Public Sector News from 4imprint
Most businesses are adept at engaging with their target audience in timely and appropriate ways, and many now are also routinely using sophisticated analytical techniques to drive their marketing decisions and reach the people they want to talk to.

But since their core objective is to meet commercial goals, why is this relevant to the public sector? Well, state-run services must also engage with their target audience, get people to use their services, and distribute public information that hits home – and they too are now turning to data analytics to fine tune their marketing efforts.

Look for good practice in the public sector
Public Health England (PHE) has been held up by some industry observers as a great example of successful public sector marketing. Indeed, its Marketing Director Sheila Mitchell was rated one of the top 100 UK marketers in 2016.

This year PHE is aiming to use data much more heavily to ensure its messages are pushed in a more targeted and sophisticated way. Ms Mitchell believes this will be crucial if campaigns on themes such as smoking, drinking and healthy living are to cut through. Much of this activity will aim to harness the possibilities offered by social media as content that strikes a chord with users can easily go viral. “You will see a big focus on optimally using data, targeting and digital engagement,” Ms Mitchell commented.

Use behavioural science
Another interesting approach favoured by PHE is using behavioural science to guide its public information campaigns. The idea behind this is to hit people with messages at times when they might be most receptive to them, with a view to making them reassess and change their behaviours. This is one reason why many of its latest campaigns have coincided with the start of the New Year, as they accept people might be less willing to take advice in the throes of Christmas indulgence. The organisation believes this approach could lead to long-term changes, and has devised “increasingly sophisticated and user-friendly marketing tools that apply behavioural science to support people on a lasting journey towards better health.”

Remember physical channels
Using advanced data analytics certainly isn’t the end for traditional marketing platforms. On the contrary, it could also be effective to simultaneously push the same message on physical platforms too; from TV ads and outdoor posters to leaflets and promotional merchandise such as message bugs or branded T-shirts.

Make yourself relevant with useful tools
Last year PHE scored success with its Sugar Smart mobile app which advises how much sugar products contain. The body is now looking at repeating this success perhaps with a fitness app that lets people measure the impact of their daily physical activity.

By offering something genuinely useful, Public Health England was able to keep its message at the forefront of people’s minds day after day. And crucially, it recognised that its target audience aren’t those who routinely download commercial apps, hence it was free to download, ‘really simple and digestible.’

Data analytics could help you find out what your target audience considers useful enough to use day after day. Ultimately, extracting useful insights from your data can assist with future marketing decisions and help ensure your budgets are spent well.

Sources/Further Reading

Public Health England will focus on data for 2020 marketing strategy CampaignLive
How Public Health England’s campaigns will change behaviour in January CampaignLive
Sugar change 4 life