The Federal government Buying Season is right around the corner. That means that any company that has the technology to help government agencies meet their mission requirements needs to start getting in front of those buyers quickly. The Federal Buying Season begins in August and runs through September as agency procurement officers will make their final selections to meet end-of-year spending requirements. With the government, allocated funds are often “use-it-or-lose-it,’ meaning they won’t carry on through the next fiscal year. Anything unspent becomes out-of-reach.
For government contractors and global brands who consider the agencies a key vertical, putting in place a comprehensive marketing campaign to reach these decision makers starts now. As we pointed out in our previous post, government agencies respond differently than commercial markets. For their Buying Season, they have mission requirements to meet and are looking for the best solutions that will help them do that. That’s why a marketing campaign needs to speak their language and not simply rely on the same campaigns targeted to the commercial sector.
Here are some of the key elements to consider when designing your Federal Buying Season marketing campaign:
- Start with Messaging. As we noted in our previous post, messaging targeted towards the needs of the government buyer is critical. Make sure that messaging talks to their pain points, their mission requirements, and the past experience you have in the market. Those are the three top components that this audience needs to see.
- The Creative Needs to Match the Market. Cutesy, humorous, out-of-the-box campaigns are ok, but within limits. Stay away from the controversial, but adding a little humor can be effective. We recently did a campaign for Intel that included a guy wearing pajamas on the bottom with a suit on top to demonstrate how its technology helps Federal telecommuters. It was clever, cute, and got people thinking while keeping far away from anything offensive.
- Go Directly After the Market. Programmatic campaigns, relying on sophisticated email workflows and paid banner and social media can be effective for driving leads if done in a way reaches those audiences in an intelligent way. Bluetext has had significant, measurable success with well-constructed campaigns targeted at government decision-makers and buyers.
- Coverage in Government Publications Gives Air Cover. A strong media relations component of the campaign can provide thought leadership, wide exposure, and air cover for the sales team. Many government tech trades are happy to publish submitted bylines from industry experts provided that they explore market needs and trends, and are not simply marketing pieces disguised as a news article.
- Drive Time is Prime Time. In the D.C. region – the home to most of the nation’s Federal executives – commuting is a fact of life. That means a captive audience twice a day every day during morning and evening rush hours. We are big believers in radio spots as well as broadcast interviews to reach this audience when they are most receptive.
- Leverage All of Your Company Assets. Every company has a number of Members of Congress that represent their employees. Turn these legislators into advocates for your brand. They can help open doors across the government.