Making Big Data Work for You

Making Big Data Work for You

Do you use big data effectively? Heck, do you even use Big Data? Oh my, do you even know what Big Data is? When it comes to sponsorship, most of our clients don’t really see the fit for big data or how to use it effectively. In fact, in the entire fund raising area, when it comes to those trying to raise funds, the use of big data is negligible. For the brands that buy sponsorship, the level of sophistication is a little higher, but typically only at the very large corporate level—not the mid-sized and small business sponsor level. When I listen to fund raising podcasts and read fund raising articles about data management, the true access to big data is lost on them!

Recently, we have been working with several clients to help them understand big data better and use it more effectively in their sponsorship programs and otherwise. We work with clients such as the MS Society of Canada and different divisions. We generate important data information from their donor and participant lists (their Walk and Bike events). There is no acquisition of specific donor or participant information—just their postal codes.

Did you know that there are 22,000 (yes, twenty-two thousand) pieces of detailed information attached to every postal code in Canada? Information such as how much money the people in that postal code spend on Botox or fast food; how they index compared to the province, city, or country average for kayaking or travel to Mexico. To us and our clients, this type of data is critical. When we truly understand such key information, we can achieve much better results.

Knowing such specific data about specific audiences allows you the opportunity to pinpoint sponsorship prospecting. In fact, for the MS Society and others, it opens doors to prospects you never knew were your audience. It not only tells you who you should be calling on and why, but also provides you with the case for support as to why they should be engaging in a sponsorship program with you!

On the other side of the fence, your marketing department can utilize this same data to help it target better. It helps to pinpoint audiences for direct mail or lifestyles, and where and how you should be marketing. If you know your audience indexes at 600 for technology and online book purchases, that tells you to reach that 40% of your audience using technology—not events, direct mail, or newspaper!

It is amazing what you can achieve when you have the necessary data—and you don’t need hundreds of thousands of postal codes. A database of 20,000 will be enough to deliver good results.

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