Summer 1987 // Volume 25 // Number 2 // Research in Brief // 2RIB1

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Marketing Extension


Mary Raymond
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Genesee County Coordinator
Batavia, New York

Creative Marketing. William Boldt. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Cooperative Extension, 1986. 119 pp. $12.00.

Will the Extension Service survive to 2000? The answer lies in Extension's ability to market its educational programs. Marketing is a two-part process involving:

  1. Designing and constantly improving programs to satisfy the needs of people.
  2. Creating an awareness of the Extension Service and the impact of its programs with appropriate audiences.

Most states are currently developing marketing programs, but little published research is available concerning these efforts. During the next several ;issues, this column will focus on Extension-generated research related to marketing.

Creative Marketing, developed by Boldt of Cornell University, analyzes marketing research and successful marketing programs in Oregon and New York, and offers a practical, research-based marketing approach for Extension. The content points to ;similarities in marketing philosophy and methodology between New York and Oregon.


New York and Oregon incorporated the following philosophical tenets into their marketing program:

Extension's programs are its educational products. Brilliant promotion will only speed the demise of inferior programs by showcasing programmatic weaknesses. Extension must be able to market the organization while improving educational programs to meet the needs of clientele. All paid and volunteer staff must be actively involved in planning, implementing, and evaluating the marketing program. The Extension organization must be promoted I first and the program areas second. The public must know that Extension is the umbrella organization for 4-H, home economics, and agriculture.

An atmosphere that promotes enthusiasm, creativity, and flexibility in implementing the marketing program is essential.


New York and Oregon incorporated these procedures in their marketing programs:

  • Statewide marketing task forces were appointed with rotating membership.
  • A high priority was placed on marketing, and considerable financial and staff resources were allocated.
  • Target audiences were selected.
  • Staff, clientele, decision makers, and the general public were surveyed to develop a "launching pad" for marketing efforts.
  • A name, logo, and slogan were selected by each state.
  • These were used consistently in all publications, signs, audiovisual materials, posters, and numerous other creative media.
  • A mission statement was formulated for Extension and each program area.
  • Extension's strengths were identified.
  • Marketing audits were conducted to identify strengths and weaknesses in Extension outreach materials.
  • A simple one-page flyer was developed that explained Extension's mission, funding sources, and program.
  • Promotional brochures were developed.
  • A targeted marketing plan was formulated to gain the support of media and elected officials.
  • A marketing system was developed to strengthen educational programs.

This plan involved "scanning the environment" to identify the needs of clientele, target audiences, and match Extension's programs with audience needs.

Supported by research-based tools, Creative Marketing presents a practical, field-tested marketing methodology that can improve the visibility and educational programs of Extension.

Mary Raymond Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee County Coordinator Batavia, New York