Why Marketing Matters More Than Ever in the Public and Not-For-Profit Sectors

In today’s economically challenged and constantly changing environment, most government and  non profits are still operating with the same traditional models and these are simply not working anymore.  And with the need for increased efficiency, accountability and transparency in all sectors, along with a requirement to be more strategic in the prioritization and delivery of programs, services and other social initiatives, the need to innovate couldn’t be stronger.

Simply stated, marketing is a process for working smarter. As Phil Kotler and Nancy Lee point out in their book Marketing in the Public Sector: A Roadmap for Improved Performance “marketing turns out to be the best planning platform for a public agency that wants to meet citizen needs and deliver real value.” Public agencies can benefit from bringing a more conscious marketing approach and mindset to their mission, problem solving and outcomes. Marketing is not the same as advertising, sales, or communications. It is these skills and more. It involves a customer (citizen–centered) approach, one that helps address citizen complaints, alters their perceptions, and improves performance. It is a disciplined approach for conducting a situation analysis, setting goals, segmenting the market, conducting market research, positioning, choosing a strategic blend of marketing tools, evaluating results, preparing budgets, and formulating an implementation plan. Here are six key practices that publicly driven organizations and professional associations need to adopt to thrive in these challenging times.

They include:

1. Adopting a Brand and Brand Promise that is Consistently Communicated and Demonstrated

Your brand is what people say about you and too many public and not-for-profit organizations don’t take the time to define their values and more importantly, how these values should be reflected in everything they do, from an association representing their members at the national policy level to a municipality delivering first-rate services to constituents.  Government organizations in particular, can no longer afford to be “all things to all people”  and must begin to articulate who they are, what they stand for and how they promise to deliver on those values.

 2.       Adopting a Client-Centered Mindset

Too often, public or member-driven organizations plan and implement programs without consulting their clients and are left wondering why these initiatives are not getting the anticipated take-up. An effective organization asks their clients    what they want first – and then plan accordingly.

3.       Taking a Strategic Planning Approach Towards Program / Service Delivery

Organizations that do not take a strategic marketing approach are usually operating in a “reactive” mode. Adopting a strategic approach towards program or service delivery forces an organization to focus its efforts on priorities, rather than applying a “bandage” to a wide range of never-ending issues.

4.       Adopting Social Media as Core Audience Engagement Tools

With more than 25 million Canadians on the web, public and non-profit organizations have the opportunity and tools to extend their influence far beyond traditional borders. Simply stated, if you are not actively engaged in social media  and digital engagement, you’re not “in the game”.  

5.       Increased Use of Partnerships to Leverage Resources and Create More Impact

Public and not-for-profit organizations need to focus more on strategic partnerships as a means of leveraging resources, enhancing service delivery and communicating with greater impact. Most organizations don’t have the resources  to implement programs on their own and as a result, end up with mediocre efforts when it comes to communicating message or delivering programs and services.

6.       Taking a Strategic Approach Towards Cost Recovery or Revenue Generation

To be successful over the long-term, organizations need to take a strategic approach towards revenue development.  Many organizations   jump from one “low hanging fruit” to another without any rationalization, creating a “knee-jerk” reaction that usually results in wasted time and effort. Marketing provides a focus by helping organizations identify their value in the market and delivering on that value for revenue.

To find out about CEPSM training programs in public sector or non-profit marketing

 Join us now

Professional Certificate in Public Sector and
Non-Profit Marketing

There is a rising need for highly skilled marketing professionals in the public and non-profit sectors to effectively bring their organization’s products, services and messages to the marketplace.

The Professional Certificate in Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing is uniquely designed to equip participants with the information, tools and solutions necessary to skillfully and mindfully navigate their way through the fascinating and complex world of marketing. This program engages participants in a rich learning environment that reinforces theory with practical, real-life examples based upon the extensive experience of the instructors.

Why You Should Attend

  • Develop an action-oriented, strategic marketing plan for your organization.
  • Become skilled at setting realistic, practical marketing objectives and goals.
  • Learn how to communicate messages effectively to key stakeholders and the public.
  • Share experiences with marketers in your sectors and expand your network.

