I’m going to let you into a little secret… I’m not a numbers girl.
by Faye Rimdap
I like words, which is why I love the job that I do. However, I’ve found myself in the middle of completing a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing and that course, my friends, is all about numbers; metrics, KPIs and big data. So now I’ve become preoccupied with how data can better inform marketing campaigns and Comms.
And I’m not the only one. Let me give you an example. You may remember the campaign the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’? The campaign focused on the housing crisis and highlighted that for many first-time buyers a financial donation from their parents was the only way that they could get their foot on the housing ladder. That campaign was commissioned by Legal and General, who over several years used the insights to spot patterns within the housing sector to help inform decision making.
I personally think that insight could be the key reason for Legal and General diversifying into the housing sector to help tackle the housing crisis. By positioning itself as an alternative for first-time buyers; it could mean that a potential first-time buyer could hold their mortgage, insurance, and pension all under one roof. All because of data!
Now let’s look at Florence Nightingale, she essentially used big data to bring about innovative ways of treatment. Unlike me, she loved statistics and found them more thrilling than words, and she used those stats to launch a campaign for better diets and sanitation in her hospital bringing the death rate down from 42% to 2%.
So, data has helped an organisation diversify into a new market and reduced death rates in hospitals. As the Senior Comms person working on a major regeneration project in Thamesmead, I plan to use data to build relationships with residents and bring them along the regeneration journey via engaging content that speaks, sells, serves and excites. I’ve got my stakeholder matrix and have started to build personas around each micro-community within the area; and how they prefer to get their information.
I’m also collecting data and insight from Google Analytics, surveys, and social media. The results have been revealing. I’ve already learnt that the community in west Thamesmead prefers face to face interaction and our Twitter account to get information about their area; rather than the monthly newsletter.
Now that I know that, whenever a member of the regeneration team does some great work in that area, I tweet about it along with a hashtag of the area. It makes it easier for that community to see what we’re doing and how proud we are to be working with them. It’s a simple tactic but an effective quick win. One that’s slowly working.
I will of course still use a Comms mix to ensure that each of the personas within my stakeholder matrix have their needs met. But if we, as Comms professionals, can treat data/insight and creative content as an integrated tool in our Comms Hero utility belt we can better meet organisational objectives; KPIs; and strategy.
So, what I used to find blurgh! I now find interesting. Data is making my day because I can see how it can help me meet objectives; make better connections; and make impactful decisions to bring residents along on the journey.
Faye Rimdap is senior comms officer at Peabody – you can say hello on Twitter at @FayeRimdap
Image via NASA on the commons