Data Diving For A Good Cause [video]

"Here are our thoughts about it. We're just researchers. We can tell you a little bit about what we know about these researchers, but it's up to you to decide which of these problems, which of these questions, which of these approaches, are most relevant to you."

Professor Peter Fader, Dr. Sharron Silva, and Janet Couperthwaite discuss cultivating disaster donors. In this talk, entitled 'Data Diving for a Good Cause,' the three discuss their 'matchmaking' business.

Couperthwaite begins by talking about Russ Reid and their relationship to the Wharton School of Business. Russ Reid works ONLY with non-profits (including Red Cross.) Sharon Silva talks about the Red Cross disaster relief and how they provide non-partisan care around the world. She discusses the variety of works that the Red Cross does, including local disasters, lifesaving and swimming training, vaccinations, and disaster relief.

Some donors will only donate as a disaster response, and fewer than one third of disaster donors come back and donate in non-disaster times. The mission is to convert disaster donors into regular donors. Red Cross is working on branding to help support the ongoing mission.

Professor Fader (from the Wharton School) shows the new Red Cross Logo, describes how the Red Cross is rebranding. The process is modified crowd-sourcing. First there are conversations on a set of topics to determine where the main issue is. Then they collect data to see the various groups and outbound communications. The data is rich, but messy, but messes are the Wharton school's specialty. This gives students a way to use the various tools that they've been learning about with real data. The students work with the data to divide it into various data sets that can be described without describing the actual data.

Then they hold a webinar, and ask various people what to do with this type of data. Hundreds of people watch, including schools which have lunch seminars, and these groups suggest ideas. They received 18 proposals for their process, and each was sorted into a category and ranked.

Then they have a phone call, and allow Russ Reid and the Red Cross to decide which approaches are good. They found researchers from two different universities to help with the decision-making process.

Once the decision has been made regarding the various proposals, the researchers ask for more data and run experiments. Wharton serves as the go-between for the researchers and the Red Cross, gathering data, coordinating between the various teams, and then the teams have a symposium, and then there is good research for the Red Cross to use in making decisions.

The three broad approaches that researchers choose:

  • The Predictive Model
  • Optimization Layer
  • Hard-Core Psychologists

For this project, they chose three groups each from optimization teams and psychological teams. They are still waiting for the full results, because the project is ongoing.

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Peter Fader - Professor of Marketing, Wharton School

Peter FaderPeter S. Fader is the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His expertise centers around the analysis of behavioral data to understand and forecast customer shopping/purchasing activities. He works with firms from a wide range of industries, such as consumer packaged goods, interactive media, financial services, retailing, and pharmaceuticals. Much of his research highlights the consistent (but often surprising) behavioral patterns that exist across these industries and other seemingly different domains.

Professor Fader believes that marketing should not be viewed as a “soft” discipline, and he frequently works with different companies and industry associations to improve managerial perspectives in this regard. His work has been published in (and he serves on the editorial boards of) a number of leading journals in marketing, statistics, and the management sciences. He has won many awards for his teaching and research accomplishments.

Sharron Silva, Ph.D. - Director of Market Research, American Red Cross

Sharron Silva
Dr. Silva has served as Market Research Director at the American National Red Cross for more than ten years. Her responsibilities address a range of business issues related to service recipients, supporters, and internal constituencies, and encompass qualitative and quantitative research related to predictive analytics, customer service, customer value analysis, ad and concept testing, brand strategy, messaging, and related topics. She holds a Ph.D in Educational Psychology and Evaluation from The Catholic University of America and, in previous positions, conducted research related to health care utilization (physician practice, prescription drug pricing, and cost issues related to durable medical equipment).

Janet Couperthwaite - Group Account Director, Russ Reid

Janet CouperthwaiteJanet joined Russ Reid in 2010 with over 17 years of experience in the consumer marketing sector with a focus on integrated marketing strategies. She currently leads the American Red Cross client service team and oversees the fundraising strategies and chapter based program management. Prior to joining Russ Reid Janet was with Euro RSCG leading client service teams for some of the largest and best known brands in the world including: JP Morgan Chase, BMW USA and MINI Cooper.

Prior to that Janet managed Fortune 500 clients in various roles for the largest international corporate events and lifestyle management company. While there, she managed brand development and corporate positioning through sponsorship negotiations and events, loyalty programs, customer retention development, and experiential marketing. Janet started her career at Kaplan Agency working on multi-media campaigns. She holds her undergraduate degree from Notre Dame University in marketing with a minor in consumer behavior.

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