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The Strategy of Government Marketing
XU Qinggao, XIA Ting
Economy and Management School, Shaoxing University, P.R.China, 312000
[email protected]
Abstract The reform of the society has made the practice of Government Marketing meaningful. Based
on the theory of Government Marketing, we have done in-depth analysis on National Marketing, Local
Marketing and Public Servants Marketing, and finally put forward some relevant implementation
strategies about Government Marketing.
Keywords Government Marketing, Service-oriented Government, Government Image Design
1 The Government Marketing Overview
The reform of the society has made many new demands on the government, especially in the post-crisis
era, so the government needs to strengthen marketing continuously to improve its adaptability and
creativity to be a service-oriented one. It is commonly used marketing theory in social management
abroad. Kotler (1971) and Zelman (1971) firstly defined Social Marketing as a design, conducting and
controlling of the process which affects the acceptance of social opinion. Kotler (2002) further
elaborated its implication in his “social marketing: Improving the quality of life”. E·J·Mc Carthy 1960
also explained the Macro Marketing Theory in his “Basic Marketing”. On local marketing Van den berg
L proposed: Marketing will enhance regional competitiveness. Metaxas T stressed, local marketing
and urban marketing were effective tools to develop local economy and promote urban competitiveness.
However, the government marketing has not yet been developed into the mainstream and systematic
theory in Western countries. As a new branch of marketing in China, related studies are even less.
Among them, Xu Xiaoji (1996) put forward some countermeasures from the macroscopic perspective,
trying to suggest that the Government improve their marketing ability from different angles. Yu Peng
(2005) did a comprehensive analysis on the objective conditions and necessity of government marketing
generation, and put forward the Government Marketing evaluation criterion by combining the
characteristics of the Government marketing. The government marketing does need not only objective
conditions, but also a sound theoretical basis. Xu Ning (2006) based on the theories of economics,
political science and sociology, comprehensively analyzed the necessity of government marketing, and
proposed that government marketing have to advocate a new mode of government management from the
perspective of the "customer-&--public-centered" service government. Zhu Jing (2009), based on the
assumption of the Economic Man of government behavior, analyzed the reasons for the system of
government marketing, which opened up a new perspective for government marketing theory. Many
other Chinese scholars also put forward their views about the marketing of local government. Li Derong,
Ge Weifen (2002), using the Ningbo government marketing as an example, discussed about the city
Government Marketing strategy and mode of operation, throwing light on the study of Government
Marketing. The purpose of Government Marketing is to serve in all aspects of social life. However,
many of the current studies are still confined to a single level of discussion and research Government
Marketing is not the Government's marketing itself, but marketing of the leading idea and the image of
government. Therefore, it is argued that Government Marketing should be considered in a full range,
and we must analyze and implement it based on National Marketing, Local Marketing and Public
Servants Marketing so that it can meet public demand.
2 The Basic Theory of Government Marketing
Application of marketing theory in administration is a new practice. In the academic field, the concept
of Government Marketing has different interpretations. Li Derong, Ge Weifen (2002) defined
Government Marketing as: "Government Marketing is a whole process based on public demand and it is
used to satisfy the public by using various marketing tools."[1]Chen Dongling, Su Chaohui (2008) argued
that Government Marketing is to achieve public satisfaction and social development goals. In Chen and
Su’s article, Government Marketing is leadership activities that the Government uses the marketing
theory, methodology to target marketing at the public for the supply of public goods and social services
popularize social management concept and establish its own image. Government Marketing has its own
characteristics. In Government Marketing, the main actor is the government authority, and the
government staffs are also important part of the main body of Government Marketing. Viewing from the
objective body of Government Marketing, the main "product" of Government Marketing is policy,
service and management philosophy. Through its "product" marketing, an all-win social management
will be achieved. Viewing from the target customers of Government Marketing, the marketing is
targeted at the public, including community groups, businesses, and other ordinary people. This group
has characteristics on the universality, complexity and dispersion, and this, to a certain extent, brings
some difficulties to Government Marketing; Government Marketing aims to achieve the optimal
allocation of social resources, to best satisfy the public demand, and to achieve maximized
comprehensive social benefit.