Who Should Attend

Managers working for government, crown corporations/agencies, non-profit organization and associations who are responsible for:

  • Marketing programs, products and services targeted to the public, business and government.
  • Sponsorship and partnership development.
  • Membership development and revenue generation.
  • Exhibit and event marketing.
  • Social marketing, community outreach and public education programs.
  • Strategic communications, media relations and media advocacy.
  • Online and web marketing, social media and digital marketing.

Register Today

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Most Important Event in Public and Non Profit Marketing in 2011

Next week is the biggest week  for the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing  as it’s the second year that our organization CEPSM is running the MARCOM Annual Forum,  For all of you newbies, the MARCOM Professional Development Annual Forum 2011 is the only event in Canada that caters specifically to government, non-profit and association marketers and communicators. It is the premiere educational forum that understands the daily reality in your world of marketing; where the focus is more about how to make large-scale changes with limited resources than conceiving of multi-million dollar campaigns. MARCOM takes a look at the trends and topics that matter most to public sector and not-for-profit marketers and communicators. It’s a chance to enhance your strategic approach, mingle with like-minded people and pick up practical tools and tips you can put to use now.

Why was MARCOM created? The public and non-profit sectors often face unique marketing challenges that often require unique solutions. Most marketing forums focus on private sector solutions which in many cases are not relevant to our world. The best way to learn is of course by seeing what others in your sector are doing and how they have overcome some of their challenges. Combine that with presentations from leading marketing and communications practitioners from these sectors (including a few from the private sector) and you have yourself a solid educational experience.

Sound interesting? Browse the complete program overview or jump ahead and register before it’s too late. For those interested, I’ll be running a pre-conference workshop on May 31st, and then giving a session on Branding on June 1st. Hope to see you there!

Other happenings:

WEBINAR: Branding for Associations: Why it has become invaluable

Presenter: Jim Mintz, CEPSM

Start:  May 26, 2011 1:00 pm EST to 2:00 pm EST

Cost: $95

We live in a very competitive world.  Members and clients are becoming more demanding and associations must work harder to secure their fundamental relationships. Building distinctive relationships with your clients’ members as well as your stakeholders is what branding is about. The brand is the marketer’s most advanced emotional tool. It combines and reinforces the functional and emotional benefits of your programs, products and services. A good brand facilitates recognition, makes a promise and delivers satisfaction.

Those who attend the webinar will receive a free copy of the Guide to Branding in the Public and Not-for Profit Sectors which tells you everything you need to know about branding for your organization.

What You Will Learn:

  • How branding works
  • Key issues and challenges of branding in an association
  • Best practices in branding
  • Benefits and positive impacts of adopting a branding approach
  • How to build and implement your association brand

Here are some of my future workshops on social marketing

.REGISTER NOW

SOCIAL MARKETING STRATEGIES AND BEHAVIOUR CHANGE WORKSHOP: Social Marketing Strategies and Behavioural Change – Regina, Vancouver, Toronto & Halifax

This workshop has been designed not only for marketing and communications professionals who specialize in social marketing, but for anyone involved in the planning of marketing, outreach and public education strategies aimed at changing attitudes and behaviours. This workshop will teach participants the most up to date techniques on influencing attitudes and behaviours to improve health, prevent injuries, protect the environment, prepare citizens for emergencies, promote positive parenting, and a multitude of today’s issues. This workshop may also be of interest to those who are looking to acquire value-added skills to improve their expertise in strategic results-based marketing planning.

The Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing has been delivering social marketing campaigns for government and non-profit organizations for many years and leaders in developing and implementing successful social marketing programs.

WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?

