Typically, engagements with my clients in the nonprofit sector follow a similar pattern. I recommend some sort of formative research at the beginning in order to inform the messages, strategies, and tactics we’ll use to help them reach their goals. Then I’ll suggest evaluative research during and after the campaign to measure our results. Invariably, clients seize on the evaluation metrics; they want to know that the time and money they spend on strategic communications is actually giving them a return on their investment. But too often, clients pass on conducting message testing, in-depth-interviews with stakeholders, polling, and focus groups up front, thinking that research is too expensive and unnecessary because they already know their audiences and how to reach them.