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


Why Public and Not-for-Profit Marketers and Communicators should be attending MARCOM 2010

June 9-10-11 is very special here in Canada’s National Capital. The premiere educational forum for not-for-profit marketers and communicators takes place at the Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec.

MARCOM understands the daily reality in public and non profit sector 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 for those of us who work in this area to enhance our marketing knowledge and keep up to date on the latest trends. It is also an opportunity to network with those in the field and pick up practical tools and tips especially in the area of social marketing and digital marketing /web 2.0  .

This is the 12th year of the event and this year’s program is outstanding. This year’s theme: Marketing with Authenticity reflects on  how we breathe life into our causes, our campaigns, our livelihoods. When you’re authentic, you’re connecting in a deeper way – being truly heard, believed, remembered and trusted. People deal with people they like. People deal with people they believe. People want to deal with real people.

MARCOM offers inspiring keynotes, 15 concurrent sessions, Peer2Peer Round-tables and a Networking Reception. There are also 3 pre-forum Workshops and as always, there’s an Exhibit Showcase of marketing vendors who can elaborate on how their solutions can help you in your initiatives. This is an event not to be missed.

Who comes to MARCOM? Managers and service delivery professionals from functional areas such as:

  • marketing communications,
  • online marketing and web management
  • social media and web 2.0
  • branding
  • strategic communications
  • community outreach,
  • program management,
  • exhibit management,
  • partnership development,
  • fund development,
  • client services and
  • social marketing.


Mitch Joel: President, Twist Image

He is a marketing and communications visionary, interactive expert, community leader, Blogger and Podcaster. In 2008, Mitch Joel was named Canada’s Most Influential Male in Social Media. Mitch joins MARCOM to deliver the Opening Keynote on June 10th. Mitch’s keynote a few years ago at MARCOM was one of the most inspiring presentations I had ever seen. Frankly his keynote alone is worth the price of admission.

Terry O”Reilly: Age of Persuasion Host CBC Radio.

O’Reilly looks at what animates creativity and how the art of persuasion informs our culture. He delights both general audiences and advertising veterans, pointing to trends and dispatching timeless lessons. O’Reilly is an ad man in love with the promise of advertising but not blind to its shortcomings. Attendees of MARCOM 2010 will hear Terry deliver a keynote on June 11th.

Every Saturday I make it a priority to listen to Terry on CBC’s The Age of Persuasion   http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion/ and Terry never disappoints. He produces a high quality show which if listened to every week is like a course in marketing communications. I have always encouraged my university students who take my Marketing Communications course to listen to his broadcast.

I will be personally involved in the following sessions at MARCOM:

June 9, 2010 – Workshop

09:00 – 16:30 Social Marketing Planning – Implementing an Effective Campaign

Jim Mintz | Director, Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing

One of the biggest challenges in Social Marketing Planning is the Implementation stage. Many organizations develop great plans, but poor execution leaves them wondering why they didn’t achieve the desired results. In previous editions of MARCOM, Jim Mintz has taken participants through a proven process for developing their social marketing strategy and plan. At MARCOM 2010, you will learn how to transform Strategies into Action! Jim will briefly review the social marketing plan process and then move into detailed discussions surrounding how to successfully implement your strategy. In this tough economy it’s important to ensure maximum impact for marketing dollars; especially when you are moving from planning into implementation where the majority of your budget will be allocated.

You will learn 7 key areas for social marketing plan implementation:

  1. What questions to ask when working with marketing and communications suppliers;
  2. How to develop a creative brief to ensure your communications agencies remain on strategy;
  3. The Do’s and Don’ts for smooth supplier relationships;
  4. Innovative ideas to fully leverage a limited budget;
  5. How to present and “sell” your social marketing strategy to management;
  6. How to approach and capitalize on strategic alliances;
  7. How to evaluate your campaign progress and success.

Take the next step: Join me and move your plan into action!

