Extension is an education process (capacity building) that involves working with the target audience (engagement) and sharing the responsibility of decision making to achieve greater personal and group ownership of decisions (empowerment) to improve the commitment towards reaching common goals.
The process is particularly powerful when working in complex environments where developing the solution requires a partnership between the extension worker and the target audience.
As the target audience is intimately involved in the process the solutions are more readily adopted.
As extension workers are required to work with communities this can be a much more expensive option than communication alone. It is particularly suited to smaller audiences with specific and complex needs.
One advantage of extension over marketing is that an extension worker does not have to maintain a service or support products so the target audience is not dependent on them once the extension program is finished.