Marketing supports the raising of awareness of policies, influences attitudes and behaviours and aids the operation of services.

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Latest publication (September 2022)

Crisis communication: A behavioural approach

For those who are new to crisis communications work, the guide aims to be accessible as an introduction.

Crisis communication: A behavioural approach

Marketing in government

Government marketing helps fulfil operational and policy objectives by effectively understanding and meeting the needs of citizens as well as changing their behaviour for personal and societal benefit.

Marketing campaigns include research into citizen behaviour, insight generation, strategic planning and the implementation of communication programmes across multiple channels, including working with partners who can amplify our communications. They will use data and insights to determine attitudes, habits and preferences so that our communications are relevant, meaningful and effective. 

So when you watch a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) health campaign on TV or see a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) advert on a bus shelter reminding you to do your tax returns, you know that there’s a marketing team behind it who’s worked out the best way to get that message to you. 

Our standards

To ensure government marketing is delivered to the highest standards, your work needs to comply with the key pieces of our guidance.

Marketing professionals should deliver 8 goals:

  1. Focus on delivering a high-quality customer experience.
  2. Support the raising of awareness of policies, influences attitudes and behaviours.
  3. Aid the operation of services.
  4. Be based on reliable data.
  5. Use appropriate and validated creative techniques to influence attitudes and behaviours.
  6. Be founded on established behavioural science.
  7. Build confidence and trust in the government’s institutions and brands.
  8. Be measurable in terms of effectiveness and achievement goals.

Test and Learn Guidelines for Media Buying

The Test and Learn Guidelines for Media Buying are aimed at all communicators and provide practical guidance and knowledge on how to incorporate test and learn approaches into campaign planning to increase the effectiveness of government communications.


Consumers and citizens are bombarded by thousands of messages every day, such as TV commercials, emails, newspapers, magazines, billboards, brand labels, Facebook and Google adverts, signage, and mobile adverts. The volume of messages and channels fighting for attention has never been greater.

Marketing includes:

  • research into citizen behaviour
  • insight generation
  • strategic planning
  • implementation of communications programmes across multiple channels
  • effectiveness measurement
  • a focus on delivering a high-quality end-to-end service and customer experience

Government departments and arm length bodies are more and more adopting social media platforms and data-driven solutions. Their marketing strategy is to reach and impact their audiences in a better way, at the local, state and national level.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

The ASA is the UK’s independent advertising regulator formed in 1961, ensuring rigorous standards in all areas of advertising in the UK. They make sure ads across the UK abide by the advertising rules by measuring them against The Advertising Codes, which are written by the ASA’s sister organisation, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). 

All members of GCS should be familiar with the ASA and how to abide by their regulations. This involves understanding: 

  • the “complaints to conclusion” process 
  • the remit of the ASA 
  • what type of adverts do not adhere to ASA regulations 
  • sanctions that the ASA can use 

ASA resources

The ASA has a range of resources to help communicators receive guidance, information and knowledge on their entire regulatory process. Below are some useful examples: 


Design102 is a creative design studio solely for government departments, agencies and public bodies.

Their design expertise covers a wide range of areas including:

  • branding
  • strategy
  • campaigns
  • video and photography
  • animation
  • copywriting
  • proofreading

For more information:

Learning and resources


Partnership marketing

Screenshot of the partnership marketing video

Working with partners can help your campaigns go further. Find out how with case studies from the UK Transition campaign and the new publication they created:  ‘Introduction to partnership marketing’. 

Introduction to partnership marketing (members access)