June 10, 2010

08:30 – 09:45 Session 1: “Leading the Charge” Panel: Learning from Marketing-Driven Organizations in Government

Facilitator: Jim Mintz | Director, Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing
Karen Dufton | Senior Director General, Service Canada, Head, Marketing and Communications
Greg MacDougall | Director, Communications, CATSA
Lisa Allaire | Director General, Production and Advertising Services, Department of National Defence

What is a marketing-driven organization? What are some of the challenges faced in transforming a bureaucratic culture into a customer-centric organization? How do you get buy-in across the organization? These are some of the questions that will be answered by our panel of public sector marketing leaders who will share their experience and expertise on how they are creating a dynamic marketing culture in their organizations and what you can do to advance marketing as a powerful business transformation tool.

Register Today!

Hope to see you there.

Note the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing is a strong supporter of MARCOM 2010

Come visit us at our Booth.


Atlantic Canada Marketing AND Communications Professional Development Program

Atlantic Banner

Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 22-31, 2010

The Centre for Excellence in Communications (CEC) and The Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM), Ottawa, in association with Catapult Media, Halifax, are offering a series of professional development workshops for the Atlantic Canada public and not-for-profit sectors in the context of the

Atlantic Canada Marketing and Communications Professional Development Program, Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 22-31, 2010.


The Atlantic Canada Marketing and Communications Professional Development Program is an opportunity for communications and marketing professionals, executives and managers to enjoy focused and tested professional development and training. The eight courses available have been successfully delivered to thousands of public, not-for-profit sector and other participants. They provide learning that is conceptually rigorous and practical, and that can be applied immediately. And course content is specifically relevant to the challenges faced by Atlantic Canada marketers, communicators and anyone working in related areas.

The Atlantic Canada Marketing and Communications Professional Development Program:

  • Provides learning for individual career development and for building organizations’ leadership capacity;
  • Offers tools, techniques and strategies to enable managers and their marketing and communications professionals to better serve the needs of their internal and external partners and effectively reach key audiences and markets;
  • Helps strengthen organizations’ communications and marketing capabilities;
  • Offers access to professional development opportunities while saving costs and time and maximizing training budgets;
  • Provides excellent networking opportunities and the chance to see what others in the same professional areas are doing.

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (Click on each workshop for description)



Strategic Communications
Workshop Date
Strategic Communications Planning: Critical Steps and Techniques
March 22, 2010
Measuring Communications Performance and Success through a Performance Measurement Framework and Strategy
March 23, 2010
Fundamentals of Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing
March 24, 2010
Social Marketing Strategies for the Public and Non-Profit Sectors
March 25, 2010
Partnership Marketing and Corporate Engagement Techniques
March 26, 2010
Strategies for Social Media: Developing a Social Media Marketing Plan
March 29, 2010
Effective Messaging: Strategies and Techniques
March 3, 2010
Competencies for Communications Professionals
March 30, 2010
Partnering with the Federal Government: The Communications Dimension
March 31, 2010


1-Day Workshops $675*
20% Group Rate Discount for 3+ Individuals from the Same Unit*

For each workshop, groups of 3 or more will receive a 20% discount of the regular workshop fee for all but the first registrant. Registrations need to be coordinated centrally by the relevant unit, with one registration list for each workshop.

We will issue one invoice for each workshop, based on the number of participants registered. Subsequent additions to the registration list will be included in the group discount rate, with separate invoices issued.

*NOTE: Organizational unit is defined as a Branch, Bureau, Division or Sector.

Regular Workshop Fee $675.00*
Group Rates
1st registrant $675.00*
2nd, 3rd, 4th registrants $540.00* each
Saving for 3 registrants -$270.00*
Saving for 4 registrants -$405.00*

Past Participant Discount

Any workshop registrant who previously participated in a CEC open workshop or registers for more than one workshop will automatically receive a 10% discount for each workshop beyond their initial registration.

In-House Workshops for up to 20 Participants from One Organizational Unit

Well suited for organizations with potential groups of communications, policy or program staff working on the same issues and programs.

Workshop duration 1/2 day 1 day 2 days
In-House session (Off-the-shelf) $3,000.00* $5,500.00* $8,750.00*
Customization cost $1,250.00/day*

* Prices do not include HST