Journey Mapping: Understanding Your Audience

If we are going to move human hearts to take worthy action, we must do the hard work of understanding them.

Granted, to see a solitary fundraising impact perform excellently needn’t involve particularly deep understanding of the audience. We have their prior behaviors captured in quantitative data, and analyzed across empirical tests. This helps us create effective fundraising.

We can optimize these “moments” for response. And that’s good. We’ve all had the experience of a wonderful first impression or the pleasant surprise of discovering common ground with a newly made acquaintance. Moments can have lasting significance in the human mind.

But a moment doesn’t sustain a relationship. Relationships are built over time. Our closest friends became our closest friends over time. Our strongest brand affinities — a favorite coffee chain, shoe brand, or grocery store — were built over months and even years. Moment upon moment upon moment. Mysteries and nuances and feelings. All linked together.

As lasting relationships are what ministries want — and should want — with their donors, it is the fundraiser’s job to understand the journey that these wonderful people take with our brands. 

It’s all too easy to focus so strongly on optimizing the outcome of a moment with 1% or 2% or 5% of our donors that we lose sight of how to ensure their journey with our brand over time results in regular, generous lifetime partnership. 

That’s why Masterworks helps great ministries through journey mapping. 

To be clear, journey mapping doesn’t mean “Here’s the journey we imagine our constituents are on.” It also doesn’t mean “Here’s the journey we have designed for our audience.”

Those approaches have some value. But they have very little to do with the journey your audience is actually taking.

Your goal for journey mapping should be to understand the true journey your audience is taking, comprehend its highs and lows, and determine precisely which improvements can yield better results. Beyond this kind of problem-solving, journey mapping is also a key opportunity to develop imaginative, defining experiences that adhere your audience to your brand for the long-term.

Your audience’s journey with your brand isn’t as great as you think it is. And, barring your organization being That One Magically Perfect Organization, their experience certainly isn’t what you so painstakingly laid out in your communications plans, entity-relationship diagrams, or marketing automation tools. If you take the time to discover the true journey, and how to fix it (and we’d sure love to help you!), you’ll be doing your audience a great service.

Does this sound like something your organization needs to think more about?

Then join me for a special, live one-hour webinar on Thursday, May 14, at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET, called Journey Mapping: Understanding Your Audience.

My colleague Dave Raley and I will share practical information on how you can understand, document, and then use your donor’s actual pathway from prospect to committed supporter to improve results, retain more donors, and even accelerate your organization’s growth.

We’ll share real strategies we’re using right now with our ministry partners to help them grow both donor engagement and revenue.

Please join us! A quick registration link follows.

Live Webinar: Journey Mapping: Understanding Your Audience

Thursday, May 14, 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET | 60 minutes