INBOX INSIGHTS, August 25, 2021: Managing Expectations, Simple &; Complex AI, GoFundMe Data

INBOX INSIGHTS: Managing Expectations, Simple & Complex AI, GoFundMe Data (8/25)

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How Do You Manage Expectations?

A former colleague once told me that the key to happiness is managing expectations.

I don’t know about happiness, but I do know that managing expectations are the key to a successful project.

How do you manage expectations? Well, you ask people what they expect once you complete the work. The best way to do this is with persona statements. I use personas to gather basic requirements to understand why we’re doing something.

A persona statement looks like this:

As a {persona} I want to {intent} so that {outcome}.

Persona statements allow all the stakeholders to have their voices heard. Let’s use this newsletter open as an example this week. In this instance, I’m playing two roles: CEO and content marketer.

  • As a CEO I want to write the newsletter open so that people understand what Trust Insights does.
  • As a content marketer, I want to write the newsletter open so that people engage in the newsletter.

Even though I’m the same person, I have different expectations depending on how I’m approaching the newsletter. So the question is, did I meet my own expectations?

A better example might be one that I was talking about with a friend this past weekend. Her company is migrating its MarTech stack from many disconnected platforms to one single platform. As expected, there are a lot of people involved in this kind of project and everyone has their own set of expectations.

My friend is going to be responsible for reporting and interpreting the data. Her persona would look something like this:

As a marketing manager, I want to migrate to a single platform, so that my reporting becomes more streamlined and accurate.

This is her expectation of the project. She won’t be responsible for running campaigns or nurturing leads through the pipeline. Those people will have different requirements for the new system. Gathering all the expectations is best done with persona statements. The more people involved in a project, the more expectations you’ll have to manage.

Who among us has been asked to do something vague by a stakeholder? When you turn the output around, the person who requested it says, “that’s not what I wanted”. Looking back, I wish I had pushed for clarity. I would not have been wasting my time creating things that didn’t meet expectations. I should have gotten persona statements.

Do you use persona statements? Pop into our free Slack group and tell me about it!

– Katie Robbert, CEO

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Binge Watch and Listen

In this episode of In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris discuss the different levels of complexity when it comes to AI and machine learning in marketing. What’s the difference between AI and data science, and when should you focus on one or the other? What cautionary tales should marketers understand before positioning a product as powered by AI? Tune in to find out!

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Last week on So What? The Marketing Analytics and Insights Live Show, we looked at what to do when you have a solution in search of a problem.

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Data Diaries - Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, let’s look at GoFundMe. The global fundraising site hosts tens of thousands of fundraisers every month on nearly every category imaginable. What types of fundraisers seem to do best?

To understand this, let’s look at the site and dig into the data. Because we can’t extract funding amounts (there’s no public API), we’ll rely on traffic as a proxy for successful fundraisers. We will make the assumption that the more visitors a fundraiser has, the more probable it will be successful, which is not unreasonable. Based on this, what publicly-visible data points have a relationship to that traffic?

Correlation matrix of traffic factors Click on the image for a full size version

We see that keywords – essentially, the number of keywords a fundraiser ranks for – has the highest correlation to traffic, followed by referring domains, internal links (links from other GoFundMe pages), and then external links. What’s interesting about that is GoFundMe doesn’t really focus on encouraging people to optimize their fundraisers for search; instead, the focus is entirely on using your personal networks. However, when a news story develops around a fundraiser, those fundraisers tend to do very well.

Next, let’s look at the categories by traffic. For those fundraisers where there’s an identifiable category (about 1%), we see the following:

GoFundMe Traffic by Category Click on the image for a full size version

What we see, by median traffic, is that charity fundraisers tend to perform best, followed by family fundraisers, then medical fundraisers.

This is where we see the power of the personal network; the first two fundraisers are by entities which typically can bring a lot of attention to a fundraiser.

So, what are the key takeaways here? If you’re going to do a GoFundMe project, don’t neglect the power of optimizing for search as well as leveraging the power of personal networks. Set your expectations by category accordingly; fundraisers that can appeal to personal connection or charitable causes will likely do better than fundraisers about IVF or sports.

Next week’s dataset we’ll leave up to a vote: would you like to explore Kickstarter data or IndieGoGo data? Vote in our Analytics for Marketers Slack group!

Methodology: Trust Insights extracted 30,270 unique fundraiser pages from AHREFS Site Explorer, limited to the English language, working links, with explicit content and duplicates filtered out. The timeframe of the data is July 23, 2021 – August 24, 2021. The date of study is August 25, 2021. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors, and declares no competing interests.

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