Over the last few years, public services have been increasingly moving towards being ‘citizen-driven’ rather than ‘expert-driven’, which coincides with the current Government’s vision of a ‘Big Society’. However, in light of the proposals contained within the recent Comprehensive Spending Review, which are already having a significant impact on budgets across public sector organisations, it is imperative, more so than ever, to generate maximum value for money from every pound spent.
Social marketing offers an approach that embraces the reality of people’s needs, markets, choice and mutual responsibility, and can help change the orientation of organisations towards one that is truly citizen-focused and away from being led by process/operations. Effective and strategic application of social marketing can also help organisations increase efficiency and allocate resources more effectively, thereby saving costs.
Private sector organisations have long since recognised the importance of understanding and engaging customers to drive growth, innovation and efficiency. Marketing is often a core, integrated function in successful companies, where a customer-centric approach is applied across different functions and the business aligned to better meet customer needs. Within major third sector organisations, marketing is often a well-developed and valued function.
Working with our research partner PricewaterhouseCoopers, The NSMC is leading a study to gain insights and learning on effective marketing techniques and structures from leading private and third sector organisations and explore their applicability in the public sector. This study has involved in-depth interviews with a cross-section of management and marketing leaders from private and third sector organisations, with insights ‘road-tested’ with a number of public sector organisations.
Findings will be presented in a final report, available from April 2011. It is intended to inform management decision-making and to stimulate new thinking around how best to organise, deploy and manage marketing staff and resources, so that public services, programmes and strategies are truly consumer oriented, fit-for-purpose and cost effective.