Marketing Workbooks for Public Sector & Non-Profit Marketers & Communicators

These two workbooks are  ideal for marketers and communicators working for government departments/agencies, non-profit/volunteer organizations, associations and social enterprises who are responsible for:

  • Marketing programs, products, programs and/or services
  • Social marketing, community outreach and public education programs


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State of Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing

Organizations in the public and non-profit sectors have long debated the applicability of marketing concepts and management approaches, many of which stem from private sector notions of consumption and economic choice, as well as an environment in which market forces rule. In recent years, however, there has been growing recognition that marketing can be used to enrich public sector and non-profit management and to better serve citizens and stakeholders.


Some government organizations are turning to the following specific applications of marketing to better meet their objectives:

  • Marketing of products and services. Many public sector organizations offer products and services for a fee (either on a cost-recovery or for-profit basis to support core public good programs). In this context, marketing is not dissimilar to marketing of products and services that occur in the private sector.
  • Social marketing. This entails campaigns to change attitudes and behaviour of a target audience or audiences (e.g. anti-smoking, energy conservation, emergency planning, healthy living, etc.)
  • Policy/Program marketing. This type of marketing includes campaigns to convince specific sectors of society to accept policies, or new legislation (e.g. anti-tobacco legislation, gun control , funding for the arts,etc.).
  • Demarketing or “don’t use our programs” marketing. This would include campaigns to advise and/or persuade targeted groups not to use government programs/facilities/services (e.g. use of hospital emergency rooms, use of 911 for non- emergencies, etc.).

A major role has also emerged for marketing in the non-profit sector, where it is now used to encourage donors, recruit volunteers, get clients to buy or use products/programs and services, advocate policies to key stakeholders, execute behavior change campaigns, enhance the image and branding of their organization, attract new members, forge partnerships and strategic alliances, and define the very programs and services offered by organizations.

The practice of sound marketing management in these two sectors clearly offers important benefits in terms of responding to the heightened expectations of citizens and stakeholders, engaging target audiences in the development of programs and services that affect them, shifting the focus of campaigns from awareness to behaviour change, better targeting resources, and improving program/service outcomes.

Recognizing the growing importance of marketing in the public and non-profit sectors, The Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM) was launched in 2005, to help public sector and nonprofit organizations overcome the unique challenges they face in their marketing and communications initiatives. CEPSM’s mission is “to advance the marketing discipline in the public and nonprofit sectors”.

The core competencies of CEPSM include:

  • Product, Program & Service Marketing
  • Digital Marketing & Social Media Engagement
  • Sponsorship & Partnership Development
  • Revenue Generation
  • Social Marketing (Attitude & Behaviour Change)
  • Branding Management & Strategy
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Strategic Communications
  • Service Excellence

After 11 years of working with hundreds of organizations in both the nonprofit and public sectors in Canada (and a few international clients), here is my take on the state of public sector and nonprofit marketing.

Generally speaking strategic marketing management, with a few exceptions, is not broadly recognized or practised in the government, nor in the non-profit sectors. In addition, many of the best practices in marketing have not been adopted by government and non-profit organizations.

The government sector, in particular, lacks the culture and organizational support to advance the practice of marketing. Government organizations lack a common understanding of strategic marketing principles, from the senior executive level down. This is evidenced in both the culture and the behaviour.  Specifically, they…

  • are more focused on tactics and implementation than on strategic marketing and planning;
  • do not have a proactive, systematic approach to identifying high value, client-centered ideas and turning these ideas into new products, programs and services;
  • do not tend to measure to improve results and ensure accountability of marketing expenditures;
  • do not support the marketing function both in terms of funding and culture; and
  • have difficulty attracting, training and retaining staff with marketing skills given the culture and lack of organizational support.

Here are some top observations on the State of Marketing in the nonprofit and public sectors:

  1. Marketing function tends to be housed in the Communication function and being run by people with very little background or experience in marketing.
  2. Very few organizations develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. We noted a few cases where organizations do have a separate marketing department with  marketing staff and no evidence of an overall marketing strategy.
  3. Lack of a structured process for identifying, planning and implementing programs, services or campaigns.
  4. Lack of attention to segmentation. Hard to believe that in 2016 we still hear the words “general public”.
  5. Lack of marketing research and failure to develop monitoring and evaluation strategies.
  6. Lack of attention to branding and positioning.
  7. Lack of attention to conducting competitive analysis, especially in organizations where they have major competitors.
  8. Do not take all the 4 p’s into consideration. Mostly focus on communications or promotion.
  9. Too bureaucratic and lack flexibility.
  10. Confusion between marketing and communications, and marketing roles & responsibilities unclear.
  11. Public sector & non-profit organizations with revenue generation mandates lack business and marketing/business expertise and culture.
  12. Lack of staff incentives for achieving marketing objectives.
  13. Tendency to be more reactive than proactive.

