Consider using the 4 Ps of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion) as you work on your program business plan to help you frame the discussion and make decisions.
The products of Extension programs include events such as conferences, seminars, and field days, as well as items such as publications, websites, and apps. Is your product high quality? Is it unique in the marketplace? How is it packaged? Is it convenient? Is it designed to allow for repeat consumers?
Many times our frame of reference for pricing is related to business models where the goal is to make a profit and always watch the bottom line. Our situation is different, yet we need to be sustainable. Pricing serves as a signal about value to your target audience. If your product is priced too low (or free), this may reflect on the perceived value of the product. If the pricing is too high, you may exclude some users. It is a careful balance and experimentation may be warranted. What do competitors charge? What will the market bear?
Are you meeting your customers where they are? What distribution channels do they prefer--online, in person, or both? What's your program's service coverage? Who are the competitors in this space? Is it easy for your target audience to access your products and events?
Lastly, promotion encompasses all the communications you use to let people know about your program. This includes press releases, postcards, posters, flyers, email marketing, social media, and so on. Do your promotional efforts use the appropriate branding? Do they have a call to action? Do they tie to the overall goal of your program? Do they get results?
-Maggie Frazier, communications