Case Study: University of Minnesota

Education

University of Minnesota Foundation Success Story

How the University of Minnesota effectively
reaches their audience at the right time.

THE CHALLENGE

What UMF needed DESelect to help solve

The University received frustrating news when they learned the legacy marketing system they depended on would be discontinued in one year. Without that solution in place the University, and all of its campuses, would be forced to revert to writing SQL queries to obtain the data needed for marketing communications. With hundreds of University staff members depending on this system, the consequences would mean reducing their marketing capacity to a small fraction as before.

Goals

  • Replace legacy software and quickly implement a new solution with zero disruption to marketing
  • Maintain a very-high level of data privacy security, and standards, for all University stakeholders
  • Continue executing planned campaigns during transition while increasing bandwidth and performance

Results

  • One-day installation, and implementation of DESelect in 4 weeks, without compromising marketing
  • Significant cost savings for UMF, while simultaneously increasing marketing bandwidth from month #1
  • DESelect allows UMF to send messages as soon as needed (previous software caused 36-48 hour delays). This enabled UMF to have “super immediate responses to donors.”

The sophistication and the functionality in DESelect can really move you ahead in the higher-ed/nonprofit space by being able to provide really customized messages to donors.

DESelect really puts us in a place where we can compete with how consumers are going to spend their money and whether theyʼre going to purchase something or if theyʼre going to use it for philanthropy.

Terri Schlegel-DavidAssociate Vice President, Marketing Programs and Services

USAGE

How UMN Foundation uses DESelect

  1. SQL-free customer data segmentation; easy for any UMF marketing staff to use
  2. Integrating data from DESelect into Journey Builder for hyper-responsive marketing communications.
  3. Simplifying data management with DESelect, removing the prep work required to utilize UMFʼs data.
  4. Driving highly personalized multi-channel messaging to thousands of UMF donors.

Highlights

Why an Assc. Vice President at UMN Foundation chose DESelect

  • Scalable & Super Fast
    “DESelect gives us the ability to innovate faster than we thought we could… We’re going to be able to innovate within existing programs and create new programs a lot earlier than we thought; and start even more sophisticated marketing automation and behavioral marketing.”
  • Top Tier Security
    “DESelect was just a no brainer when it came to data security... It allowed us to pull only the data we needed for marketing communications, which was so much safer from a sensitive data perspective.”
  • Very Customer Focused
    “They took the time to first learn about us before they ever presented anything. They really took the time to understand exactly what our business was, exactly what our needs were, where we wanted to go, and where we wanted potential growth.”

Q&A with Terri Schlegel-David from the University of Minnesota Foundation

  • What would you tell someone in higher-ed, or non-profit space that is considering DESelect?

    I would say the sophistication and the functionality in DESelect can really move you ahead in the nonprofit space by being able to provide really customized messages to donors. Sometimes in the nonprofit world marketing can be a little drier than some of the big commercial marketers out there. With DESelect, we were able to compete with all the other messages that people are getting. It really puts us in a place where we can compete with how consumers are going to spend their money and whether theyʼre going to purchase something or if theyʼre going to use it for philanthropy

  • What made you want to use DESelect now vs. later?

    We had many partners and stakeholders relying on our team to ensure we could continue sending highly personalized messages to University donors, their audiences, and alumni. DESelect was a no-brainer to get started as soon as possible once we learned about how efficient the tool was and
    where we could go with it in the future.

  • How would you describe your day to day workflow since implementing DESelect?

    Thereʼs a lot less babysitting the data. Itʼs really automatic; it all just goes. The other thing I think has changed day to day is being able to use Journey Builder to see where our donors are and the flow of the data. Itʼs given us more visibility into whatʼs actually happening.

  • What about DESelect has surprised you the most?

    Probably how simple it is to do some really complicated segmentation. What previously took us several years to set up with our old software we were able to recreate in just a matter of weeks with DESelect.

  • What sold you on DESelect Segment?

    We felt that it would be very flexible so that we could get exactly what we needed (data), and how we needed it. DESelect is flexible, affordable, and gave us room to grow.