Case Study

AARP Takes on Differentiated CX for their Increasingly Tech-Savvy Members

Case Study

Client challenges

AARP is the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization with the social mission to enable people to choose how they live as they age. Established 60 years ago, AARP has a very diverse member demographic that is quickly becoming more tech-savvy. AARP saw the opportunity to deliver differentiated value that built on their reputation for exceptional customer service in digital. The AARP Member Experience Team recognized that major change was required from a technology, data and governance perspective to go from 25 years of a direct mail strategy to a personalized experience in the digital world.


The AARP team set out to fix this problem themselves looking externally for inspiration but internally for solutions and prioritization. Unification of technology and data, with a strong component of governance was an immensely disruptive and transformational change that could take years and they knew they needed to look at this paradigm with a best in class lens. The day the “light seemed to go on” was when the team attended the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo. The presentations and, most importantly, the advice of the analysts lit their path forward to navigate this change.

The Member Experience Team knew they had to align technology and data management, improve personalization and develop governance. The Gartner analyst interactions accelerated the transformational change for the AARP Experience Team by “bringing them through the knot hole - so to speak - to get from point A to point B”. The personal support helped AARP’s Member Experience Team focus their efforts on the right next steps to move toward their future state.

Business impact

Those next steps leveraged consumer experience as the foundation. The team focused on consumer interviews and insights, and used data and journey mapping to establish a member infinity lifecycle. Importantly, with Gartner’s guidance, The AARP Member Experience team first focused on painting the vision of the future to change the “hearts and minds” within their organization and garner the necessary support to implement change. Multichannel engagement, real time data, personalization and value exchanges soon became the North Stars for their journey. What once felt like disruptive, staggering change soon became the “art of possible” starting with the Gartner for Marketers conference and personal interactions with the analyst team.

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