Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Month: August, 2014

Relevance of Marketing to Government and Social Service Agencies

Dr. Brian Monger

Growth of Agency Interest in Marketing

Although marketing is appropriate for all government and social service agencies, it becomes increasingly important as more of an agency’s financial costs are shifted directly onto clients and personnel start to recognise that clients have gained control of at least some of the resources that the agency needs to survive. Reduced tax support, increased reliance on revenues derived from direct user pricing, and increased critical scrutiny by citizens causes many agencies to conclude that they have real problems and need to improve their marketing.

 

Their traditional ways of operating were no longer receiving the necessary level of support from appointed or elected officials, or from citizen taxpayers. It became clear that agencies and professional helpers who could not attract satisfied users or clients were unlikely to survive. This feeling of crisis provoked agency personnel to explore marketing concepts and techniques and to accept them as a promising framework for planning and implementing service delivery.

 

Crises force reappraisal of existing operating methods and persuade managers that existing methods/formulas for success are often neither effective nor efficient in meeting the needs and wants of today’s clientele. This has been an effective stimulus for action and change. It has forced many agencies to examine the opportunities offered by marketing concepts and techniques.

 

Now that agencies are experimenting with broader Modern Marketing (not just Promotion/Marketing Communication), the remaining challenge, can be expressed as follows:

 

To further increase acceptance of marketing tools and concepts among public sector managers will require better understanding of modern marketing and the marketing of marketing itself (internal). The task is two-fold. First, it must be demonstrated that marketing is applicable to their organisation/agency second to specific situations. Third, government/public sector managers (like their business counterparts) must be educated to recognise the scope and complexity of Modern (market focus) Marketing

 

Marketing does not require government and social sector agencies to implement a series of highly sophisticated new activities or assign substantial new responsibilities. Indeed, it can be argued that agency personnel are already marketers because they already perform some tactical marketing activities. For this reason, the appropriate question is not whether an organisation should practice marketing or not, but rather whether it will practice it well or poorly.

 

A commitment to marketing offers public sector agencies three major benefits.

 

First, because marketing is a systematic process and offers a framework for decision making, relationships between actions previously regarded as independent are likely to become more apparent. Marketing activities are coordinated to achieve goals and objectives that otherwise might not be attained if they were pursued in an uncoordinated fashion. If, for example, a marketing problem or opportunity is seen only in information terms, or program terms, or distribution terms, it is unlikely to be optimally resolved.

 

Optimal marketing decisions require that all marketing activities and their interactions be reviewed simultaneously and integrated action taken.

 

The second major benefit is that some of the concepts and techniques used by marketers in their decision processes are often unfamiliar to public sector managers because they have not been exposed to these tools in their formal training. Familiarity with these marketing tools is likely to lead to improvements in decision making.

 

Finally, a commitment to marketing is likely to result in more popular and legislative support. To the extent that marketing improves the satisfaction levels of client groups, an agency is likely to receive improved support for its activities from legislators.

 

Interested in this topic? See also my previous article on Government Branding http://wp.me/p2uuvW-6W

And check out the Government Marketing Seminarhttp://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/Events-F019GovMarketing.htm

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on https://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Manangement/Project Manangement – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103

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Brand Development for Government Departments

Brand Development (is Harder) for Government Departments

Dr Brian Monger

Can a Government Department Successfully Develop a Brand Over Time When The Politicians in Charge Want to Make (Short-Term) Changes?

Brand is as important for government departments as it is for any commercial organisation that wants to achieve good results from its activities.

Certainly the basic strategy of developing a successful brand remain the same:

  1. Understanding the target market
  2. Developing Goals and Objectives that are in line with the target market
  3. Positioning the Brand
  4. Credibility
  5. And (importantly) a Long Term Sustainable Position (Consistency)

However, given the regular short term objectives of many politicians in charge of departments is very often to make themselves look good (for re-election) this can make items 2-5 rather hard – especially 3., 4., and five.

Political Myopia

In this context, myopia means narrow, short-term thinking. Such a mind-set can threaten a Department’s activities.

How can a department effectively market unless they have established an effective Brand? How can they develop a Brand over a period of time (it doesn’t happen immediately) when the Government and Departmental ministers do not understand the Brand and its benefits? And even if they do, it is not their own priority?

 

Many people (including politicians) believe their Department does not have a brand. Nothing could be further from the truth. A more accurate assessment would be that their departments have failed to develop and manage their brand. If it is not managed, client/constituent experiences occur by chance or randomly rather than through a tightly integrated, promise-driven, and planned approach, a brand exists, but it suffers from neglect.

 

The development of successful branding, as applied to Government Departments, is usually different from branding in the commercial sector, because there is potential conflict between the Politicians (and especially their political advisors) and the folk trying to develop the marketing mix and the brand.

