The Public Face of Marketing

By Latham, Valerie | Marketing, November 28, 1991 | Go to article overview

The Public Face of Marketing


Latham, Valerie, Marketing


In January next year a new committee is born. Twenty marketers meet to discuss public sector marketing skills under the banner of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

No danger of hyperventilating with excitement about that, you may think, but there is a mounting buzz in the world of local authorities -- a positive sense of excitement about marketing for the public sector. At a time when most parts of the private sector are cutting back, public sector marketing is a growth industry. Not just in terms of size but in sophistication too. Skills developed in the private sector to meet the profit motive are being transferred to the public sector for non-profit services.

One local council to take marketing by the throat is Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council. Last year it set up a marketing department as an in-house agency, with 11 staff, including three marketing managers. Head of marketing David McElhinney, says his team markets Knowsley's "product mix" -- 30 product categories from a plant nursery to refuse collection and a legal department -- using the same techniques as private sector marketers. Research, graphic design, mailshots and advertising are all done in-house on a 5m pounds marketing budget.

As you might expect, there is the odd gripe from other departments about marketing spend. But, says McElhinney, there's less complaining at Knowsley than he experienced in the private sector. Increasingly the complainers are reaping the benefits.

Classic retail marketing skills helped launch Knowsley's new leisure centre, for example. McElhinney drew on and adapted skills he learned as a store manager and later marketing manager at Littlewoods. It starts with research. He has developed a customer profile identification where local residents are mailed and then asked to complete an indepth questionnaire about the new centre. Raising awareness among consumers is top priority.

Trafford Metropolitan Greater Council too claims marketing sills are helping it to serve its 215,000 residents more effectively. "The sleepy old council idea is quickly vanishing," says marketing manager, Ian Ratcliffe. "Marketing strategy is essential to help us survive in this more demanding climate, since it is all about setting priorities and avoiding being a victim by failing to give the public what they want."

Providing residents with what they want -- a full range of leisure, education, recreation, economic and social services -- and making them aware that their local authority does that efficiently and quickly, is the goal of marketing. McElhinney believes that "people expect you to speak on their behalf and sometimes act as their voice of protest," particularly when there may be a threat such as plans to build a new motorway in the borough. It's often a case of no news being good news: "When people don't complain, we know that we're doing well."

Brent conducted borough-wide market research on library usage which has led to a closer understanding of the nature of its customers and their experience. As a result, Brent has reincorporated its library service within a marketing framwork, so that the residents actually receive the services they want.

Trafford wanted similar gains from its in-depth market research to investigate the views of both its residents and those in over 400 local authorities towards environmental issues last August. It found that 83% of Trafford's residents wanted the council to establish a formal policy explaining its position and aims on Green issues. As a result of its findings, Trafford is to introduce an environmental audit by its environment and leisure department and a range of other initiatives on recycling and pollution. Only a few years ago, such activities would have received little attention, or none at all.

Of course, it doesn't always work out that way. Some councils have to concentrate the marketing resources they have on highly specific activities.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Public Face of Marketing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.