What's in a Personality?
I have the distinct pleasure of presenting today with two amazing nonprofits at the 2014 New York Nonprofit Conference. In the "Do you REALLY know your donors? Will the REAL donor please stand up!!" session, I get to stand by the Best Friends Animal Society and the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and talk with them (and the audience) about data.
Did you just look at the headline of the blog again? If so, are you wondering what data has to do with personality? Merriam-Webster says the definition of "personality" is "the set of emotional qualities, ways of behaving, etc., that makes a person different from other people"
But, as you probably guessed, no, there is not something called "personality" that people fill out on a survey. And, no, we have not found a way to have a sit-down conversation with every donor in the U.S. to assess personality. But there is the ability through data science to draw upon the amazing amount of information available externally and marry it with your internal engagement donor data and — you guessed it — draw some conclusions.
Are you wondering how this works? It's magic.
OK, it's not magic. It's somewhat complicated and takes unique modeling to bring it forward. But, what if you could learn how your donors map out against these unique personality clusters?
- Alive & Intense: Bold, fashionable, individualistic, style-conscious, contemporary, young. Egocentric. Open to Internet, catalogs, magazines, specialty shops. Values friends' opinions.
- Ambitious: Entrepreneurial, competitive, driven to excel in personal, social, professional life. Internet-savvy, doesn't like to waste time. Not into fashion for its own sake, but stays current. Wants to be admired for success. Definitely an alpha.
- At Peace: In control and self-defined, happy with self, and follows own instincts. Not driven toward excess consumerism, appreciates the beauty in little things, a "stop and smell the roses" kind of person. Enjoys learning and trying new things, experiences, but still takes each day as it comes.
- Maxed: There aren't enough hours in the day. Interested in simplification and self-control. Not wasteful of time or money. Internet-savvy. Likes convenience and bargains, but insists on excellent quality and service. Appreciates efficiency, insists on respect.
- Me & Mine: In control of life. Self-confident, self-contained. Family is key — loves to improve home, is hands-on. Good citizen: follows the rules, expects others to do the same. Does not like marketing pressure, trusts own instincts, driven to quality and value.
- Meticulous: Conscientious, detail-driven planner in all aspects of life, particularly health and finances, but also is drawn to new ideas and experiences. Stays up on current events, fills leisure time with hobbies and activities. Will likely take on a new career after retiring. Typically does not make quick decisions, will not be pushed, throws away junk mail.
- Renaissance: Sees self as intelligent and creative, intuitive and perceptive, very expressive and self-confident. Finds personal identity in work, but enjoys culture, personal growth, travel, cooking. Very assertive and knowledgeable when shopping. Has high expectations and demands quality, service, convenience.
- Traditional: Traditional, orderly, content, spiritual. Low-tech or no-tech, avoids new or untried products. Family is key, loves the nest. Marketing-averse, typically not a good candidate for direct mail, although can be persuaded by good ideas.
Still not convinced this is of any value? How about thinking through it this way: What if you had a large group of non-donors that you wanted to convert to donors? Sounds pretty familiar, right? Every nonprofit I know that has a conversion program in play within its direct-marketing strategy.
But, in most cases, those marketing and fundraising control strategies are built on the results of past donor success. So, what would happen if you learned that your non-donors were a very different personality group than your donors?
What if you found out that your donors were more aligned with the "meticulous" personality cluster, but your non-donors are not? Your current winning strategies are focused on building credibility with donors by providing deep details on the mission and key progress insight. Yet your non-donors are more reliant on their own instincts and knowledge for decision making. In fact, they don't have a lot of time for lengthy sales presentations with lots of detail.
Guess what? All of a sudden, your creative and messaging (and even format for some channels) start to look like a possible mismatch.
Let me be clear — I'm not saying to run out and dive in to the Big Data evolution and get overwhelmed with all the possibilities. But, I am saying that there are tools readily available to place another puzzle piece on the table to complete the donor (and non-donor) picture.
I've said it a hundred times — data alone cannot help you. You must work to turn the data into insight and embrace a new way of looking at possibilities and opportunities. Knowledge is power! (Sorry, I know, it's corny) And, yes, you can get the presentation if you email me.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.