Marketing Strategy… the key to Success in Private & Public Sector Marketing

People are always confused with the role of marketing. A recent article by Al Ries in Ad Age makes some very interesting points.

For example who decides?

1) What products and services to offer;

2) What to name those products and services; and

3) What distribution channels to use to sell those products and services?

Clearly this is the role of marketing but Ries points out that with companies large and small, he doesn’t see many marketing people calling the shots on 1) Products; 2) Names; and 3) Distribution.

Instead, Ries points out that unfortunately marketing people tend to focus on “communications” issues. They spend most of their time figuring out how to interest prospects in their organizations products and services.

The Mantra for our organization (i.e. Centre for Public Sector Marketing) is “Strategy before Tactics” and we clearly understand the need and importance of communications but they are only the tactics of a marketing program. The other half, the more important half, is strategy.

As Reis points out the two are related. In order to improve the communications, it often is necessary to make changes in strategy. In products, names, pricing, distribution, etc. And who is in a better position to suggest such changes than an experienced marketing person?

But as Reis point out it is top management people who are calling the shots on marketing strategy? And in most cases management people who are not trained or knowledgeable about marketing. Would top management without an engineering background make engineering decisions, probably not? But marketing … no problem.

Reis describes the most recent Presidential race for the GOP as an example of lack of marketing strategy.

“So far, there are eight Republican presidential candidates: Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman.

Do you know the verbal position of any of these eight?

I don’t think they have any.

Doesn’t anyone remember “Change we can believe in?” After Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, I would have thought that any future presidential candidate would summarize his or her campaign with a few memorable words. But so far, no one has.Apparently, nobody wants to be tied down to a single idea or concept. Everybody wants to be free to expand their campaigns in all directions, depending on which way the wind blows.

Take Jon Huntsman. “He resigned  as the U.S. ambassador to China, but already Jon Huntsman has a logo, a musical theme, a small arsenal of promotional videos, a Hollywood narrator and a line of travel mugs, lapel pins, baseball caps and T-shirts emblazoned with the distinctive H of his infant presidential campaign. He even has a generation named after himself. Generation H, his campaign calls it.”

Jon Huntsman has everything except a marketing strategy. Source

See my blog Political Parties should have Marketers run their Campaigns

What is strategy anyway?

 According to Wikipedia Strategy, a word of military origin refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. How a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: the terms and conditions that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy, which is part of the four levels of warfare: political goals or grand strategy, strategy, operations, and tactics. Strategy has been extended beyond its traditional fields, military and grand strategy, to business, economics, game theory and other fields.

Ries discusses the Marketing Warfare material that came out of his book by the same name.

He quotes the famous Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz, the world’s most-famous military strategist, “Keep the forces concentrated in an overpowering mass. The fundamental idea always to be aimed at before all and as far as possible.”

He explains it this way “strategy is like a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle. Turn it one way to increase the concentration and out comes a powerful stream of water that could knock down a child. Turn it the other way and out comes a fine mist that wouldn’t harm a butterfly.He points out that almost every military strategist recommends “concentration of forces,” while almost every business strategist recommends “scatteration of forces.” Everything about marketing strategy parallels military strategy. The principle of force. The superiority of the defense. The advantage of flanking. And most importantly, the principle of focus.” 

There is one difference. Marketing is about brands, not companies. Apple has become the world’s most-valuable company, not by expanding the Apple brand, but by launching new brands: Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Is this what marketing has become? A discipline that execute strategies designed by somebody else?Source

Let me know what you think.

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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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