Implementation of Government Marketing is a must for the social and economic development. And the
basic idea is to carry out strategic plans in social and economic management activities. Through
Government Marketing, the public not only accept the Government's management philosophy and social
public goods, but also assist the government to perform their functions better, change its social image
and achieve all win at the macro level. This in turn would no doubt enhance the market capability and
competitiveness for the country or its regions.
3 The Status and Strategy of Government Marketing
3.1 National Marketing
3.1.1 The Status of National Marketing
First is government service. The government should provide the public with social management, public
goods and services. Recent years, the Chinese central government gradually increases service marketing
concept, fully respects the wishes of the public to understand the public needs and strengthens
communication with the public and conducts a series of system construction, such as improving people's
congress system, policy hearing system, the petition system and the social construction of public opinion
system. Implementation of government transparency and construction of convenient centers are also
being carried out. Noticing and understanding the public needs, collecting information, and dealing with
the information to develop policies in line with market demand, provide a strong support to meet the
public needs. However, as the implementation of policy marketing is in initial stage, there are still many
problems. Many measures are not completely and effectively implemented, such as the usage of the
initiative in the public hearing, the social restrictions on public opinions by the government agencies and
the short of petition effort. Although the policy has been made, it fails to meet the public’s demand. To
Government Services Marketing, there is still room for improvement.
Second is the role of government. As the public manager, the government coordinates all aspects of
social resources and relationships. However, the phenomenon that government’s ignorance of political
capital and enterprise still exists, and the government fails to change its functions. Meanwhile the
government’s interference to micro-economic activities co-exists with the "Absence" in the market
competition order maintaining and the expansion of the size of government, and these all affect the
market transactions. As the main body of government marketing, the government has not yet changed
the market economic management approach, that is to say the government role is not clear and the
government still plays as a producer, supervisor and controller of the joint role as the "omnipotent
government". In this way, social and public service functions have been affected, which are bound to
weaken the marketing effect. However, the government agencies carry out profound adjustment and
reform from the previous ruling government, gradually to establish a service-oriented government, and
bring final changes to the marketing-oriented government. But there is still a long way to go due to its
Third is the foreign image. The Chinese Government, committed to building a harmonious and secure
international environment, has the responsibility to deal with the international affairs, and makes efforts
to create a good international image. For decades, the Chinese Government's foreign image building and
marketing has attracted world-wide attention. In 1997 Asian financial crisis, the Chinese government’s
no devaluing the RMB made a significant contribution in the fight against the financial crisis; The
successful hosting of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games conveyed a new image and excellent traditional
culture to the world; 2010 World Expo in Shanghai will display a modern, innovative, dynamic image of
China to the world. China's foreign image and international status has risen rapidly. But, till now, some
disharmonious factors restrict enhancing China's international image. "China threat" theory leads to a
bad impression on China; Ethnic separatist forces plan to impede China's reunification. Meanwhile, the
problem of social development is exaggerated maliciously, and some countries and people have scruples
about China, which bring some obstacles to China's new take-off, the country's unity and the enhancing
of the country's image.
3.1.2 The Strategy of National Marketing
First is to enhance government services. Above all, put the concept of marketing into every aspect of
government marketing. As the government, especially the central government must give top priority to
serve its people. Concerning livelihood issues, Taking advantages of government marketing, it should
develop democracy, open communication channels like the full hearing, improve people's deputies
participating in politics, and build good government petition system. As known, the simple reflection of
service-oriented government is that the government should raise more capital investment in public
goods and the provision of public services to create a good social life and environment and promote
harmonious social development. [2]Government policy must be made based on public demand, and the
government should increase financial investment on social security, compulsory education, social
security and public health to establish and perfect the social security system, and enrich the rural
education infrastructure construction. Then, design and create a more effective service mode. Through
administrative reform, it is desirable to rationally divide the economic and social affairs management
rights at all levels of governments, and clear the management responsibilities of central government, in
order to reduce management costs, improve service efficiency and build a service-oriented government,
promote marketing efficiency and increase marketing effectiveness. In this way, it is possible to achieve
the goal of using the right for people and benefiting for the people.
