10 Tips for Managing Data in a Multichannel Environment
For a successful multichannel fundraising campaign, an organization should have the right performance expectation for the donor type, and use the right contact vehicle and the appropriate ask ladder to generate the best results. To that end, it’s important to have the greatest understanding of a donor, which comes through structured aggregation, compilation and analysis of data — data about the donor; data about past performance; data that shed light on attachment/affinity, capability and likelihood to contribute.
Below are some recommendations for collecting, structuring and analyzing information for use across multiple channels:
1. Create business rules for collecting, structuring and analyzing data to ensure consistency in both the process and the outcomes. Make sure these directives support the organizational goals.
2. Recognize that there are multiple inter-relationships and touch points among constituencies. It’s important to identify all of them for each individual donor/prospect.
3. Identify the key variables that are relevant for your donor base, i.e., data points you want to make sure you capture. These variables could include age, gender, location, education, donation history (to your organization and others), health, family status, outside interests, employment, etc.
4. Know your donor source down to list and contribution level.
5. Use outside data such as those which provide demographic and lifestyle modeling, capacity and potential to give ratings, and other attachments. These sources increase understanding of donors and their touch points.
6. Create matching logic to ensure reliability of data; create and maintain a suppression file.
7. Determine reasonable expectations based on data, e.g., how often, how much and through what channel a donor will give.
8. Combine outside profiling results with internal data to develop targeted contact strategies that have specific relevance to the donor.
9. Test creative, timing, key variables and channel.
10. Create analytical reports to track performance and effectiveness of marketing efforts, evaluating results to a contribution level.
Remember that bad data produce ineffective models. And actionable analysis comes from well thought-out data requirements and structure. However, success cannot be measured without including the variable costs associated with a given event/campaign.
Monica C. Smith is president and CEO of Marketsmith Inc., a multichannel marketing firm. www.marketsmithinc.com