Make Statistics Understandable

Make Statistics Understandable

Kent (the resident numbers/strategy guy on Veep): [on the news coverage of a salmonella outbreak] “The number of people taken ill is orders of magnitude below statistical significance. Do people not understand basic nonparametric statistics?” While those numbers folks – and aren’t ALL marketers numbers folks? – among us may laugh at the quote above from the show Veep, I’m reminded constantly how true it is – People do NOT understand basic nonparametric statistics. And we shouldn’t expect them to. As we look back on 2016 and start 2017, I’m reminded constantly that our clients, our board members and our executive directors are not all numbers people. So, our job is not just to do the analysis but to make the numbers make sense. To find what’s hidden within the numbers and to use that to drive the strategy. Then we need to explain clearly to everyone The What and The Why. It’s interesting that Kent’s title in the White House is “Senior Strategist”. Perhaps political strategy focuses too much on polls and on numbers to drive every decision. But often the rest of us focus too little on those things. We marketers can help to fix that by making the numbers make sense. Then they can drive the...
Fundraising Facts Over Fundraising Feelings

Fundraising Facts Over Fundraising Feelings

We have entered an interesting season in America. Seems like “facts” are being treated like just another opinion. And the consequence is that if facts and opinions are equals, then making your direct response fundraising decisions based on feelings is an equally valid approach. And that would be a mistake. A HUGE mistake. I was reminded of how feelings can misguide us. We completed one of our Offer Forecasting studies last month. Offer Forecasting leverages online surveys to predict whether donors will open a direct mail piece. It also measure donors’ likelihood to give to a certain offer. Before our latest Offer Forecasting study went into the field, everyone at Analytical Ones made friendly wagers on which of the nine offers we were testing would be rated the highest by the donors. Knowing the client and their donors as well as I do (I mean I’ve worked with the client for years, plus I have 20-more years of direct response experience) I was pretty confident that the offer I chose would win. And my pick came in dead last. In. Dead. Last. My business partner has a great saying when fundraising “experts” try to predict how donors will respond. She will say emphatically: “Repeat after me. YOU are not the target audience!” This why we at Analytical Ones always base our recommendations solidly on the facts. And though it may be trendy at the moment to go with your feelings, we implore you to use fundraising facts over fundraising feelings in...