 

Political forces have a much greater impact on public sector organisations than on private organisations. Popular elections, political appointments, and the political agendas of elected officials tend to have a destabilising effect on government departments because political consensus and program and resource priorities can be changed frequently. This adversely affects the implementation of marketing activities such as mission and objective specification, long range planning, budgeting, pricing, program prioritising, and general operating procedures. Private organisations are not nearly as impacted by the destabilising events that regularly occur in the government arena because, in the private sector, professional managers control resource allocations and tend to be guided by consistent long-term objectives.

 

Most notably, branding in government departments (GD) is about who they are, what they stand for and represent to their market and is not limited to what any particular Product, except in a very broad sense. A government department brand is often equated to their reputation. Think of a GD brand as being synonymous with the institution’s personality— congruent with its mission, defined by its values.

 

Benefits of Branding

A strong Brand offers many advantages including:

  • Enhances Recognition and Trust
  • Helps Build Brand Loyalty
  • Helps With Product Positioning
  • Aids in Introduction of New Projects/Programs/Products

 

The values-centric approach inherent in developing a Brand provides a Department with an anchor to guide long term (sustainable) strategy responses to constituent needs and expectations. The brand is defined by where the organisation’s values and the constituents’ expectations intersect. The brand becomes the filter through which everything is vetted (e.g., strategic directions, resource allocations, hiring decisions, marketing communications and program/Product development). It serves as a lens to strategically focus the institution in the midst of fluid internal and external pressures as well as opportunities.

 

Perhaps the most significant benefit of Brand in for departments is the focus it will bring to the organisation, resulting in a more effective (performing) organisation.

 

For example, The Australian Tax Office. OK very few people “like” the tax man, but (as I suggested to them some years ago when consulting) if more folk appreciate what the ATO does for the nation and is more generally seen as often being helpful and reasonable, then they are likely to find it easier to do their job and will likely bring in more money. Tax payers are less likely to be resentful and cheat less.

 

Another example would be many GD’s who need to get their target market to trust them in order that they can more effectively deliver their services.

 

Interested in this topic? Check out the The Australian Government:
Community and Marketing 2014

http://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/Events-F019GovMarketing.htm

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on https://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Manangement/Project Manangement – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103

Perceptual Fallacies

Understanding Perception in Buyer and Consumer Behaviour is Very Important

Our normal perceptions do not correspond directly to reality. The things that we percieve (see, hear, smell etc.) are not entirely determined by what our senses detect. Our perceptions are also determined by what we expect, what we know, what we believe.

  • Our perceptions are not photographs, they are constructions – something that our minds manufacture.
  • What we perceive is partially determined by what we know or believe.
  • Constructive perception has survival value – it helps us make sense of the world
  • Seeing is not necessarily believing. Here’s why:

Perceptual Constancies

Our tendency to have perceptual experiences in the absence of stimuli

  • Colour constancy
    • We often perceive an object to be a color because we expect it to be a certain colour.
    • We also perceive colour sometimes when it is physically impossible.  The vision cells in the center of the retina are the only ones that can see colour. Therefore, we should only see colour in the center of our visual field. Objects in our peripheral vision should not appear in colour. But we see colour through the field. Why? Colour constancy!
  • Size constancy – learned perception (does a truck driving in the distance get smaller?)
    • You percieve the size of familiar objects (like a truck) to be the same size no matter how far away they are because you know that distance doesn’t change the size of an object. However, the size of the image on your retina shrinks as an object moves away from you.

Expectation – We perceive what we expect to perceive

  • Flashing light experiment- subjects were told to walk down a hall and stop walking when they saw a light flash. Many subjects stopped walking despite the fact that no flash was given. They simply expected a flash and believed they saw one. Similar experiments have shown subjects who could feel warmth, smell an odor, or feel an electric shock because they expected to.
  • We have all experienced such hallucinations. Have you ever seen the hands on a clock move only to find out that the clock didn’t run? Have you ever heard the phone ring when you were in the shower, but later found it had not rung at all?
  • What other experiences have you had that may have been due to expectation?

Looking for Clarity in Vagueness

When our senses are confronted with a formless stimulus, we often perceive something distinct. We look at clouds, smoke, fuzzy paintings and see shapes that are familiar. This illusion is called pareidolia. Many cases of pareidolia are common:

  • Man in the Moon – a cultural example
    • Samoans see a woman weaving
    • Chinese see a monkey pounding rice
  • Messages in rock music played backwards
  • Man in the shadows – Do you ever feel as though someone is following you?
  • UFOs – we try to make something familiar out of a vague object.

Memory

Our memories are consturctive, not literal

Imagine a scene…How do you look at it? Recall a scene – do you look at it through your own eyes?

Selective memory – Dreams, we have over 250 a night but only remember a few of them.

Judging

We can lead ourselves to believe that something is paranormal or supernatural when it actually isn’t.

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on https://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Manangement/Project Manangement – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103

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