KME.digital—Virginia’s leading Government Contractor (GovCon) digital marketing experts—is launching an insider’s Playbook for B2G GovCon Digital Marketing. Compiled from the insights and experience of government sales, procurement and marketing professionals over 30+ years, this playbook will be available to a select audience soon this spring.
Our previous whitepapers on B2G marketing focused on effective digital marketing tactics for planning, advertising and selling to government agencies or Prime contract holders – unique GovCon B2G digital marketing differentiators we highlight here. This eBook covers a broader selection of critical topics, concepts and tactics (i.e. as a “playbook”) for marketing and selling to the government as a Prime or subcontractor. We also include a few vignettes from over the years.
This playbook, geared toward motivated, challenged B2G teams, responds to a comprehensive set of sales and growth concerns. It details who’s involved in the community, GovCon business and economic intelligence, digital B2G tactics that work, plus the right expertise to leverage.
Generating sales leads in government contracting requires more creativity and innovation than identifying existing, open opportunities. It involves building relationships with government decision-makers (both on the programmatic/mission side and on the “technical” side— i.e. those who need to build or buy a solution), identifying gaps in current capabilities, generating awareness and trust, and proposing solutions that meet the needs of agencies, constituents and stakeholders. Doing so is the goal of B2G marketing, advertising and communications. Finding sales leads is typically a reactive, hard-to-scale process dependent on sales individuals, personal relationships, and well-known sources and methods. Generating, acquiring and nurturing sales leads is a proactive, creative and agile approach to government business development that leverages digital marketing force-multipliers.
The largest GovCon businesses from the Management & IT Consulting space that our leadership has interacted directly with—including Accenture (via Andersen Consulting), IBM (via Coopers & Lybrand, PwC and Blackstone Technology Group), Oracle, Perspecta (via CSC & EDS), GDIT (via CSRA) — have large, active marketing and lead generation machines. They leverage market-leading tools and services, internal creative and multimedia publishing and event teams, and advertising and sponsorship clout, while members of the small GovCon business community—8(a)s, WOSB, SDVOSB, entrepreneurs, etc. — do not. Mid-tier and emerging firms (or even large company divisions) have parts and pieces, typically dependent on the skills of the sales and communications teams.
Sample questions for yourself and your sales team:
- Inbound Leads: From where do you get leads and corresponding data intelligence (for example: via email, phone calls, web analytics, and information-sharing reports)? To what are they attributed—something you’ve done or paid for?
- Followers: Do any participants or stakeholders in government procurement and market research independently contact you or interact with your company? Are they interested in what you have to offer? Do they “follow” you via digital content or social engagement?
- Sales-qualification: Are your leads sales-qualified or ready (SQLs/SRLs) and worth adding to your pipeline? Is your sales pipeline growing and extending into future government fiscal years (to accommodate long procurement cycles)?
- Additional Playbook Question Subjects: Market Qualification, Market Intelligence, Leveraged Growth, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A).
Influencing from Within
In many government engagement and contracting scenarios, a subset of a large corporation must find, win and run the work. They leverage “shared” or “enterprise” services, including legal, contract management, IT, facilities and marketing. Complete agility and customization aren’t available for targeted campaigns in these circumstances. Therefore, corporate marketing assets and controls that can’t always be customized—from the primary website to email templates, creative branding and messaging, use of 3rd-party marketing vendors, analytics, approval cycles and authorities, and even limitations in audience or location targets—may be required.
What You Can Do
- From the start of the strategy and planning cycle, engage with corporate resources for budgeting, concept approvals, target channel usage and creative reuse. Doing so may help overcome objections and provide more time to evaluate options, alternatives and alignment with other efforts.
- Solicit, harvest and generate specific, unique and appropriate content from your SMEs—including graphics and multimedia—that represents compelling value for your opportunities as well as the company at large (explain how). Provide this to corporate marketing to use, adapt and tailor; complete documents can usually be published and linked from a website (vs. updating actual web pages).
- Insist on receipt of marketing and communications analytics for your audience segments, campaigns and other initiatives. While it may take a while, it’s usually not a very complex technical lift….
- (Additional techniques covered in the full Playbook…)
Business and Economic Intelligence
For businesses seeking to sell to the government, whether directly or indirectly (via subcontracts or value-added resellers), this Playbook outlines shifts in engagement strategies and market research patterns by procurement shops. Applying insights shared here to your business and marketing planning will be critical not only for pipeline and revenue growth in the B2G marketplace but also for protecting your market share, positioning and reputation.
For the calendar year 2023 and the balance of the government’s fiscal year 2023, significant economic headwinds exist for all industries, including the typically sheltered GovCon community. By “sheltered,” we mean opportunities and funding through the government typically don’t change as quickly as in the commercial markets. Moreover, many commodity government services and mission areas will continue to be funded, even through consumer economic turmoil.
First-, second- and third-party data and insights are available to guide and inform annual B2G strategies, acquisition-focused planning and budgeting, and short-term brand or capability exposure. (Details, approaches and tools are described further in the Playbook).
Find additional conversation, insight and solutions specifically to the DMV/Northern Virginia region at WestXDC.com , across all local industries – a brand new social business intelligence channel and coming-soon podcast!
This Playbook will be published this spring – with a KME.digital consultation – to a select audience of motivated and interested GovCon growth teams and professionals, particularly small and mid-tier business owners, sales, BD, capture and marketing leads.
This is critical information to consume and share – as it’s being validated most quickly and helpfully among modern, dialed-in agencies like KME.digital, and not generally available from “traditional” government sales and contracting sources – whether from GSA or the SBA, from product vendors such as GovWin, from Prime contractors or from commercial Capture/Proposal training or consulting programs.
Sign up now to request our B2G GovCon Digital Marketing Playbook with expert consultation!