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What is Marketing?

March 2008

Marketing Defined
There are a host of definitions for marketing. Here are
two of the most widely accepted.
Marketing is…
The process of planning and executing the
conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of
ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that
satisfy individual and organizational objectives.
- American Marketing Association Definition

Marketing Defined
Marketing is…
The process of planning and executing the
conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of
ideas, goods, services, organizations, and events
to create and maintain relationships that will
satisfy individual and organizational objectives."
-Contemporary Marketing Wired (1998) by
Boone and Kurtz

Marketing is….
A big umbrella! It may or may not include:
• Analysis of programs, materials, customers
and the company itself
• Media relations, public affairs, advertising
• Stakeholder and funder relations
• Strategically organizing all of the above, and
more, to create a cohesive, sustainable,
effective route to success for Extension and its

The “4 Ps” of Marketing
• Program
Goods or services (programs) and their benefits
• Price
Cost for goods or services, e.g. money, time, travel
• Place
Location (place, Web), also time of day/week/year
• Promotion
Activities designed to publicize programs/services
Know the 4Ps for every program or service you offer!

What We Have Done:
Environmental Analysis
Environmental Scan
All 101 county centers collected data about state
needs through public surveys, meetings and
interviews. The data were combined and analyzed
for common items and emerging trends. The findings
were used to determine which programs would
continue, be phased out or added, based on
changing state needs.

Environmental Analysis > Response

Updated Goals
Sustainable, Profitable and Safe Plant,
Animal and Food Systems
Environmental Stewardship and Natural
Resources Management
Energy Conservation and Alternatives
Emergency and Disaster Preparedness

Environmental Analysis > Response
Updated Goals
• Workforce and Economic Development
• Community, Leader and Volunteer

Environmental Analysis > Response
Updated Goals
• Healthy Weight and Chronic Disease
• Life Skills and Parenting
• Youth and Adults Achieve Educational

What We Have Done:
Retail Customer Survey
• Capture data on name recognition,
Extension topic interest, preferences for
communication, time and location, and
demographic information.
• Data pinpoint popular topics, target
audiences and methods used to reach

Retail Customer Survey > Findings
• High interest in Extension topics
• Lower retail name recognition than
• Preference for direct mail, TV, Web and
newspaper sources
• High growth potential in urban areas,
with Hispanic audiences and for
environmental topics

What We Have Done:
Organizational Data Analysis
• ERS reporting software gathers quantitative
and qualitative performance data.
• Program delivery and impacts data measure
program efficiency and effectiveness.
• Program location data helps inform training
and financial decisions for maximum

Where Do We Go From Here?
Know the Extension Mission and Slogan!
North Carolina Cooperative Extension partners
with communities to deliver education and
technology that enrich the lives, land and
economy of North Carolina.
Empowering People  Providing Solutions

Where Do We Go From Here?
Know Your Customers!
Retail – People seek informal education or
technical assistance to better themselves,
their families and their environment
Businesses – Private or public organizations
seek education or technical assistance for
themselves or their employees
Stakeholders – Federal, state, county,
municipal, corporate and private funders,
supporters and advocates

Where Do We Go From Here?
Know Your Organization!
State benefits your competitors can’t claim.
• Lack of profit motive makes us affordable
• Unbiased, third-party research makes us
• 101 locations are accessible, locally relevant
• 93-year history shows commitment, long-term
• High-touch, personal service

Where Do We Go From Here?

Know Your Competition!
Some competitors represent partnership
opportunities; others do not.
All summer camps want campers. 4-H may
steer overflow to other camps or vice versa
Jenny Craig and others use our research, but
do not refer clients for weight loss
Large commodity growers use our research,
but may send in-house advisors to growers
and producers

Where Do We Go From Here?
Promote between programs!
• Our lives, our land and our economy are

Where Do We Go From Here?
Promote between programs and counties!
• “If you like this program, you’re bound to love
that program, too!”
• Many residents live, work and travel across
counties. Know and promote border county
• Residents talk to others. Customers often
assume programs are similar between

Where Do We Go From Here?
Offer Superb Customer Service
• Public or private, only organizations that
successfully and consistently deliver the
products and services they offer, time after
time, will thrive.
• Tell customers what they will get, deliver it as
promised and thank them for their business.
Remember, we have three types of customers.

Where Do We Go From Here?
Sell What Makes Extension Different!
Tell old and new clients that Extension offers:
• research-based education and practical
solutions to complex problems,
• for free or at an affordable cost,
• in their own community.
We are unique and good at what we do.
Customers like winners; sell our strengths!

Action Steps
• Check out the marketing resources at

for ideas, guidance and other tools.
• Learn more about who is interested in your topic.
Read the survey profiles in the Toolkit.
• Learn the revised mission, new goals and
elevator pitches.
• Read the revised Style Manual.

Marketing Summary
Marketing encompasses everything from
statistical analysis of your customers and
programs to how you answer the phone and
talk about your programs.
Marketing helps your customers find what you
have to offer. Because Extension exists to
serve the people of North Carolina, marketing
it part of how we meet our mission. It’s
everyone’s job!