Data is very useful if it allows us to understand our donors better. Collecting data is of no value if it doesn’t lead to insight. Think data, insight and action.
There are all kind of insights that will lead to further action. Here are several:
- The value and potential of the donor
- The next step in building the relationship based on other similar donors
- Channels they may prefer
- What is the level of engagement
- Nonprofits and organizations they may have a relationship with.
- Summaries of how recent and frequently of buying and engagement.
- What kind of experience they are having. How satisfied they are.
- What they are interested in. What type of content should be sent to them? How to render the content via static content, graphics or video.
- Who is in their network and who influences them?
- What kind of referrals do they make?
- Real time data from Smart devices
The list goes on and on. In thinking about what data to gather, always think through what insight that it will give and where it will lead the relationship.
The intent is to develop a deep understanding of donors, using a disciplined approach, which can be leveraged across the organization to improve the experience for the donor and profitability for the corporation. Deeper knowledge of donors assists in uncovering and clarifying opportunities. In addition to data you may already have, there may need to be in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys and industry analyst sources.
There could be several types of insight to look at:
- A predictive model
- Attitudinal understanding
- Product behavior
The digital executive should also consider leading the charge to go beyond traditional quantitative and qualitative approaches. A new model is emerging know as real-time experience tracking (RET).
Real-time experience tracking was born of two insights. First, while a market researcher can’t easily follow customers around 24 hours a day, those donors’ cell phones can, and unlike human observers, they don’t sway people’s perceptions of experiences. The second insight was that although customers may interact with a company in thousands of ways, you really need to know only four things about each encounter: the brand involved, the type of touchpoint (TV ad, say, or call to the service center), how the participant felt about the experience, and how persuasive it was. (Did it make the customer more inclined to choose the brand next time?)
Source: Harvard Business Review Article
The digital executive has to be obsessive in understanding the donor. Without that passion and commitment, the voice of the donor may not be heard. This, at its core, is not about collecting data just because we can. It is all about understanding the donor, improving the experience and increasing the top line for the corporation.
Gaining the type of insight that brings real results may require investing in getting the right kind of data, different tools to analyze the data and staff that can accurately understand the data. Looking at the total economic benefit will be useful.
Here are the key ideas:
- Start with a clear commitment to understanding the donor with deeper levels of insight.
- Begin with some questions that need to be answered with the eye toward action to improve results.
- Encourage a collaborative approach that cuts across departmental silos.
- Obsess about understand the donor.
- Create a culture that always looks at what we know from our donors before proceeding with an initiative.
Assess the total economic benefit of understanding the donor