What the NAACP Can Teach Us About Using Data

In Build Support by lisavgray

Advertising AgeNAACPDid you see Ben Murray’s recent case study in Ad Age about the data-driven marketing his agency, Blue State Digital, has done recently with the NAACP? They’ve been mining their email-response data, looking for better ways to read their membership, engage their supporters and take lightning-quick advantage of The News Cycle to build response and relevance to very fluid stories. One example:

“When the George Zimmerman trial was coming to a close, the NAACP had prepped several outcomes beginning a month before. Landing pages on their website, emails written, creative on standby – all the pieces were aligned for an eventual result, whenever it may come. When the verdict was announced late one Saturday night in July, the NAACP had an email out in five minutes that provided a tangible action to supporters and generated over a million petition signatures that called on the Department of Justice to take action. And they did.” [Read more on Ad Age.]

Are you doing the easy things – the cheap things – to understand your customers’ online interests and actions? Here are 3 easy places to start:

  • Google Analytics: If you’ve got a website, this free utility can tell you which are the most popular of your website pages; where your website visitors are located; what kinds of devices they use to visit your website; which keywords they use to find you AND to search for content on your site; and much much more.
  • Facebook Insights: If you’ve got a Facebook Page (the ones for businesses, organizations and brands), you have access to metrics that tell you how people are engaging with the content you post.
  • Email opens & clickthroughs: If you use an email program like Constant Contact, Emma or MailChimp, they all can show you who’s reading the emails you send; which links they’re following; whether they’ve forwarded emails — and much more.

All of these products can help you better understand whether your content matches your visitors’ interests. Check the data regularly, track it over time, and experiment in small ways to answer questions about what your visitors want to read. Still not able to figure out what folks want? When all else fails, there’s always SurveyMonkey!

What data do you include in your dashboard? And how have you used it to shape the content you create and share with your online customers?