Relationship Marketing
Be able to list the different roles associated with strengthening relationship marketing for Cooperative Extension.
Identify county needs for relationship marketing and determine which strategies members choose to use.


 Advance Preparation:

Review the Power Point presentation with special attention to the notes pages
Secure an LCD projector or make transparencies and secure an overhead projector

 Materials Needed:

LCD projector or overhead projector
One copy of each of the following Handouts per participant:
  "Relationship Marketing Roles Checklist"
  "Relationship Marketing Needs Assessment"
  "Relationship Marketing Strategies for Extension Advisory Councils"
PowerPoint: "Relationship Marketing" visuals and notes pages


 Time Needed: 45 minutes


Relationship marketing is the process of attracting, maintaining, and enhancing relationships with key people. This concept is important now and will become increasingly important as competition for shrinking financial resources on all government levels escalates. It is not enough to let our quality programs speak for us. There is a continuous need to raise Extension's credibility with decision-makers who no longer know Extension.

Relationship marketing is not just limited to elected officials. It is also important that grass roots citizens value and support Extension. It is in communities where quality programs help improve the lives of everyday people. This is where Extension impacts are made and shared. Key leaders of target populations should be another focus of relationship marketing endeavors.
The following roles describe how an advisory leader could be involved with relationship marketing. With four core roles and numerous others within each category, each advisory leader can select what they are comfortable doing.

The Ambassador role can be taken on by lots of people. It is primarily the business of spreading good will and information about Extension programs. Examples:
· Speaking to your church about a new 4-H program for character development
· Provide the 4-H agent with names of prospective leaders for a 4-H club
· Set up an extension display for a community field day or barbecue chicken dinner
Ambassadors enjoy networking and generally leave a good impression about their organization so people are curious to learn more.

Door Openers:
Door Openers are behind the scene workers who are willing to provide information about leaders and lend their own name of influence. Extension often needs to identify individuals who are relatives, close friends, business associates or golf buddies of key leaders or elected officials. Advisory leaders can help form a network of people who can influence just the right person. In a community a "door-opener" is one who would make a phone call to the right person to allow Extension to use a facility at no charge for a 4-H activity or educational program. Door-openers make the most of their networks and prove the adage "It's not what you know but whom you know".

Cultivators are those people who do the warm-up in social and sometimes formal situations. An example of this is when an advisory leader invites the county commissioners and other key leaders to his mountain cabin/retreat for an annual pig pickin or other festive occasion. The cultivator creates the setting for informal exchanges of business to occur. There are generally limited numbers of cultivators and they enjoy using their social circles to set the stage for productive things to happen.

The "solicitor" is in a position to make the "ask" and be successful. They will want to have all their questions answered before doing this role. There is some risk taken on their part, so they want to be well informed on all issues. An example of how an advisory leader performs this role would be asking a friend and high government leader to speak at a regional advisory leadership conference. Another example would be for an advisory leader to accompany state Extension Administrators to Capitol Hill to visit his Congressman to request support for Extension and Research initiatives.

Give each person the Handout "Relationship Marketing Roles Checklist" and ask them to complete.
Organize into small groups of three or four people each and ask them to:
    • Share the different roles they have performed
    • Identify their favorite role

LESSON (20 minutes)
Use the PowerPoint "Relationship Marketing" visuals to present the lecture. Use the notes pages to guide you in the presentation.
Refer back to the checklist they completed and ask for a show of hands of who checked the following items associated with each role:
    • 1-3 items = Ambassador
    • 4-5 items = Door Opener
    • 6-7 items = Cultivator
    • 8-9 items = Solicitor
Distribute the Handout "Relationship Marketing Needs Assessment" and ask them complete.
Identify the items on the assessment the group perceives to be highest priority.

APPLICATION (15 minutes)
In small groups, brainstorm strategies that would bridge relationship marketing needs.
After a few minutes, distribute the Handout "Relationship Marketing Strategies for Extension Advisory Councils" to stimulate more discussion.
Seek concensus for the strategies the group feels most prepared to do initially.

Gary J. Stern, 1997. Mobilizing People for Marketing Success. Amerst H. Wilder Foundation.

Proceedings: Strengthening Extension Advisory Leadership; Southeast Advisory Leadership Conference. Ed. Judy M. Groff, NC Cooperative Extension, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Patrick G. Boyle. 1996. Buildiing Political Support for Extension in the 21st Century. Prepared for the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy.