P1: Describe How Marketing Techniques Are Used to Market Products in Two Organisations

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Knowledge Solutions

January 2010 | 72

Marketing in the Public Sector
By Olivier Serrat
Marketing in the public sector may be the final frontier. Agencies operating in the public domain can use a custom blend of the four Ps—product (or service), place, price, and promotion—as well as other marketing techniques to transform their communications with stakeholders, improve their performance, and demonstrate a positive return on the resources they are endowed with.
The public sector is the part of economic life, not in private ownership, that deals with the production, delivery, and allocation of basic public goods and services at global,1 regional, national,2 or local levels. (Its processes and structures can take the form of direct
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(Canada, New Zealand, and others soon followed.) Founded on a client-centric philosophy, reforms in government structures, civil service, and public finances have aimed to help public services become more flexible and cater better to individual needs. In particular, this shift toward a delivery-based philosophy has encouraged (i) changes that move the civil service from being a body giving policy advice to one that assures the availability of quality public goods and services; (ii) the discovery of new avenues to finance public sector activities and their servicing; and (iii) greater reliance on the private and not-for-profit sectors, away from a monopoly state provision model to that of a public service economy.7 Increasingly, the lines between private sector and public sector models, depicted one-dimensionally in Table 1, are blurring; managers should not regard the private–public context as a dichotomy but rather as a continuum from “pure private” to “pure public.” At one end of the continuum, one might find transactional marketing, rooted in classical economics, and dealing with one transaction at a time. At the other would be relationship marketing, focused on building relationships. At the core of such relationship building would be trust. Table 1: Private and Public Sector Models
• • • • • • • • Private Sector Model Individual choice in the market Demand and price Closure for private action The equity of the market The search for market satisfaction
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