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

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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.

Access our guidance on Delivering government campaigns
Most popular topic: Guide to campaign planning: OASIS

Six areas where you need to address and harness change

The UK Government defines marketing as ‘the strategic application of a range of techniques that help fulfil operational and policy objectives by effectively understanding and meeting the needs of citizens’.

GCS set out six opportunities for government marketeers to consider the effects of, discuss, and act upon: see Year of Marketing (2019).

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:

Boost your marketing skills

Boost your skills with our flexible training, by watching a video, choosing online learning or attending one of our advanced courses.