The workshop will focus on:

  • How to prepare a social marketing plan that is actionable easy to implement and have maximum impact;
  • How to develop a strategic segmentation plan by using techniques like PRIZM and TAPARE;
  • How to implement a social marketing program on a very limited budget;
  • How to monitor and evaluate your outputs, outcomes and impacts;
  • How to develop a Creative and Marketing Research Brief;
  • How to use social marketing to give you a single approach for mobilizing communities, influencing the media, lobbying/advocacy and building strategic alliances with business;
  • How social marketing is different from public education, outreach and other communication strategies.

Regina

Start: June 17, 2011 EST

Venue: Ramada Hotel

Address: 1818 Victoria Avenue, Regina, SK, Canada

Vancouver

Start:    September 28, 2011 EST

Venue:    Simon Fraser University – Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Executive Meeting Room 370 HSBC

Address:    580 West Hastings Street (enter via Seymour Street courtyard entrance), Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1L6

Register Now

Toronto

Start: November 2, 2011

Venue: Oakham House, Ryerson

Address: 55 Gould Street Toronto ON, M5B1E9

Register Now

Halifax

Date and Location to be announced

The Professional Certificate in Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing 2012

Register now

For the past 6 years we have had tremendous success with this program brought to you by the Sprott School of Business at Carleton and the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing. We hope that you will join us next year.

The Professional Certificate in Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing is uniquely designed to equip participants with the information, tools and solutions necessary to skilfully and mindfully navigate their way through the fascinating and complex world of marketing. This program engages participants in a rich learning environment that reinforces theory with practical, real-life examples based upon the extensive experience of the instructors.

7 Course Modules – 8 days over 4 months

Why You Should Attend

  • Develop an action-oriented, strategic marketing plan for your organization.
  • Become skilled at setting realistic, practical marketing objectives and goals.
  • Learn how to communicate messages effectively to key stakeholders and the public.
  • Share experiences with marketers in your sectors and expand your network.

Who Should Attend

Managers working for government, crown corporations/agencies, non-profit organization and associations who are responsible for:

  • Marketing programs, products and services targeted to the public, business and government.
  • Sponsorship and partnership development.
  • Membership development and revenue generation.
  • Exhibit and event marketing.
  • Social marketing, community outreach and public education programs.
  • Strategic communications, media relations and media advocacy.
  • Online and web marketing, social media and digital marketing.

 Any questions e-mail me jimmintz@cepsm.ca  or Twitter: @jimmintz

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“Strategy without tactics is slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is noise before the defeat.”

This Sun Tzu quote, borrowed from the Art of War is thousands of years old  is still relevant today. Marketing is divided into two parts: (1) marketing strategy and (2) marketing tactics. But most people think it is all about tactics.

In my experience when I hear someone tell me that they don’t have enough funds to do a great marketing job , I tell them it is not more money that you need but more strategy. But strategy takes time and skill and marketers are looking for quick fixes. That’s why social media has become the new God … the new messiah.

Marketers and Communicators are out there thinking if only they can sharpen their skills in social media they will have the tools to be successful in marketing and communications but they are dead wrong. Marketing is not about tactics and social media, as important as it has become, is not the messiah.  Marketing is about strategy. Go to any conference and see what people want to learn about. Not strategy… I actually attended a conference in the USA  a few years ago to give a workshop on marketing strategy and some people were a bit disappointed that I did not spend much more time on tactics. Well the truth is you can have all the tactics in the world, but if you don’t spend the time to build a strong marketing strategy all the great tactics in the world are worthless. How many times have we seen at our Centre clients who have hired ad agencies to produce award-winning ads which fall flat on their face because there is no strategy?

Yes I understand that creating a marketing  strategy  takes time and hard work but today marketers and communicators are looking for quick fixes. But there are no quick fixes and don’t let web 2.0 folks or ad agencies sell you a bill of goods. Strategies before tactics is the only solution to being successful in marketing

In his article  The TGIF Revolution is only half the story Al Ries demonstrates that Strategy is the key to success in marketing but most people think it is about tactics which is usually a fatal error. With the new ways of doing things through social media…  or as Ries calls it TGIF (That’s Twitter, Google, the Internet and Facebook.) marketers have lost sight on the importance of strategy. There is no question that these four revolutionary developments have forever changed the marketing function. But will the skilful use of social media i.e.  TGIF make you a great marketer?
Well obviously not.

