Marketing Planning Support on the Way

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This summer and fall, the NC State Extension marketing and communications (MarComm) team will be launching a marketing planning program to help county centers — followed shortly thereafter by our campus programs — become more strategic and successful with their marketing activities.

The program will consist of a Building an Effective Marketing Plan workbook, outlining step-by-step instructions and exercises in a “workshop” format, to be completed and implemented by each center.

The MarComm team is finalizing a website with resources to support the planning process, including short instructional videos, guidance on strategic messaging, and sample marketing plans geared toward both rural and urban settings.

Workbook Process Overview

Building an Effective Marketing Plan_Overview Chart_N.C. Cooperative Extension

Click to view a flow chart overview of the planning process (PDF)

Marketing is Key to Programmatic Success

Marketing provides the opportunity to build awareness of Extension’s programs and services, while helping you to understand your customers’ needs and serve information to them in a more impactful way. Thoughtful marketing strategies can help you to recognize what is working, where you need to make changes, and how best to communicate about your programs.

“We want the planning process to be efficient and painless,” said Justin Moore, NC State Extension marketing director. “This is about helping the local centers become more intentional and more effective with marketing, and ultimately easing the burden of reporting at the end of the year.”

To complete the planning process, county teams will work together in two or three planning sessions where they discuss goals, audiences, the context of their work and how to integrate across the team.

The final takeaway is a single-page marketing plan that will provide a strategic blueprint for your team, foster cohesion across their various efforts and help everyone report targeted impacts for the year.

Marketing Plan_Final single-page overview example_N.C. Cooperative Extension

Click the image to view a final marketing plan summary sheet example

Introduction and Timeline

We are currently finalizing plans to introduce the marketing planning process and workbook directly to County Extension Directors (CEDs). Additional information is forthcoming.

We anticipate launching the final county-focused resources statewide by late summer or early fall, along with a detailed timeline that will help guide local implementation and highlight new marketing training opportunities along the way.

Following implementation in the counties, we’ll begin introducing materials for our campus programs closer to the end of the year into early 2019. That said, please contact Julie or Justin any time if you need assistance with your marketing efforts (county, campus or otherwise). We realize there’s work to be done now, and we’re happy to help.