Marketing to government agencies and prime contractors can be a bit different from marketing to other types of organizations or in the commercial space. In the government arena, winning can mean recession-proofing for a small business. When we think of doing business with “the government”, we sometimes envision this large, single entity. The reality is, it’s more like tens of thousands of smaller entities, spread all across the world. Each of which has an entirely different team of stakeholders to get to know. This is why targeting is so very important to your strategy. When you are able to confirm through data that one agency or another buys what you sell, it avoids the misallocation of money and resources.
Here are 7 key strategies you can use to jumpstart your government contracting marketing efforts:
- Understand the procurement process: Government agencies follow strict procurement processes and regulations, so it’s important to understand how they make purchasing decisions. This includes learning about their bidding process, contract requirements, and other relevant rules and regulations. The Small Business Liaison Officers (SBLOs) can be instrumental in answering agency-specific buying questions for your products or services.
- Build relationships: Building relationships with key decision-makers and stakeholders within government agencies can be critical for success. This includes attending industry events, networking with key individuals, and staying in touch with them on a regular basis. Staying top of mind can absolutely be advantageous when it comes to collecting intel on upcoming procurements.
- Highlight your experience and qualifications: Government agencies often look for companies that have proven experience and qualifications in the areas they are looking to purchase products or services. Be sure to highlight relevant experience and qualifications in your marketing materials and in your interactions with agency personnel. It’s likely appropriate for you to tailor your materials to the agency or prime you are targeting.
- Offer a solution to a specific problem: Government agencies are often looking for solutions to specific problems or challenges. When marketing to them, focus on how your product or service can help solve these problems. In order to do that effectively, you need to have intel on what pain points exist. This is where number 2 comes in.
- Be transparent: Government agencies place a high value on transparency and ethical behavior. Be transparent in your marketing and business practices, and make sure your company follows all relevant laws, regulations, and requirements.
- Use digital marketing: With the increasing shift to digital channels, it’s important to use digital marketing strategies to reach government agencies. This includes developing a strong online presence, using email marketing, and leveraging LinkedIn. Not every government employee has a LinkedIn but if they do, there’s a good chance they keep it updated. This is important when you are marketing to a space where decision-makers move around, as with the federal government.
- Teaming and partnering: Partnering with other companies can be a great way to gain access to government agencies, thus increasing value for your government customer. Consider forming strategic alliances with companies that complement your own offerings and have a strong presence in the government market.
By following these strategies, you can effectively market your products or services to government agencies and increase your chances of success. Having actual conversations is time well spent when it comes to increasing your win ratio.
Duwel Dev, LLC is developing a marketing workshop to assist you in creating your assets, creating or adjusting your messaging, and developing your strategy. If you’re struggling with relationship development in government contracting, the workshop is for you! Stay tuned for more information.