The Data Behind Digital Advocacy

March 24, 2016
AJ Casale, Vice President, Digital

More data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race. While all of this “Big Data” is great, it’s meaningless unless you can find its value and utilize it to share your story with the right people. So, how do we use data for our clients?

Step 1: Situational Analysis
To begin the approach to data, we need to ask ourselves three important questions: what is your goal; what is needed to achieve that goal; and what will define success of your efforts. From there we can begin to build an advocacy plan with tangible objectives.

Step 2: Actionable Analytics
Once an advocacy plan has been developed, you need to gather and analyze the available data that will help you achieve your advocacy goals. This includes everything from basic descriptive analytics—like site and ad metrics—to predictive analytics—like audience personas, intents, and behaviors.

Step 3: Identify Your Audience
There are three key questions that will need answered with the analytics we uncover:

  1. Who is your audience? What are their demographics, behaviors, and, most importantly, their values?
  2. What should you say to your audience? It is crucial to understand the message and creative elements that will resonate best with people.
  3. How should you reach your audience? Find the channels your audience uses to consume media.

Answering these questions with this analytics process ensures you deliver the right message, to the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

Step 4: Reach Your Audience
Once we fully understand the audience, we can develop a media plan across paid, earned, and owned channels. A proper digital advocacy media plan will attempt to raise awareness, educate, and eventually recruit your audience to advocate on key issues.

Step 5: Ongoing Education
Education should happen across all paid and owned channels. If someone has seen your awareness advertising, further education can push him or her across the line to support your issue. This ongoing education effort also keeps them engaged and ready to act when you need them, not just for specific time periods or to confront single issue challenges. Paid media, email marketing, and social media can make this happen; connecting to people not only to your current issues but your overall causes.

Step 6: Action
An educated and engaged audience will be ready to take action on your behalf. Whether it is petition signatures or letters to members of Congress, you can expect results with quality, educated advocates.

All of these phases are rooted in data, whether we are studying psychographic data to build an audience persona (as in Step 2) or optimizing ad campaigns based on key performance indicators (as in Step 4). Putting all of these phases in action, each building off of one another ensures we are always running the most efficient and effective digital advocacy campaigns.


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