As Reis points out

Linens ‘N Things didn’t go bankrupt because they didn’t make effective use of Twitter. They went bankrupt because they were a knockoff of Bed Bath & Beyond without a unique identity.

DHL didn’t pull out of the U.S. market because they didn’t buy enough AdWords from Google. They pulled out of the U.S. market because they violated a basic law of marketing, the law of duality. DHL was the No.3 brand in a category dominated by UPS and FedEx.

Kmart didn’t go bankrupt because they couldn’t figure out how to use the Internet to promote the brand. They went bankrupt because they were squeezed between Walmart at the low-end of the mass merchandiser category and Target at the high-end.

Coca-Cola didn’t fail to build a leading energy-drink brand in three tries (KMX, Full Throttle and TAB) because they forgot to use Facebook to ignite the brands. They failed to build a leading energy-drink brand because they waited too long after the launch of Red Bull.

According to Ries,  Marketing can be divided into two parts: (1) marketing strategy and (2) marketing tactics. And to him there is no question that strategy is by far the most important half of a marketing program.

It’s like warfare, also a mixture of strategy and tactics. The weapons of war are equivalent to the media used in a marketing campaign. How often has an army won a war with better soldiers, better guns, better tanks, and better aircraft?

Seldom.

What wins wars are better strategies? In World War II, the Germans had the advantage of the better weapons, the better discipline, and the most experience. Yet their leader, Adolph Hitler, was a rank amateur when it came to military strategy.

I finally got a chance to read Al and Laura Ries book WAR IN THE BOARDROOM… why left –brain management and right-brain marketing don’t see eye –to eye-and what to do about it

According to the Rieses the problem with management is that managers don’t have the brains for marketing.

This reflects a difference in brain dominance. Managers tend to be left-brain dominant, focusing on logical and analytical ways of dealing with the world.

Marketers tend to be right-brain dominant, getting their ideas more intuitively and holistically.

While the marketing department may have a better grasp of how marketing works, say the Rieses, management always makes the final decisions. And that can lead to companies basing marketing strategies on management thinking.

Where the two differ:

•Management deals in reality; marketing, in perception. Most managers believe that producing a better product is the key to success. Yet, time and again, new products with perfect benchmarks fail, such as Volkswagen’s Phaeton (a luxury car with top ratings) and beverage Miller Clear. Miller Clear tasted like regular beer, if you closed your eyes. “(But) when you drank Miller Clear with your eyes wide open,” the Rieses write, “it tasted like watery beer. Perception always trumps reality.”

•Management focuses on the product; marketing, on the brand.

•Management wants a diversified market strategy; marketers prefer to focus in one area.

•Management targets the center of the market, while marketing targets the ends•

Management wants better products, while marketing wants different products.

Management’s response to a rival is often to try to do the same thing better. The marketing response is to do something different and create a new mental category.

•Management wants a single brand; marketing wants many brands. Management wants the big brand name on everything to justify the money spent on brand recognition. Marketing wants to launch new brands, because often the new product isn’t a good match for the old brand name.

In short, the Rieses believe that management wants good products that appeal to everyone, while marketing wants a powerful brand that dominates a mental category.

Because management makes the decisions, marketing folks should learn to speak in left-brain terminology. The book is a good place to start lessons. Examples are well-explained and down-to-earth. As for managers, even the most logical and analytical types should be able to see the reasoning behind “marketing sense.”

Don’t for get to register for MARCOM The premiere educational forum for public and not-for-profit marketers and communicators. This year’s line-up is the best ever.

Also join me for Branding for Associations –

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn about the importance of taking a strategic marketing approach within your association. You will learn how adopting a marketing mindset ensures that you are driven by what your members, clients and stakeholders need and want versus what you think they need and want. This series is designed to coach you all year-long.  The first in the series “Branding for Associations – why it has become invaluable” is happening February 8 with Jim Mintz.

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