The Art & Science of Actionable Data – Part II

using testing & results to drive messaging and Strategy

May 26, 2020

This is Part II a special two-part series focused on using actionable data to drive messaging & strategy. Listen to Part I.

We’re going back to where it all began at M&C. Merritt Neil, M&C President, talks with Bob Merrigan, a rare right and left-brain marketing professional, about the importance of having a trained eye for testing and analyzing data, and using this actionable data to guide communications.

Our favorite takeaways from Part II:

  1. Data as listening. Think of marketing as a two-way conversation. You “speak” through the marketing actions you take. Your constituents respond, and assessing the results of your actions is how you can listen to them.

  2. Think “useful truths.” Empathetic listening is often subjective; analyzing the data provides objective verification and gives you a basis for future actions.

  3. What matters most? You can think of your conversation with constituents in terms of reach (number), engagement (involvement and interaction) and conversion (donation, volunteer, etc.) What are your goals for each of these areas? What will indicate positive progress?

  4. From snapshot to trend. You begin with a snapshot of a specific effort, an email or a mailing, for example. As you collect multiple snapshots, trends will begin to emerge: open rates are falling or average donation is going up.

  5. Just get started! As your storehouse of snapshot grows, your perspective on the conversation will become more involved and nuanced. Begin with ‘good enough for now,’ and then build on it.

  6. BONUS: Want a quick reference to some of most commonly used measurement terms as well as key formulas used to assess file health and marketing performance? Download our “cheat sheet” to fundraising metrics.