The Art & Science of Actionable Data

using testing & results to drive messaging and Strategy

May 20, 2020

This is part I of a special two-part series focused on using actionable data to drive messaging & strategy. Tune in for Part II, recorded on May 26.

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 this podcast conversation:

  • Prove the gut feeling. Writers rely upon listening, gathering and synthesizing information to create fresh copy that connects with readers. Metrics are another, more objective form of “listening” based upon actual constituent behavior. Where they combine is where the magic happens.

  • Not all information is useful. You can get lost in rabbit holes that don’t lead to actionable intelligence. Writers looking for specific insights to inform copy—and prove or disprove hypotheses—can keep on the right path, avoiding detours that waste time.

  • Built in agility. Especially in digital communications, writers who pay attention to data available in real time can edit copy and rework strategy in response to open rates, clicks, shares and other desirable donor behavior.

  • 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.