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How Spy Strategies can Strengthen Your Marketing

Nancy E. Schwartz | Getting Attention

July 01, 2010

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I’m fascinated by the Russian spy ring’s attempt to extract U.S. secrets. They counted on their ability to burrow deep into typical American life to develop their understanding of the U.S. government’s goals and strategies.

One of their primary strategies in doing so – knowing their “audience,” the neighbors and other folks who had to believe they were just “regular folks” – is the key to advancing your nonprofit’s marketing impact. In your case, it’s an absolute must for strengthening the relationships with your current and prospective donors, advocates, volunteers and more that are the foundation of effective nonprofit marketing.

The goal

To understand your audiences well, in order to find the intersection of their wants and needs and those of your organization. That intersection is where connection happens, followed by engagement.

The spies had their audience down cold

“A neighbor of the Murphy family described them as “suburbia personified. Richard Murphy mowed the lawn; Cynthia Murphy came home from work…with daffodils and French bread in her hands. “Relatives, friends, classmates, neighbors and co-workers of the three couples expressed shock at the arrests, and they searched their memories for signs that something was amiss, but mostly came up blank,” according to a story in today’s New York Times.

Clearly, the spies and their colleagues back at Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service had thoroughly studied these communities for the spies to embed themselves so successfully there.

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Featured Author: Nancy E. Schwartz
Nancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing and communications as the publisher of the Getting Attention blog and e-newsletter, and as president of New York City-based Nancy Schwartz & Company (NS&C). Nancy and her team at NS&C provide marketing planning and implementation services to organizations as varied as the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Environmental Health Coalition, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the National Center for Biking and Walking.

Nancy is a board member of NTEN and on marketing committees of her synagogue, local PTA and high school. In her life beyond nonprofit marketing, Nancy loves hanging with her husband Sean and daughter Charlotte, occasional triathlons, gardening, cooking/eating, hiking, photo-ing and much more!

For more nonprofit marketing resources like this, subscribe to her e-update.

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