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Jaké reformy a proč (80) - Marketing reforem

Jaké reformy a proč (80) - Marketing reforem

26. duben 2014 | 08.00 |


Začínám připravovat 17. ročník konference Lidský kapitál a investice do vzdělání, které se zúčastní i studenti naší univerzity, případně i dalších. Součástí konference bude výměna názorů na otázky související s problémy zrodu ekonomiky založené na produktivních službách, tj. službách spojených s nabýváním, uchováním a uplatněním lidského kapitálu. Uveřejňuji druhý podkladový materiál. Je rovněž od studenta magisterského studia.

Za pozitiva materiálu považuji jednak to, že je zpracován v angličtině, jednak to, že se snaží nastolit a řešit otázku možnosti využití nástrojů při "prokomunikování" reforem s veřejností.

Jako další krok rozpracování tématu bych doporučil retrospektivní analýzu poměrně zajímavého a kontroverzního pokusu o využití markentingových nástrojů při podpoře pokusu o reformu penzijního systému spojenou se zavedením tzv. 2. pilíře v době Kalousek-Nečasovy vlád. Mj. již proto, že v době prosazování této reformy se několikrát objevilo tvrzní, že reforma je dobrá, ale vláda neumí přesvědčit veřejnost a její nutnosti a přínosnosti. Proti tomu stál názor, že nelze úspěšně "prokomunikovat" to, co je chybné. To mj. nastoluje i otázku možnosti zneužití marketingu vládou, návazně pak otázku kritérií správnosti či korektnosti reforem a jejich marketingové podpory.

Aleš Drahokoupil

Marketing in public sector and communication of reforms

Government should represent citizens' interests, but many people feel underserved and disconnected from it. Often the disconnection is so widespread that it actually unites people. Government is such a common target of people's frustrations that an observer from another planet might consider government in war with public. There are many reasons for this disconnection and therefore there is no quick simple way to tackle this problem, however one way to improve the relationship with citizens is to treat them more as customers. The relationship between government and citizens/customers might be improved by using marketing approaches, which are commonly used in private sector.  

Improving relationship with public is necessary to implement reforms, which would move society towards society of productive services. Marketing should not be perceived merely as an advertising tool to promote the reforms but it should be about more complex customer relationship management. Communication of ideas, benefits and values of the reforms is one of crucial marketing method to bring about customer satisfaction. This definition of marketing from American Marketing Association provides an idea of broader understanding of marketing as it might be applied by government: "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.” Replacement of term customers with stakeholders is probably more suitable because it enables to broaden influence and scope of marketing also to other individuals, groups and organizations.

Marketing should be about identification and satisfaction of target customers' needs and wants better than competitors do. However non-existence of competition in provision of certain public services does not kill off the need for marketing.

Government can use marketing as a tool to win over public support for the reforms. However, general lack of understanding of differences between private and public sector marketing creates barriers for governments to fully realize potential of marketing. For the same reason, the use of marketing in public sector is often misunderstood and neglected. This is especially true for the Czech Republic which has relatively short experience with capitalism and market environment in general. Many people in the Czech Republic confuse marketing with either hard selling or advertising. However, government marketing should be mainly about improving relationships with groups and individuals with whom government interacts, about serving clients/citizens better or about encouraging healthier lifestyle or behaviors.

Despite marketing's potential to improve citizens' life, it still has not been fully institutionalized in the government. This lack of institualization is visible for example on seldom existence of marketing career path in the government sector. Generally, strong marketing skills are not searched for when hiring for a government job. At least key decision makers should understand the philosophy and tools of marketing. For a marketing strategy to have any impact it is necessary to develop marketing plan and also leadership of marketing must be made responsibility of senior management. Although outside companies and consultants can be used for initial training of government employees, successful marketing cannot be done from outside but has to be implemented in-house.      

Increase in sales and profitability are usually main objectives for firms operating on competitive markets in private sector. These goals can be usually easily measured. On the other hand, government very often has more diversified goals that could include meeting the mandate, influencing attitudes and behaviors and so on. These multiple objectives are often difficult to develop and measure. Carefully defined objectives, prioritization and mechanism to measure the success are paramount to successful marketing strategy.   

There are four different types of marketing which occur in government organizations. Marketing of products and services is similar to marketing in private sector, e.g., marketing of Czech Statistical Office services. Social marketing includes for example a campaign aimed at encouraging people to stop smoking. Promoting reforms is part of policy marketing. Policy marketing is similar to "advocacy advertising” by private companies, by which for example company presents itself as good corporate citizen. Demarketing is used to discourage customers/citizens from consuming a product/service.

Some people argue that government should not use marketing at all, however this idea is in contradiction with opinion that government needs to be more responsive to needs of the public. Some people argue that managerial, business-like approach through the adoption of marketing and other managerial technology is absolute must for a government. Argument that revenue-generation or profit motive is necessary for marketing is false because neither of these attributes are inherent in the marketing concept. One of the main government objectives should be use of marketing to improve relationship with all stakeholders. 

Poznámka: Zpracováno v rámci projektu Specifického výzkumu Reformy systémů sociálního investování a sociálního pojištění, problematika jejich přípravy a realizace řešeného na VŠFS

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