Developing an effective Business to Government (B2G) marketing strategy to reach decision-makers in the public sector requires a handful of marketing tactics, perhaps the most impactful of which is a well-founded public relations program. However, before diving headfirst into a multi-faceted digital marketing campaign, it is critical to recognize that government agencies have many different challenges than private-sector organizations, and therefore doing business with these agencies requires a much more tailored approach.
Many government agencies, especially at the state and local level, work in silos — meaning that it is often difficult for these agencies to get the technology, resources and expertise they need to efficiently serve their citizens. One recent survey found that more than 80% of U.S. government officials feel their agency is technologically behind where it needs to be in order to handle the new challenges it faces.
In order to effectively engage federal, state, and/or local government agencies, businesses must first understand the perspectives and challenges those entities face and where to best reach them. Once you’ve gotten a grasp on the barriers and challenges agencies face in working with you, you can begin to build out a content strategy that addresses those challenges and helps you get a foot in the door. Luckily, experienced PR agencies are well-versed in how to help cultivate messaging that will resonate with both government-oriented media outlets as well as the decision-makers themselves.
Target content at agency decision-makers
In order to speak the language of government decision-makers, contractors need to develop content that speaks directly to agency decision-maker pain-points. Government agency contractors must also understand that government decision-makers are driven by different motivators than in an enterprise environment.
Everything does not necessarily revolve around profits for them, therefore content must speak to decision-makers’ primary pain points. Messages that pivot away from the bottom-line, and refocus on unique challenges of the targeted government agencies will earn attention. Timing is also critical — organizations must hit decision-makers at the right time in the procurement process with content and knowledge that stands out in what is a very commoditized market where government-contractor and tech company messaging all seem to blur together.
Establish expertise in your market category
Understanding your organization’s existing and aspirational market footprint is the first step in carving out a niche that you can own as a thought leader. For example, there are countless cybersecurity vendors in the public sector, all of which sell a variety of security solutions that promise relatively similar results e.g. “visibility, detection, the response against evolving threats.” To gain real traction as a thought leader in the public sector, you must drill down into your specific two to three areas of expertise.
Once you’ve laser-focused on the arena in which you’re planning to own, a PR team of consultants can help you build out an editorial calendar of topics and discussions you want to participate in to align your content with quarterly and annual sales goals. This process of self-vetting and prioritizing will result in an organized and unified message about your company and its areas of knowledge when featured in editorial and published content.
Identify and prioritize your future-oriented solutions
Many organizations in the B2G marketplace make the mistake of getting stuck in the ruts in which they have always operated. They may have one or two solutions that sell well to their target audiences, so they become complacent in innovating new product lines or messaging.
For example, in the 1960s and 70s tech-giant, IBM’s top-grossing product was a typewriter. It may have seemed safe at the time to streamline their operations and prioritize their top-grossing product as opposed to developing and pitching new products and technologies to their customers. With the benefit of time we now realize that typewriters were soon made obsolete by keyboard computers, meaning that if IBM would have centered its business model around typewriters, they would not be the tech giant with a global footprint they have today.
All this goes to say, it is imperative that businesses selling to government agencies consider that their top-grossing products may soon be eclipsed by newer, faster, stronger, and more advanced solutions. Keeping an eye and ear toward future government agency needs will help organizations stay on the cutting edge of tech demands in government. Cultivating relevant, thought-provoking content that stands out to public sector decision-makers is one of the primary in-roads to conducting business with the government. If you want to learn more about how we have driven successful B2G content programs through PR and digital campaigns, get in touch with Bluetext.