In bad economic times, marketing budgets suffer. So what do B2G marketers need to focus on to stay ahead of the curve, to be able to defend your marketing budget and program, and make solid contributions yo your organization?
Visibility for your company, product or service does not happen by itself. Here are five areas you must focus on to ensure your marketing program remains a big corporate contributor.
1) Aligning marketing programs with sales and business development (BD) goals. While this may seem like a 'no brainer', it is surprising how many marketing programs are not aligned aligned with sales or BD goals, While the use of all the new, cool web 2.0 tools is fun and exciting, if they are not supporting specific sales or BD efforts, they may not be contributing to the bottom line. Marketing must attend all sales meetings to better understand the needs and requirements of both inbound and field sales. input from sales on things like event participation is a major key to success.
2) Speaking of web 2.o tools, they can be both cool and useful, if deployed properly. For example, much has been written about the use of webinars as a sales support tool, and webinars can be a great lead generator, if they are done properly. Often in the excitement of deploying a new technology, the technology is not always used to its best advantage. Selecting the right web 2.0 tools is step one, using them to effectively support specific corporate goals is job two. In order to maximize the value of each tool, you have to understand all the nuances of the tool. One example is blogs. Anyone can deploy a blog literally in a matter of minutes. But writing a good blog is not simple and driving traffic to your blog does not happen by itself. Thee other web 2.0 tools require the same care in selection and deployment, including podcasts, videos, social networks and more.
3) Content is extremely valuable, and it can be deployed using the web 2.0 tool just discussed, as well as by more traditional methods, including your web site, white papers, collateral material, speaking at live events and more. Content is a great support tool for both sales and BD, and it lays the groundwork for developing a thought leadership platform within the market.
4) Networking, both face-to-face and virtual, is the best way to develop the relationships critical to success in the government market. but there are hundreds of venues where you can network, so deciding where to network and then learning how to network are crucial. What are the venues best suited to your sales and BD personnel, and how can you support them once the venues are identified.
5) PR remains a key component of the overall marketing program, but the venues here are shifting and morphing as well, seemingly on a daily basis. But the fact remains that being interviewed or cited in the right publication, blog or radio show (traditional radio or web) bestows on you a mantle of authority: if you are the one interviewed or quoted, you are obviously the expert. Good PR gives you a credibility that advertising cannot buy. So again, selecting the right venues and getting noticed by them is a big key to the success of your marketing program.
Attend Government Marketing Best Practices 2011 at the Mason Inn on the campus of George Mason University. There are two sessions: March 9 and March 22, both from 7:30 AM- 4:30 PM.
Government Marketing Best Practices is now part of the Government Market Master certificate program at the School of Management at George Mason University.
Register today and use this code for a $50 discount: AYGMM