Second is to establish and clarity the position of Government. (1) It is critical to transform government
functions. Accelerate the transformation functions. The central content is separated from enterprise
management, and gradually transforms from micro management to macro management, respecting the
market mechanisms, changing from “management” to the service monitor, returning the economic
decision-making power back to the market, providing various types of market players with free
competition and fair trade market environment. The Government can only focus on the limited rational
thinking of the maintenance of market conditions and order to achieve the socialization of government
work and improve the transparency of the government administration. (2) To establish and improve
macro-control policy and capacity. It is necessary to establish the operating mechanisms of market
discipline and strengthen the effectiveness of monitoring policy implementation, as well as information
transmission and feedback system. (3) In the market economy environment, the Government must act
through the regulation of market conduct and regulate market order, and maintain the fair and justice
competition in the market, reduce operating costs of economic activities, and increase market efficiency.
Therefore, as a marketing-oriented government, it should reduce substantial administrative approval and
its intervention, and promote all productive factors in market competition.
Third is to pay attention to diplomatic image design. Through the efforts of several generations of
leaders, China has formed a good international image of the country. But in view of the barriers of
China's rising national image, optimizing and upgrading the country's image has long way to go. (1) It is
fundamental to optimize the political resources. It’s necessary to strengthen the Party’s building, and
improve the ruling party's ability and influence. In addition, experts pay more and more attention to the
state's soft power. Therefore, the government needs to continue to develop the domestic economy,
enhance national soft power, speed up economic development and national defense construction, and
optimize comprehensive national image. (2) To strengthen international cooperation. Government has to
expand the international public relations, and coordinate international public relations by marketing
tools to affect international public opinions. It is involved in international organizations, national
organizations, various social autonomy, enterprise groups, and their nationals and other foreign citizens.
Through bi-directional communication with the international public, we are able to publicize the
country's political avocation. (3) To make full use of mass media to raise the image of China. Countries
in the world attach great importance to the role of the media. China also needs to seize this opportunity
by holding a variety of international competitions, International Forum, Expo and other activities to
spread traditional culture, promote national spirit, display national image, extend government diplomacy,
win international recognition and finally maintain the nation’s long-term interests from the long-term
point of view.
3.2 Local Marketing
3.2.1 The status of local marketing
First is from the perspective of the provision of public products. An important function of government is
to satisfy the needs of the public for public goods, local governments’ providing local public goods.
With the development of economy, public’s increasingly demanding on the government provision of
public goods and services to perfect social security system. It needs unified institutional arrangement,
local welfare measures, a sound legal system, employment policy and a variety of system construction
and services and so on. However, many places are still unable to achieve its perfection. Many local
governments, though has been in the system of social commitment, administrative examination and
approval system reform, electronic government, government supermarkets, government affairs and
administrative performance construction, still stay at a very superficial level, with just some simple
convenience measures, which is far from meeting public demand. In addition, some local government
service marketing purposes are vague and unclear, and administrative procedures are complex, leading
to low efficiency and low local public satisfaction.
Second is from the perspective of the local departmentalism. Local governments pursue their own
interests with maximum demands, so in the administrative process, departmentalism is very severe. To
seek its maximized regional interests and maximize performance, they will make decisions that
requiring the lowest cost, but greatest profits. Some will even take serious local protectionism and the
implementation of regional blockade and policy barriers, and at the cost of sacrificing public interests of
the surrounding areas and increasing the whole society’s transaction costs of the market. According to
the research, trade’s average tariff between provinces reaches 46%, increased by 11% compared with
that in the past year. This tariff level is over the tariff level between EU member states, and is almost as
high as the tariff between the United States and Canada. [3] In the market economy environment, local
governments who take serious parochialism will do harm to the circulation of capital and human
resources, which will not bring development to the local economy, but serious constraints, and it is also
another motivation that drives Government to strengthen the Government Marketing.
