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Multi-Channel Marketing Intel - It's there if you want it

Did you listen to this week's This American Life podcast titled "Cops See It Differently"?

There was a great segment from journalist Brian Reed on Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn's efforts to better engage communities his force is responsible for policing.

Discussing a district where engagement was poor, Reed notes one officer who wrote down complaints from citizens at a community hearing in his notepad, but never did anything with it. When Reed asks why he doesn't share the complaints with his colleagues, the officer explains he only writes it the notebook so if anyone asks about the issue he can say he knew about it. When asked why the force doesn't do anything more with the intel, the officer replies, "That's just how we've always done it."

Reed contrasts this with a daily briefing he witnessed in another district where cops were discussing intel from residents. In this case, he notes they were taking it seriously. They updated the captain about their meetings, they highlighted locations where citizens identified repeated criminal activity, and they even read aloud an email sent to them with license plate of cars a citizen saw picking up suspected prostitutes.

Intelligence & Success - You get out of it what you put into it

As I listened to this comparative example of one police department trying to improve and another remaining stagnant, I laughed thinking it's exactly the point of our webinar next week on Multi-Channel Marketing. If you have data available to you, why aren't you figuring out the process around how to use it?

What's the point of doing multi-channel marketing if you aren't actually accumulating intelligence on the success of the channels? You can do banner ads, facebook posts, tweets, emails, direct mail, even broadcast channels like radio and TV, but if there is no process for evaluating and aggregating data, what can you possibly learn to incite change?

The first officer had the data! He met with the community, he even wrote down what they shared with him! All he had to do was have a meeting with the rest of his department to say "Let's bring together everything we learned through our various channels (the community meetings) so we can be more informed as a group. Community A said this, Community B said this, etc."

Instead they missed gathering intelligence that was easily available to them if they had just planned better. That's what matters in campaigns.

You are doing the different placements. You are creating the messages. So shouldn't you make sure that you can report on the data to tell you how each is doing?

Look, no one is going to jail if you don't do things the right way. But I can almost guarantee that things aren't going to improve.

Don't miss our upcoming webinar on Multi-Channel Marketing for Nonprofits!

Do you like Podcasts? Don't miss ThroughTheNoise, www.throughthenoise.us, the business of communicating, featuring some of the best minds in nonprofit marketing. Sponsored by CharityEngine.

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Author: Leigh Kessler is VP of Marketing for CharityEngine. In addition to being an expert on branding, he is a former stand-up comedian and TV personality seen on shows like VH1's "Best Week Ever" and CNN's "Showbiz Tonight".


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