When thinking of the roles and responsibilities of the average government marketer or communications professional, the word “Creativity” isn’t often the first word that comes to mind. The role of the government marketer is often seen as one of those thankless jobs, born out of necessity like a parking enforcement officer. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
At the very core, the government marketer’s role is to help facilitate engagement between the government and citizens. In the past, the traditional minimalist, by-the-books approach to marketing only added to the stereotype.
Today, citizens now expect to have the same personalized experience when interacting with public sector organizations as they do when shopping online or streaming their favourite music; accessing services quickly and easily anytime, anywhere, and on any device. In the age of the digital savvy, mobilized citizen, public sector marketers have had to shift to embracing creativity, engaging citizens on their terms, and adopting a mobile-first strategy.
This shift is resulting in some truly inspiring and creative campaigns to connect with the modern citizen. As seen in Adobe’s Creativity in Public Sector Behance Gallery, public sector organizations across North America — government bodies, not-for-profits, etc. — are utilizing creativity and technology in some pretty imaginative ways to reach their citizens.
It also shows the importance of mobile in a government marketing and communications strategy. It is thanks to the consumerization of government that public sector organizations have needed to adopt the same strategy as their private sector counterparts to meet the rising expectations of today’s modern citizen.
To put it into perspective, according to a comScore survey, people spend more time browsing the internet on mobile devices than on PCs. Likewise, global research firm, Gartner, predicts worldwide mobile data traffic will hit 52 terabytes (TB) in 2015, an increase of 59 percent year over year. What this means is that as mobile devices become more important, it will become more difficult for marketers — public and private sector alike — to break through the sheer volume of data inundating the average citizen.
As a result of the digital miasma inundating citizens, public sector organizations have needed to not only leverage the latest technology to keep up with the citizens, but step away from the traditional approaches and really push the boundaries with creative campaigns to break through the noise and engage with citizens. This is why creativity plays such a critical role in citizen engagement moving forward.
Washington State’s Tourism campaign Share Your Washington; the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future social media campaign; and Government of Ontario’s Orientation to Ontario campaign are but a few of the great examples of public sector organizations leveraging the latest in mobile to engage with their citizens in some really creative ways.
Conversely, organizations that didn’t update for mobile are now paying a price. Analysis by Adobe Digital Index (ADI) shows that poor user experiences on mobile are hurting web site consumption metrics, such as page views, visit rate, and conversion. While this trend is currently more prominent in the private sector, you can be sure that the same will happen to public sector.
Today, success for public sector organizations and marketers alike is two-fold. Mobile is only going to become more important as time goes on, so organizations need to meet citizens on their own terms through a mobile-first approach. Equally as important — if not more so, is creativity.
The amount of digital noise the average person experiences is growing, so to truly connect and engage with citizens, organizations need to break through the digital miasma and the only way to do it is with creativity and inspiring campaigns.
Looking at the entrants to this year’s Creativity in Public Sector Awards it’s evident that the nature of citizen engagement is changing for the best. Today’s public sector marketers are not only breaking down outdated stereotypes, they’re rivaling their private sector counterparts with creativity.
About the Author
Nicole Gibson is the Canadian Regional Marketing Manager for Adobe Systems