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Effective Marketing Practices: A Guide for Smart Policing Initiatives

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2011
11 pages
This guide explains how to apply marketing concepts in the context of "Smart Policing" and crime-control programs.
For those involved in Smart Policing Initiatives (SPI), thinking like a marketer and adopting a "marketing" mindset may provide just the edge required to achieve success. Law enforcement innovators can easily adapt and apply the principles of business marketing to help them reach their customers (citizens) and other stakeholders with effective communications strategies that can assist in achieving successful outcomes for policing innovations. There are many tools in a marketer's toolkit; a few are particularly relevant for Smart Policing teams. This guide discusses the following tools in detail: marketing communications, the marketing strategy, and social marketing. The proposed marketing strategy consists of six steps. First, identify target audiences, which includes the people or organizations that you want to influence, involve, educate, change behavior, or whose support is needed to make the program a success. The second step is to create positioning statements for each relevant audience. This is the process of analyzing the program being marketed in relation to each target audience and identifying the specific information that must be communicated. The third step is to develop messages (ideas and images you want to communicate). The fourth step is to choose messengers. This involves determining who can best deliver an effective and compelling message. The fifth step is to select communication channels messengers will use to deliver the message. The sixth step is to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of the overall SPI and the communications plan. Issues that should be addressed in the evaluation are whether the goal was achieved, which program elements worked well, which elements were weak, and how costs compare with benefits. A case study of marketing strategy focuses on the Amber Alert program. A listing of 9 annotated resources