Mar 22, 2023

Principle 6: Leveling up with Ancillary Channels

*This is the sixth post in a series of blog posts about digital organizing and data management best practices using Frakture.

Principle 1: The Value of a Data Warehouse

Principle 2: The Fundamentals of Messaging & Attribution

Principle 3: The Importance of Donor and Transaction Analytics

Principle 4: The Power of Structured Source Codes

Principle 5: Origin and Lifetime Performance

Up to this point in our Frakture onboarding journey, you’ve been setting up data sources and reports, connecting bots, and importing your message and transaction data. Now’s when the fun begins; we’re ready to get started adding your other channels.

If you’re like most of our clients, you’re not just sending emails and running ads. You’re sending text messages with tools like Switchboard or Hustle, you’re running events on Mobilize, or just some plain old organic social media persuasion campaigns. Regardless of your specific mix of tools and tactics, you’re generating a huge amount of data, and - as you’ve hopefully learned - the more data you pipe into your Frakture warehouse, the more robust and flexible your reporting becomes. More data means more value.

Your Virtual Army of Data Bots

At Frakture, we’ve created over 150 bots for almost every platform under the sun, from commercial products like Hubspot and Mailchimp to the full suite of progressive and Democratic party tools like ActBlue, NGPVAN, and Action Network. Of course you can use the data from these bots to report on your campaigns on those platforms, but our warehouse approach really shines in cross-channel reporting. Turns out, when you put all those channel data together, you get more than the sum of the parts.

And our bot army makes this process simple. You don’t need to be an expert at data management or coding; if you can log in with a browser, you can set up a bot. For most of our bots, Frakture will handle the setup and configuration, and for those that require users to configure them, we’ve written step-by-step instructions to make things as simple as possible.

Once you’ve added a new channel to Frakture, the next step is to think about what types of questions you want to be able to answer about the data you’ll be looking at. Because our whole approach to data management is built around source codes, you can base your reporting not just on channels (e.g. email, ads, texting) but also topics (e.g. climate change, abortion rights), audiences (e.g. donors, activists, influencers), goals (e.g. engagement, fundraising), or any other dimension you can think of.

A Multiverse of Data Dimensions

Again we revisit the virtues of the trusty source code. In addition to being more reliable and robust than cookie or pixel conversion tracking, source coding is also more flexible. Every element you build into your source code opens up a new dimension for reporting. What may not be obvious, however, is the scale to which this approach opens up new possibilities. It’s not just that adding an “audience” element to your source code lets you break down each audience group’s data by channel, but it also lets you slice and dice your data according to every other element that you include.

Let’s consider a simple example: say you have three channels (email, ads, texting), two issues (climate change and abortion rights), and two audiences (donors and activists). All twelve (12) unique combinations of those dimensions are available to you to report on. Add in two more issues and two more unique audience groups, and suddenly you have forty-eight (48!) possible combinations of reports.

Instead of struggling to persuade your tech tools to give you basic answers to your digital marketing questions, now you have an abundance of data to choose from. Instead of laboring for hours to pull a single cup of water from your data well, now your bucket is full. And all without downloading a single spreadsheet by hand.

A Data Strategy Will Set You Free

Unlike your standard-issue CRM, the structure and contents of your database are entirely under your control. You’re not limited to whatever canned reports the CRM company decides to give you. As long as you can fit it in a source code, you’re limited only by your database chops and your imagination.

Here’s the secret though: the way to get the most from your data warehouse is to standardize it.

Now, you might say, “But Frakture Friend, you’ve been telling me I can do whatever I like with my data!” Yes, that’s true, but your goal here is not anarchy, but order. You want your data warehouse to be as organized as an Amazon warehouse (minus the abhorrent working conditions and union-busting), and that requires a plan. You want standardized source codes, so that your strategists know what dimensions to include and how to report on them. You want standardized workflows, so you don’t miss a critical step in setting up your reports. You want processes in place to minimize the time you spend wrangling data bits to the right spot, and maximize the time you can think strategically about your digital outreach and organizing. We're here to help. Our goal is to make database management easy, even for non-technical users. We’ll talk more in a future post about our new features like Timeline, which offers a per-person view of your cross-channel digital engagement, and Custom Audiences, a mirror of the granular targeting options found in Facebook and Google’s digital ad platforms.

Stick with us as we come into the home stretch of our onboarding series. The best is still yet to come.

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