CRM efforts. This resulted in the creation of:

  • Touch-map inventory based on their communications to fully understand current customer experience across interactive inbound and outbound channels. The inventory highlighted quantity, quality and the cadence of touches for a year in the life of a member. 
  • Persona based customer stories that featured “doing, thinking, feeling” as well as moments of truth and pain points. 
  • 3 minute videos to supplement the journey map to show the before and after experience of a member. 
  • Detailed improvement plan that covered customer acquisition, retention, renewal and winback. 
  • Technology roadmap and business case to show how improvements would impact AARP and members.


We commenced the change management process to get the organization on board to make the changes necessary to meet the needs of the younger more tech savvy consumer. Through the successful identification of the gaps in the customer experience that harmed the relationship and were leading to attrition, we showed the need to integrate more data to present a 360° customer view to make every touch more effective. 

We helped modify the brand positioning to make it more personal and focused on how joining would benefit the member and their community; and developed several programs (e.g., email improvement, trigger messaging, renewal pilot) to increase effectiveness and interaction. While implementing these “quick wins”, we also worked toward a long-term strategy.