I’m a big fan of developing fully-fleshed-out fictitious characters (aka personas) to understand your base and other groups your org wants to engage. As Wikipedia so aptly puts it, "a user persona is a representation of the goals and behavior of your [target audiences]. Each persona is captured in one to two page descriptions featuring behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and environment, with a few fictional personal details to bring the persona to life."
Shaping personas is a practice that enables you to "know" your target audiences far better than simple audience segmentation, which is limited to demographic definition in most cases. Most importantly, personas are a great lead-in to audience research, and a useful ingredient in product/program/service development and testing. Use them to hone your approach as precisely as possible before you dive in with pricey and hard-to-find focus group participants or testers.
Learn how in my just-updated guide to developing personas that will increase the impact of your nonprofit marketing.
PS While you’re strategizing how to get to know your constituencies better, read Getting Great Audience and Stakeholder Feedback, at Little Cost (Case Study)
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