Not a pretty picture. I wish I could give better news but introducing a marketing function and culture into a government operation or a non-profit is a major challenge because of the nature of the beast. Marketing requires some risk-taking, moving quickly as opportunities arise, changing direction and most important a focus on clients rather than the organization.

This is not to say that there are not some pockets of great marketing in government and non-profit sectors but they are rare. I’ve blogged about successful marketing efforts in the past and I’ll continue to do so as I see them.


So where do we go from here?

As a starting point, there is a need to educate senior managers in government and non-profit organizations about the value and applicability of strategic marketing management principles. First, this requires recognition across all levels of government of the value of strategic marketing management both in terms of the potential impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of programs, services and outreach campaigns, as well as the benefit to citizens.

Within government organizations, there is wide recognition of the role and value of the communications function. There is an opportunity to broaden this function to include a broader strategic marketing mandate and to re-position it as a new, expanded role for the communications community. However, it is important that the function is led and staffed with people who have a marketing background.

As we move into the digital age, government and non-profit organizations need to examine the process by which they develop and manage client-centred products, programs and services. Marketing management systems and practices must be adopted from the planning level across. Furthermore, measurement systems must be put in place to track success against marketing objectives and make necessary adjustments to improve performance.


The Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM) offers public sector organizations an easy and affordable way to acquire expertise from marketing strategists to help develop a successful marketing strategy. The entire process can be completed in a very short time.

CEPSM’s 3-Step Marketing Consultation and Training Program
How does the 3-Step Marketing Consultation and Training Program work?

1. Orientation
First, we familiarize ourselves with your organization, overall goals, objectives, issues, target audience (s), marketing communications activities, existing marketing research and other information that helps us understand your organization and environment.

2.Training for Strategy Development
Once the initial orientation has been completed we will guide and facilitate your team through a two-day structured training and strategy development workshop using our exclusive CEPSM’s Marketing 101 for Marketers and Non-Marketers to develop an actionable integrated marketing strategy. The strategy will include: a situation analysis, goals and objectives, a strategic market segmentation plan, branding and positioning considerations, the 4 p`s (i.e. marketing mix), key messages, and a broad range of promotional tactics and a performance measurement approach to evaluate the strategy. At the end of the two days, you will have a draft marketing strategy framework.

3. Fine-tuning
At the end of the facilitated two-day session, CEPSM will work with your team on fine-tuning the plan with details such as specific timelines & costs as part of developing the final strategy and plan. In addition, we are available via e-mail/telephone or face-to-face meetings to discuss any questions that arise in the development of the final marketing strategy.
CEPSM also offers a coaching service which includes but is not limited to: additional training – coaching sessions to the management of a marketing program and function. This includes adhoc advice (oral or written) to support your organization in implementing the strategy plus trouble-shooting to ensure the success of the marketing strategy.

What are some other Marketing Consultation and Training Program services do we offer?

One-Day Marketing 101 for Marketers and Non-Marketers Workshop
This workshop provides participants with an overview of public sector & non-profit marketing and takes participants through an innovative session on best business practices on developing marketing strategies in a public sector environment. The workshop will also highlight the importance of market research to support a decision-making framework. The workshop combines a mix of interactive presentations, with group discussions and exercises that will enhance the participant’s skills. The resource for this workshop is CEPSM’s Marketing 101 for Marketers and Non-Marketers Workbook.

The workshop explores the strategic elements of a marketing plan and how to transform organizations from using the traditional communications approach to an integrated, strategic marketing approach. We also explore the most effective methods for acquiring and using marketing intelligence.

