News & Culture >> Browse Articles >> Campaigns and Causes


How Spy Strategies can Strengthen Your Marketing

Nancy E. Schwartz | Getting Attention

July 01, 2010


Here’s how you can get to know your audience without putting espionage to work

1. Define your primary target audience (those you need to engage to meet your marketing goals) and group it into no more than three or four distinct segments. Sample segments for an organization building support for a child-focused health care bill in Nebraska include 1) policymakers and their staff members at the congressional district and county levels, currently against the pending state health care reform bill; 2) mothers of children 18 and under with chronic illnesses; 3) health care providers for those children.

2. Outline everything you know now about each one. Supplement those outlines with online research.

3. Reach out to one or two representatives of each segment to learn more. A causal phone conversation is a great place to start – perhaps even to non-work related acquaintances, just to build your understanding of what’s important to that group.

4. Concurrently, build a list of those you know within each segment (or whom your colleagues, friends, family or board know if you are reaching out to these segments for the first time). Numbers may be low if these are new segments for your organization to engage, but their qualitative feedback will be representative of the larger segment.


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.

Segment Your Audience→