Particularities concerning the creation and implementation of the marketing mix in public institutions

Author:Sica Stanciu

Sica Stanciu. Professor Ph.D., Faculty of Economic Sciences, “Nicolae Titulescu” University, Bucharest (e-mail:

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In the contemporary society, the public institution is the organisation by means of which the state implements its public policies conceived, drawn up and accepted for each stage of evolution of any country. The public institution, as support of the political power exercising, by the activity carried out, provides the public services necessary for the satisfaction of those social needs appreciated by the public power as being of public interest at a given moment. The social needs, undergoing a continuous increase and development at this millennium beginning, as result of the technical and scientific progress, of the increase of the level of culture and civilisation, confer to the public institution an increasingly important role nowadays but also in the near and far future. Hence, for each public institution, the choice of the most adequate development strategy, allowing it to delimitate its short, medium and long-run objectives becomes an ardent necessity.

The New Public Management, as a model of management of the public institution, grounds its activity on the combination of the political, legal and managerial approaches, but also on the orientation towards the entrepreneurial government and public administration market. This involves the anticipated study of the social needs, as well as their hierarchic structuring, in order the ensure, given the unlimited increase in opposition to the limited resources of the society, their fulfilment as quick, as satisfactory and in a quantity as high as possible.

The implementation of marketing in the public institutions, in this context, seems to be the only viable solution allowing the use with maximum efficiency of the resources provided by thePage 370 society in order to satisfy the common welfare, both for citizens and for the public administration and the natural environment. The transformation and implementation of the marketing services into the public sector, as stated by the great American specialist Ph. Kotler implies: the focus on the customer, the segmentation and choice of the target markets, the identification of the competition, the use of all four instruments of the marketing mix, as well as the supervision, the control of the activity and the application of the any necessary adjustments.

In this paper, we intend to outline the specific manner of drawing up and implementation of the marketing strategy into the public institution, and especially of the marketing mix, as the main instrument of the marketing tactic, of the particularities of the four traditional variables defining the marketing mix also within the public institution.

Synthesising the marketing mix particularities in the public institution is important both at theoretical and at practical and applicative level. For the marketing theory, the outlining of the specificity of the public institution marketing mix represents arguments that come to support this new specialisation of marketing. For the practical activity of the public institutions, the understanding of the characteristics of the public institution marketing mix allows the specialists to adopt the best strategies and tactics in order to fulfil their mission. The particularities relating to the use of the marketing mix in the public institution will be outlined by the examination of the four „classical components” of the marketing mix, this facilitating the implementation of marketing in all types of public institutions, depending on the field of activity, under the words „satisfaction and value for the citizen”.

The last decade literature relating to the management of the public institutions and to the marketing of services makes very frequently references to the necessity and possibility to implement marketing also in the public institutions, expressing interesting ideas regarding certain issues specific to the public institution marketing, concerning: the market, the consumer’s behaviour, the public service and its price, the modality of distribution and especially of promotion by means of publicity.

On the grounds of the opinions expressed within the studies published in various specialised journals of marketing, in several chapters of some paper published in out country and abroad, in the interesting work of the marketing specialist Ph. Kotler, published in collaboration with H. Lee in 2007 „Marketing in the Public Sector”, also translated into Romanian in 2008, we undertake, in this paper, to render in a synthetic and structured manner the specificity of the marketing mix in the contemporary public institution, thus continuing the analysis made in this area during the last years, the results of which have been published in our journal.

The opportunity to know and use the marketing mix in the public institutions

As in any organisation, in the public institution, a marketing strategy, irrespective of how rigorously grounded it is at the theoretical level, it cannot lead to favourable results without using adequate tactics, according to the specific situation of the organisation of that moment.

The main instrument of the marketing tactic, successfully used in all types of organisations, is the marketing mix.

The marketing mix unifies the controllable variables that the public institution combines in order to influence the market and to ensure a maximum possible economic and social efficiency. It concerns a certain structure of marketing efforts, a connection, design and integration, in various shares, into a marketing programme, of the four elements: the public service and its tariff, its promotion and distribution, in order to obtain the efficiency necessary to accomplish the strategic objectives within a limited period. The four traditional components of the marketing mix, also known as „the 4 P” (product – public service, price – public service tariff, placement – distributionPage 371 and promotion - communication) represent the key by which the public institution can act in order to obtain a maximum impact on the market and on the consumer, reflecting the manner of use of the different resource components it owns so as to obtain all desired results.

The marketing mix, as result of the combination and dosing of the related ingredients and of the necessary resources, offers the possibility to understand the answer of the public institution to the society exigencies. It emerges, at any moment, as result of the action of some extremely complex and heterogeneous factors, both endogenous and exogenous by nature. Theoretically, the components of the marketing mix may be combined in an infinite number, but in practice not any combination acquires this statute, but the one that, consciously made based on the functional connections existing between the objectives proposed and the means used, allows to obtain a maximum efficiency, ensuring the equilibrium necessary for the carrying out of a normal activity.

When conceiving the marketing mix, the nature and number of the variables used at a given moment, their dosing for achieving the desired aim, the relationships occurring between the organisation and the macro-environment, the market requirements, the possibilities of the public institution etc. are considered, so as to allow the fulfilment of the established purpose according to its vision.

The conception of the marketing mix is a complex process comprising several stages. During the first stage, the marketing variables are identified and chosen by integrating the market-related information and in compliance with the particularities of the strategy and of the mix implementation. In any combination, the simultaneous presence of the four classical variables is necessary, although the importance of each one differs depending on the objectives established by the public institution and on the modality of manipulation of this combination in relation to targeted aim. Hence, many variants are conceived. The choice of the optimum marketing mix involves the reporting to the assessment criteria, imposed by the related strategic and tactic objectives.

During the second stage, the mix combination deemed to be optimum for the said period is integrated under the best conditions, this one being registered in the marketing programme and applied by means of specific operational practices. In order to obtain a maximum impact on the market, certain principles allowing the adequate dosing and the coherence of the marketing actions should be observed.

During the third stage occurs the quantitative and qualitative assessment of the mix optimum variant. This allows the appreciation of the extent to which the established strategic objectives have been accomplished, the discovery of the existing dysfunctions, offering also suggestions for a new combination, more efficient of the marketing mix ingredients.

The quality of the marketing mix reflects the capacity of the deciders to adapt to the environmental changes and to forecast them.

In practice, the marketing mix plays an essential role, as it creates, on one side, the differentiation in the consumer’s perception and, on the other side, the instruments specific to the achievement of the strategic objectives concretised in „the 4 P”, which, at their turn constitute, each of them, a marketing sub-mix representing a game of strategies and combinations of variables.

Between the four sub-mixes there is certain interdependency, a mutual conditioning we will also present in the following chapters.

The marketing mix with the four sub-mixes represents the optics of the public...

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