The workshop will give participants an overview of marketing best practices and approaches, the benefits of coordinated branding and positioning into the integrated marketing communications process, the benefits of a collaborative strategy and how to optimise shared assets.
The result of these sessions will be to establish a structured process and template for participants to develop a strategic marketing plan for their programs, products and services

  • What participants will learn?
  • An overview of marketing in a public-sector or non-profit environment;
  • Systematic processes and strategic elements for developing and action-oriented strategic marketing plan;
  • How to set realistic, practical marketing objectives and goals;
  • How to develop a “client-based” mindset in a public-sector and non-profit organization;
  • How to use market research to support a decision-making framework;
  • How to develop a system to measure progress, monitor performance and evaluate marketing efforts
  • How to improve the execution of marketing communications strategies

Full service consulting to develop a comprehensive marketing plan

Using a collaborative, step-by-step consulting approach, we work with our clients to develop action-oriented strategic marketing plans that can be implemented within the unique constraints of a public-sector environment. We have worked with countless organizations, large and small, across Canada to create both customized, high-level marketing plans and comprehensive strategic marketing solutions.

For a full list of CEPSM’s Training and Consulting Programs and Services check-out our web site

For more information, contact:
Jim Mintz, Managing Partner and Senior Consultant
Office: 343-291-1137 E-mail:

Jim Mintz is a Managing Partner of the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM) where he presently works with several public sector and nonprofit clients.

For copy of full report and study contact



Difference between Canadians and Americans


For many years, I taught marketing courses at both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. I encouraged my students, particularly foreign students to better understand the not so subtle differences between Canada and the USA and to be able to use those insights in their marketing efforts.

Since that time, I have had the opportunity to work with clients in the public sector and non-profit field trying to make inroads into the USA. So, for those marketers who are marketing to USA and vice versa this is for you.

One of the books I used in my class when I was teaching marketing was Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values by Michael Adams. The book was written in 2003 but is still somewhat relevant today although there have been many changes in both countries in the past 13 years.

Michael Adams offered a surprising argument that the values of Canadians and Americans were diverging in important ways. Despite the two countries’ profound economic integration, (and the fact that 90% of Canada’s residents live within 100 miles of the US border) their many historical, demographic, and geographic similarities, and the ubiquity of American popular culture in Canada, Adams argued that Canadians and Americans increasingly view the world differently.
Relying on thousands of social values surveys conducted in Canada and in the United States, Adams describes cross-border differences on matters ranging from religion, authority, and the family to entertainment, consumption, and civic life. Fire and Ice offered an illuminating portrait of the evolving values of two nations separated at birth.

Adams was particularly interested in finding out why an initially “conservative” society like Canada has ended up producing an autonomous, inner-directed, flexible, tolerant, socially liberal, and spiritually eclectic people while an intentionally “liberal” society like the United States has ended up producing a people who are, relatively speaking, materialistic, outer-directed, somewhat intolerant, socially conservative, and deferential to traditional institutional authority.

He asked “why do these two societies seem to prove the law of unintended consequences?” Americans may speak the same language as Canadians ( although Canada was founded on 2 official languages English and French), and both watch much the same TV, the same movies, and read many of the same books – there are Canadians appearing in those TV programs and in those movies, and even ghost-writing for the President (e.g. Conservative writer David Frum, son of one the best-known broadcasters in Canada- the late Barbara Frum) — but make no mistake, Americans are not the same as Canadians.

If Adams were writing the book today he would be somewhat astonished by the recent American election, Canadians are somewhat puzzled and shocked that the USA could elect someone like Donald Trump.

Now Canada and the world awaits the 45th President of the United States with curiosity and incredulity. He and his associates have reiterated plans to re-write or cancel trade agreements, deport illegal undocumented aliens, withdraw from international agreements on climate change and nuclear arms, rethink NATO and recast relations with Russia. (My Mom who was a Russian immigrant to Canada once told me that the Russians are a great people but you cannot trust their politicians).

So, what is the difference between the 2 countries today? According to Canadian, Andrew Cohen, a journalist and author, and a Fulbright Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C. Canada does not produce out spoken billionaires (yes there is Conrad Black but he is no longer a Canadian). Ours, like the Thomsons, McCains and Irvings, live modest lives. They don’t go into politics and they don’t trade in innuendo and conspiracy. Our prime ministers tend to be humble and deferential.

Trump represents a sense of the world utterly different from Canada.
He wants to close the US borders to Muslims, build a wall (or is it now a fence?) facing Mexico, refuse all Syrian refugees. Canada has taken 33,000 Syrians and may bring in more. Canada embraces open immigration, and are considering admitting more than 300,000 newcomers a year (its population is a tenth of the size of the US). Canada is the only Western democracy without an anti-immigration party.

