EVP, Data Axle Nonprofit
Many of today’s nonprofits utilize multichannel marketing strategies that leverage a variety of channels to get the word out about their cause. Multichannel marketing can be highly effective in getting the word out, but a true, holistic omnichannel approach is required to engage donors and keep the public interested in your cause. With omnichannel marketing, nonprofits can take a donor-centric approach in order to achieve consistent messaging across channels for a more-personal, cohesive experience. This is the destination toward which many of today’s marketers are striving. Without the right tools, building this strategy is a daunting task.
Strong, accurate data is the tool marketers need to lay the foundation of a successful omnichannel marketing strategy. Armed with accurate data, nonprofits can identify and target their most responsive audiences, speak to them on various channels, and they can create messaging that speaks directly to individuals. Taking a data-centric approach enables nonprofits to create unique, personalized, donor-focused experiences that enable people to interact with nonprofits when and where they prefer. It also gives nonprofits the power to observe and learn from their audiences, helping you to update your messaging, campaigns and creative in real-time.
Before running your campaign, perform a Data Flow Audit. An audit assesses each data source available and evaluates the current state of data capture and collection. From there, you can formulate a data evolution strategy based on current and future marketing needs and objectives to remove any gaps in your data. Pay attention to the business and marketing metrics that align with your critical KPIs to measure marketing success today and going forward.
Data is the key to determining who your audience is and the type of messaging they find compelling. By using data to home in on your most likely constituency and delivering messages they find valuable – you are utilizing a ‘donor first’ strategy. Why should you put the donor first? It will help you stand out in a saturated market and help you align messages in real-time to save on ROI and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.
When it comes to channel selection, you have to start by looking at the data. Start with who your audience is – how do they communicate with you? Where do they spend their time? It can’t be a gut feeling, it has to be based on data. For example, our market research found that email is the preferred channel for donors to receive communications from nonprofits. You also need to invest in tools to make it easy to access, view and pull insights from the data you have. Don’t make the mistake of jumping into an emerging channel because your peers are jumping on the bandwagon. We all learn to walk before we can run.
Source: Data Axle study: New best practices to connect with today’s charitable donors
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you choose your channels:
In conclusion, accurate and easily accessible data will help you as we move toward a more omnichannel-focused reality. By following the strategies mentioned in the steps above, and emphasizing data quality at every juncture, you can improve donor engagement, increase cause awareness and optimize your fundraising efforts.
Digital data can power-up your omnichannel strategy. Contact us to learn more.
Lisa leads a team of professionals supporting a wide array of partners and providing strategic insight to further missions.