Permissions, regulations and your CRM system

You can’t have helped but notice that there is a lot of noise in the sector and the wider press at the moment about permission based marketing.  There are lots of people making comments about whether new regulations, Codes of Practice and European Data laws are a good or bad thing and what they means for income, jobs and from my point of view, the most important people, our beneficiaries.

For example my wife mentioned to me in a comment recently, after attending a conference that a question was raised about “If Olive Cooke was alive today, would she have signed up for the Fundraising Preference Service” it does make you think….

So I thought that on a practical level the best thing that I could do would be to write a post about what all of this noise might mean in terms of CRM systems.
Continue reading Permissions, regulations and your CRM system

To profile or not to profile……

In days gone by we used to think about profiling as being geodemographic. Splitting up of data based on things like household income, gender, age. But now as a society we have got concerns about what’s acceptable when cutting data up into these chunks.

In fundraising terms the most common segmentation is rfv/rfm regency, frequency, monetary or value depending on which marketing school you went to. We then use stakeholder groups as well to get a deeper level of understanding.

I’ve seen a lot of charities in my time move away from just mailing everyone on the database to a very simple rfm segmentation model which has reaped huge benefits. There was one charity where because of the size of the database, we had close to 100 segments, which for most charities would be overkill. It did give the fundraising manager a view that was really helpful when having a database of such size though and is the benchmark for the work that they do today.

But I think that the landscape of what’s possible is now changing. So this next bit does come with a bit of a health warning. Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean that you have to do it all or have a database big enough to get value out of these things.

Now lifestyle data is different. Historically it was what car do you drive, what postcode are you in, how many children do you have. With the rise of social media we now have what I think could be more meaningful data and large organisations are harnessing this data with their integrated approach. Organisations let you login with your Facebook login details  and can then cut the data in different ways. How many friends do you have, what causes do you and your friends care about, what are your personal interests?

Twitter makes it even more interesting where we have the rise in sentiment so now with the intelligence in systems we can now interpret your feelings about a product, person,organisation or situation, leaving sarcasm aside for a minute.

All of this might feel a bit big brotherish and I know that at Actually Data towers we have spoken about what security concerns things like this can cause a supporter. If I communicated with you in a supporter email with your latest tweets or Facebook status wouldn’t this freak you out? Maybe or maybe not!

The point I’m trying to make is this. How we can dissect data could change and if what you’ve read above is interesting this is where the conversations around big data start. I’m not trying to make this post scary but buzz words like big data are banded around and scare some with little knowledge but at the heart of it, it’s just a different way to get at and aid the segmentation process.

One of the things that I believe is changing in the sector is how we do our segmentation whether this be overlaying extra data from things like social media, or whether it be trying to capture more information about a supporters motivation to support the cause.

The age old thing that every fundraiser/marketeer will tell you is test, test and then test again. It’s only from this that we will learn what is working in this ever changing environment. If you would like help in working out how and whether you can do this please contact me for a no obligation chat.

Why CRM systems fail!!

Following on from my previous post about how to healthcheck a CRM system, I wanted to share with you why I think people either love or hate their CRM systems. In most cases its not because one system is better than the other, though there are some systems that don’t fit the not for profit market, it is because users have either bought into the system and can see the benefits or they can’t.

I tell this story a lot but it is one of my most vivid memories of when I started working in the sector. I remember a member of staff, who in the run up to the London Marathon was struggling under the burden of paper that was printed out and then manually entered into the CRM system. It was taking about 3 out of the 5 days in the week to process this data. Now, this wasn’t because the CRM system was rubbish or even that the person didn’t know better, but more because the person who was spending their day wrapped up in paper wasn’t aware of the different things that their CRM system could do.

It was a lack of training. Continue reading Why CRM systems fail!!

How to review your CRM System

Now you are back in the swing of things, the January blues have faded and you are looking forward to your new goals for 2015, it is the perfect time to think about checking that your CRM system is in good shape to help you achieve your targets.

CRM systems need love, care and attention, if you are going to get the best from them and keep them accurate. This is essential to make it easy for all your staff to use, update and understand the data.

databasecartoonWhen I visit charities as part of my consultancy work I often find that their CRM systems are organic beasts.  With changes in staff or business processes or sometimes both, over time, what used to be a lean and relevant system with clear procedures has become increasingly a long winded process that doesn’t easily meet the needs of the organisation’s current objectives.

Continue reading How to review your CRM System

What to ask yourself when choosing a charity CRM system

Anthony’s second guest post for JustGiving….

If your charity is considering implementing a new database or CRM system, here are six things to consider before giving it the green light.

1. To the cloud or not?

With today’s technology, you need to consider whether your system should be hosted internally or by the CRM vendor. In order to make a decision, you need to be able to answer these questions:

Read the whole post on the JustGiving blog.