Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GovCon Directions for 2014: Yahoo, Katie Couric, PlanetGov and Contractors

Yahoo announced that it hired Katie Couric as "global anchor".  Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer, has said all along that the end user experience would drive her decisions. Ms Mayer is a data-driven executive who happens to be a social media maven, so it's safe to assume she knows what she is doing.

Some will undoubtedly see the hiring of Katie Couric as simply bringing on a celebrity. This would be selling both Ms Mayer and Ms Couric short. Couric is a media savvy content maven who happens to be a celebrity. She is smart and deep.

What this does for Yahoo is provide a deeper, broader content bench.

So what does this have to do with GovCon?

I open Selling to the Government with the "Tale of Two Companies", vignettes about two companies from the dot bomb era. (http://www.amazon.com/Selling-Government-Compete-Worlds-Largest/dp/047088133X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385502961&sr=8-1&keywords=amtower)

One of the companies, PlanetGov, got venture funding to create an information and sales portal for the government market. PlanetGov hired about 20 journalists, including Mike Causey from the Washington Post (now with Federal News Radio) to create an information portal that would attract all Feds, then have an e-commerce side which would supply those Feds with everything they needed to buy for work.

The plan was interesting, but did not make it past the demise of the dot-bomb crash.

But the company survived, and emerged as APPTIS, and now IronBow.

Content is deservedly huge in our market, and with some of the publications in dire straits, it has become necessary for contractors to generate more of their own content. This content takes the form of white papers, enews programs, webinars, podcasts, even TV and radio shows.

If the content is germane to the buyer, and helps them makes decisions about what to buy and perhaps where to buy it, the company generating the content wins.

Perhaps it wasn't the PlanetGov plan that was bad - just the timing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Amtower's Dilemma - Making an agency reco to a Fortune 200 company

So here's my dilemma. I get a call from a friend and occasional client at a top tech firm, well inside the Fortune Top 200. They need an agency that can help with public sector content, social and qualified lead generation. I tell my friend I will send them a short list within 48 hours.

A couple of companies come to mind quickly as their content is extraordinary.

Then I look them up on LinkedIn....

Content may be a strength, but social, at least LinkedIn, is really weak. I see execs at these companies that should have profiles with SOME information on who they are and what they do, but it isn't there. Their web sites are nice, and populated with some decent content, but they look like the cobbler's children, or worse, the emperor with no clothes when it comes to LinkedIn.

While I admire their ability to generate great content for some clients, it doesn't appear that they leverage social for dissemination of that content.

LinkedIn is my #1 venue for vetting those I recommend. Web sites are #2.

So the list got shorter.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Looking for 12-15 small companies in Maryland, DC NoVa ready to become thought leaders!

Who would you rather read about in (fill in in with your favorite business publication)?

Some company you’ve never heard of?
Your top competitor?
Your company?

When it comes to visibility, there is no “level playing field”. You need to create your own advantage wherever and whenever you can. That is especially true when it comes to getting noticed in ways that pay dividends:

- being known by a prospect before your first meeting;

- getting interviewed in a trade publication, on TV or on the radio;

- leveraging social networks to get noticed by decision makers in your market;

- writing your own blog or writing a “guest column” on someone else’s blog;

or getting a key speaking engagement.

If you are tired of seeing your competitors’ quotes in trade magazines, or their CEO speaking from the podium at a big conference, keep reading.

This is Your Invitation to the 2014

Amtower GovCon Thought Leadership Program

Small business owners in the government contracting arena have to wear many hats and fulfill many roles. Among the most important of those roles is to get your company noticed by the right people in the market, to stand out as a subject matter expert or thought leader in your niche and capture more business.

In order to get on and stay on the radar of

government contractors, potential partners, customers,

press and investors

you need to stand out in a very crowded field.

Standing out in any market is difficult, and probably more so in the hyper-competitive government contracting market. Regardless of whether you are selling to the government or to selling to contractors, there is no un-crowded niche.

So how do you stand out in a way that resonates with the audience you want to reach and influence?

Isn't it time to invest in the future of your company?

Want more info? Send me an email for details on this six-month program --


Make 2014 YOUR year to stand out!