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.