Marketing your products and services to government agencies isn’t as simple as swapping out the word “mission” for “profitability” on your commercial collateral. There are a number of nuances to be aware of when selling to the government as opposed to the private sector, and your content must demonstrate your understanding of these nuances.
On our latest episode of Lay of the Brand, we ask Allan Rubin, Chief Marketing Officer of ORock Technologies, how businesses can successfully enter the government market while creating content that captures audiences at the federal, state and local levels.
Here are some of the top highlights from the conversation. You can listen to the whole episode here.
B2G is NOT a Vertical Market
While many companies treat the public sector as its own vertical, it’s actually a horizontal collection of different markets. If you sell products and services differently into healthcare or aerospace, for example, there are government counterparts, such as hospitals under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Air Force to consider. Rather than lumping your public-sector content into one defense bucket vs. civilian bucket or state, local and education (SLED), you can be more nuanced by capturing the different audiences within each vertical of the government market.
Knowledge is Key with B2G
For B2B markets, it can by easier to find the right buyers, wine and dine the decision-makers, close the deal and get a purchase order (PO) cut quickly. With B2G, however, you’re dealing with a much longer sales cycle. You have to consider rules, regulations and limitations in how you can interact with government buyers. Often, you also have to work with partners who already have access to specific government contracts. You are limited in what you can do to influence buyers, as to avoid the appearance of corruption. Not to mention there are a number of different sets of rules for civilian, defense and state and local markets, respectively. Luckily, the government publicizes a tremendous amount of information on their budgets, pain points and purchasing plans. Doing your homework can help you shorten the sales cycle and increase win rates.
Use Integrated Content Strategies and Host Events to Reach the Government Audience
Overall, it’s important to leverage an integrated approach with your B2G content. You want a “create once and use many” strategy to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Additionally, getting in front of the government buyer means going straight to them as much as possible in these key ways:
- Host or participate in events. In government, thought leadership and relationships are critical. Become a respected thought leader for your government audience by hosting a panel discussion. Record that discussion and break it into smaller chunks for website and blog content so you can start generating value and building those key relationships.
- Go where the audience is. There are a number of government/industry events to compete with inside the Beltway, so don’t be afraid to take your message on the road. Your company can get a lot more engagement by hosting events near military bases or agency facilities across the country where events happen less frequently.
- Don’t forget about SLED. Research from Market Connections shows that state and local decision-makers are just as eager to get their hands on thought leadership-driven content and will even take the time to read more long-form content, such as whitepapers.
Think your company is ready to dip its toes into the B2G market? We can help. Contact us to learn more.