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Marketing Context


Marketing services


Read Chapter 1 ‘The nature of services marketing’ (Payne 1993) which has been supplied as part of your course pack.

Think about…

Is your organisation marketing products, services or both? Are different things marketed in different ways?

Marketing in the public sector


Read pp18-21 in ‘Introduction to Marketing’ (Frain 1994) which has been supplied as part of your course pack.

Think about…

Are you marketing in a commercial or non-profit’ context? Does your service have to make as much profit/surplus as possible, break even or minimise its loss/subsidy?

Identification of Customers

As you will have realised by now, modern concepts of marketing rely heavily on anticipating and satisfying customer needs. Of course first you must identify your customers. In the case of a Careers Service, Placements Service or JobShop, these will come both from within the institution and beyond it.

In addition as Bean and Lascelles point out in “Marketing Public Sector Services (1997)

“In the private sector the customer is usually clearly defined. It may be an individual, or an organisation, which is responsible for the use and purchase of the product or service on offer…..In the public sector…often the user of the service is not responsible for any part of the exchange process…This…stems from the fact that the ‘public purse’ is used to purchase many public services on behalf of the public as a whole.” (page 71)

In addition there are likely to be other individuals or groups who have a stake in how your service performs even if they are not your direct or indirect customers. These could be inside your University or may be professional or other bodies to whom you are in some way accountable.

In his “Introduction to Marketing” Frain (1994) says

“The stakeholder theory, for example, suggests that the objectives of the organisation should not stem from the organisation exclusively but from the claims upon it of its various stakeholders – its consumers, employees, distributors, shareholders, suppliers, central and local government, the general public, i.e. all parties who have a stake in its well-being and are affected by its operations.” (page 282)


Take some time to identify your customers and stakeholders, both inside and outside your institution. Draw up a list of both categories and note whether your relationship with them is direct or indirect, that is, are they direct users of your service or are they responsible for commissioning and/or funding the services you provide to your direct customers.