Third, the regional image design. Brand image of local government is the comprehensive reflection of
the local government, an integrated system of a government agency, function positioning, public
servants, administrative culture, public services, administrative efficiency, and many other elements. [4]
Intentionally or unintentionally, local governments at all levels play a local marketing role, the
positioning of each region to design the direction of the local industry development, and guide the
structure of the local consumption. So the accomplishment of these tasks is dependent on the correctness
of local marketing methods and strategies. When carrying out local marketing, paying attention to
methods and means is not only a must but a necessity. In the 1990s, Xi'an took the "Warriors" as a
symbol of the city, and tried to raise Xi'an's overall popularity through the visibility of terracotta
warriors. However, the result was not satisfactory. The lifeless image of "Terracotta Warriors" did not
bring a return to Xi'an. Now, many local governments are facing the same problem, which is what
methods of marketing can be adopted to promote local image, and meet the needs of he public.
3.2.2 The Strategies of Local Marketing
First is to provide public goods effectively. Firstly, provide the "product." The provision of public goods
includes not only science, education, culture, health, social security and infrastructure, but also rules and
systems which should be paid sufficient attention. Good management system and rule arrangements are
a necessary condition for the rapid development of regional stability. At the same time, government at
different levels should have a reasonable plan on the scope of provision of public goods, and reduce the
area’s unreasonable interference of market competition. It should improve service levels. Modern
service-oriented government gradually is oriented towards network and democratization. With the
development of computer networks, e-government’s development is helpful to carry out the
democratization of government affairs. Public service does not simply include convenient measures, but
go down to the masses. The government should worry about what the masses worry and concern for the
people concern about, and think what they want in order to effectively raise the level of government
services. And then, segment of "target customers." All local governments must make full use of the basic
theories and methods of marketing to market research and market demand for research on the "target
customer" subdivided; identify the functions of the position of the target "customers" to provide
"marketable" public goods and services.
Second is to overcome local department. Local department, has serious impede the circulation of local
resources to some extent. This not only hinders local development, but also brings difficulties. Therefore,
to overcome local department, we should focus on intergovernmental cooperation to establish a good
relationship. Governments at all levels of public services, according to content and targets of service,
can adopt a flexible form of organization. Given full play to market, the basic role of the allocation of
resources will accelerate the introduction of human, financial, and material, and promote the regional
production and living environment, investment environment, and all-round economic and social
Third is to pay attention to the regional image design. Government’s image is the external expression of
its internal quality and the core of the government to build the brand. When making local design, they
should make full use of local culture, and the design should be reasonable with a clear image. Therefore,
for the local governments, it’s necessary and reasonable to develop the marketing strategy. Image of the
local region needs the government to provide quality services to the public and use such intangible
products to create personality brand that shapes the government. A government, that is service-oriented,
credible, responsible, cost-saving and efficient, is the typical example to highlight the government’s
personality brand. In addition, the government can introduce a wide range of information and open
participation system for citizen’s participation for local governing conditions. It can also adopt
government’s good brand propaganda to arouse public enthusiasm, so as to promote local democracy
administrative process, and accelerate local Regional Image and enhance the cultural connotation. [5]
3.3 Public Servants’ Marketing
3.3.1 The present situation of the public servants’ marketing
First is the concept. Over thousands of years, under the influence of traditional political culture, the
concept of "official position" of public servants in the government administrative agencies is rooted
deeply. Regarded as "official master", many parts of the government officials for the construction of the
city are "racking our brains" project. They have emphasis on achievement projects rather than actual
services for the people. Some officials’ concept falls behind the market, their relationship with the public
is poor. They even try to avoid people in face of problem and plays at his work. The above problems
reflect the cliché ideology of public servants. This is an inevitable problem in the parts of the
government marketing which needs to solve.
Second is the business. Government Marketing needs not only a government marketing awareness and
enthusiasm, but also government-owned marketing knowledge. However, at present, some government
staff knows little about marketing knowledge. In government agencies, public servants’ willing to serve
for people, but at the present many public servants are slow to learn, and update their knowledge, and
are weak in terms of public service consciousness, and lack of initiative, and low work efficiency.
