Strategic value of constituent research

I recently read a white paper on the Marts&Lundy blog.  The opening paragraph described how the private sector automatically conducts market research as a matter of procedure before formulating ideas for product development, advertising campaigns or go-to-market strategies.  Then I came to this sentence and had to read it twice.



It’s sort of embarrassing, but I have to admit Mr. Mathias is telling the truth.  You can read his entire report by clicking on the image above.


He walks us through 3 case studies where M&L applied research techniques (like surveying constituents and analyzing facts) to make observations.  Then they figured out how to drive improvements based on the findings.


My favorite example of a finding was from the first case study.  The team surveyed non-donor alumni at a university and discovered a surprising number were unaware that the university was a not-for-profit.  Consequently, they formulated a plan to target this segment of alumni with a particular campaign message:  why the university should be a top philanthropic priority.  Very smart.  And it yielded results.


This was particularly revealing and I wonder whether this type of mistaken assumption is widespread among many of our constituents?  A provocative question indeed.


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