Know Your Audience: Building Data-Driven Personas for Marketing, Fundraising, and Prospect Discovery
This is the era of the customer. Every experience is designed around our needs: from Netflix queues and Spotify playlists dictating what we consume, Amazon and StitchFix suggestions guiding our purchases, or Carvana, Zillow, and RedFin making buying autos and homes easy, sight unseen.
These businesses deliver tailored experiences to millions of users by capturing data and putting it into action. Advancement must do the same. In order to confront donor decline and build the future major gift pipeline, we must go beyond traditional segmentation like class year or degree. We have to speak to donors’ interests and deliver the same personalized, high-impact experience they see in the rest of their lives.
The University of Iowa is doing this by introducing a new persona-driven approach to communicating with alumni, donors, and friends. By monitoring more than 400 ever-changing data points, including a newly refined machine-learning-driven engagement score, the team has defined new audience segments. Each of these personas reflects how those people interact with the University, its sports teams, or its medical center.
With these personas built and evolving as donors demonstrate new interests or engage with the university, Iowa is delivering custom digital experiences, programming, and appeals that create better experiences for every donor.
In this session, learn how they built their personas and engagement score, early returns as they roll out a new communication strategy, and how this approach fuels giving and prospect discovery. You’ll learn best practices for every shop, regardless of size, as we all seek to create more personal experiences at scale.