Third are the powers. For a long time, under the planned economy, plans are the main means of resource
allocation, public servants are easily using power to rent-seeking, but it’s leading to the popularity of
trading power for money, This trend in the society will go on and will give the bad impression to the
public. However, many officials believe that this is "relationship marketing." They believe that accepting
the benefits is normal interpersonal exchanges, for it can improve relations with the masses and it’s also
the needs of work to promote the development of work. In fact, it does harmful for the image of
government, which is not good to the officials’ growth and the establishment of the government’s image,
and it’s a kind of damage to the government marketing.
3.3.2 The Strategies of Public servants’ Marketing
First, strengthen the public servant’s self-construction. Above all, changes in concept. Completely
abandon the traditional wrong thought of "officials", and re-position their jobs. Both national public
servants and local governmental public servants, exists as a "cell" of the administrative system; it should
serve for the majority of taxpayers, and fully establish the sense of service. Public servant should come
out from the traditional concept of the supremacy of power, fix a self-role position correctly, and learn
the services. And make one’s own duty clear to correct the phenomenon of "dislocation, vacancy and not
in place" in the work, improve the quality, efficiency and accountability of work. Then, motivated to
learn, and improve the professional level. Many public servants’ professional competent is not high, and
they have limited capacity of public service, which requires public servants to strengthen their
professional learning effectively. On one hand, public servants should strengthen the learning of the
professional knowledge on the current status. On the other hand, they should expand the vision and
change their minds to keep up with the times. Try to be involved in the extensive seeking of economic,
financial and legal knowledge extensively, focus on accumulation, exercise themselves to think about
and deal with problems in different angles and aspects. Not only strengthen the professional theoretical
knowledge, but also integrate theory with practical work, and carry forward the spirit of pragmatic and
innovative, diligent in thinking. Civil servants, as managers and public servants, in fact assume the role
of the government's public managers. Civil servants should be fully aware that the public are their
"clients", only by satisfying the public, the government can achieve sustainable and stable development.
They also have to strengthen the communication between people and enterprises, solve the current
issues mutual understanding and trust through effective organizational communication in order to lower
the cost of a larger benefit, and realize the marketing objectives of government.
Second, strengthen the construction of the public servant’s ranks. On the one hand, governments at all
levels should strengthen the public servant’s training and learning mainly learning in ideology and
professional work. In terms of ideology, public servants should participate regular and irregular learning
of Party school, strengthening the ideological accomplishment. Train the related posts of civil servants
regularly to improve their professional level and lay a good foundation for building service-oriented
government. On the other hand, be strict with public servant’s job evaluation by setting up the measures
of work incentives, making the public servant’s examination varied and evaluating comprehensively the
public servants’ work. So the government can develop into an excellent service team which can
withstand the practice and the test of history.
4 The Conclusion
Government Marketing involves the whole field of the society. It is the necessary means and tactics for
the government to provide the public goods and services and the creation of service government.
However, the Government marketing is related to a wide range of areas, and the marketing's goals and
resources vary, and it accompanies Chinese traditional concepts all of which bring obstruction to the
government marketing. Therefore, the development of national marketing, local marketing and vertical
marketing, the civil service hierarchy marketing system is a comprehensive and effective means of
promoting government marketing. Meanwhile, it is the manifestation of government pursuit of
maximum common value. It is also the key to create a service-oriented government with the core
concept of public-oriented service.
[1]. Li Derong, Ge Weifen. Comment on Government Marketing - Take Ningbo as an example (J). The
newspaper of Ningbo Party School, 2002 (5): p64 (in Chinese)
[2]. Wu Yuzong. Service Government Research (M), Economic Daily Press. 2007 (7): p168 (in
[3]. Yong Ren. Local Government Competition: China's intergovernmental relations in the new trend
(J). Humanities magazine, 2005 (3): p55 (in Chinese)
[4]. Su Shunming. WTO and the strategy of brand management of Chinese Government (J).
Administration of China, 2002 (2): p40-43 (in Chinese)
[5]. Chen Hong, Chen Qiyuan, Lei Yanjia. The Talk Of local brands to build (J). Guangxi Social
Science, 2007 (1): p148 (in Chinese)