Trump wants to repeal – perhaps amend – Obamacare. Canada have had a universal single payer healthcare system for 50 years. Canadians believe in government, with some role in the economy, and defender of national culture. Trump sees government harshly. He picks up from Ronald Regan who stated that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Trump opposes free trade. Canadians depend on it, which is why Canada has NAFTA, negotiated the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, and endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trump slags the United Nations and criticizes NATO. Multilateralism is the foundation of Canadian internationalism, long a counterweight to the influence of the United States.

Trump opposes climate change. Canadians, in general, are keen to act on climate change starting with a carbon tax. Trump is against abortion and for the death penalty. Canadians allow abortion and abolished capital punishment in 1976. Trump tends to degrade women. Canada has a cabinet of gender equity. Trump is protectionist, nativist and isolationist, an America Firster. Canadians are open to free trade, immigration, peacekeeping and an integrated world. Canada’s youthful prime minister has sunny ways; Trump has Sunni ways.

Recently, the Gallup organization in the US updated a series of questions they have asked over the years about what behaviours or choices Americans consider to be moral or immoral. Bruce Anderson & David Coletto of Abacus Research decided to mirror the questions in their July 2016 survey of Canadians.

Here’s what they found:

• The vast majority in Canada (95%) and the US (89%) consider birth control morally acceptable. But Canadians are 22 points more likely to say it is moral to have a baby out of wedlock, (84%-62%). And 26 points more likely to say abortion is morally acceptable (69%-43%).

• Canadians are 21 points more likely to say gay or lesbian relations are moral (81% vs 60%), 19 points more likely to say that sex between unmarried people is moral (86% vs 67%) and 14 points more likely to say divorce is moral (86%-72%).

• Canadians are far more likely to feel that doctor assisted dying is morally acceptable (79%-53%).

• Canadians are 15 points more likely to think pornography is morally acceptable than Americans (49% in Canada, 34% in the US).

• Americans are more comfortable with the idea of medical testing on animals and wearing clothing made of animal fur, by 14 points.

•Very few in either country believe it would be moral to clone a human (14% in Canada, 13% in the US).

• Interestingly, there is almost no difference when it comes to the death penalty, with majorities in both countries (58% in Canada, 59% in the US) considering it morally right.

Americans are also more open to the idea of cloning animals, but most people in both countries feel this is immoral.

Yes, Canadians love Hockey which is its national sport, Many Canadians also like football, basketball and baseball. My Americans friends are absolutely floored when I tell them that both American Football and Basketball were invented by Canadians. And recently it was discovered that Baseball was a British invention. Soccer is starting to become popular in both countries especially with the influx of immigrants who come from countries where soccer (known as football) is very popular.
Oh, one more thing, Canadians are totally baffled with regards to the American love affair with guns. It seems that almost every week there is some type of mass killing.

But the biggie is the NRA, how does a country allow itself to be controlled by an association of gun owners. Extraordinary!

Here are some quotes regarding Canada and the USA:

A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe without tipping it. – Pierre Berton

Canada is the essence of not being. Not English, not American, it is the mathematic of not being. And a subtle flavour – we’re more like celery as a flavour – Mike Meyers

For some reason a glaze passes over people’s faces when you say “Canada”. Maybe we should invade South Dakota or something. – Sandra Gotlieb, wife of Canadian ambassador to US

Americans arrive at the Canadian border with skis in July- Canadian Border Guard

I’ve been to Canada, and I’ve always gotten the impression that I could take the country over in about two days. – Jon Stewart

When I was crossing the border into Canada, they asked if I had any firearms with me. I said, “Well, what do you need?” – Steven Wright

I saw a notice that said “Drink Canada Dry” and I’ve just started – Brendan Behan

Americans like to make money: Canadians like to audit it. I know no country where accountants have a higher social and moral status. – Northrop Frye

The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation – Pierre Trudeau former Prime Minister of Canada

We’ll explain the appeal of curling to you if you explain the appeal of the National Rifle Association to us. – Andy Barrie

Canada could have enjoyed: English government, French culture, and American know-how. Instead it ended up with: English know-how, French government, and American culture. – John Robert Colombo

A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care. – John Wing

I believe the world needs more Canada – Bono

Canadians are more polite when they are being rude than Americans are when they are being friendly. – Edgar Friedenberg