Friday, January 29, 2010

Most popular story at Washington technology this week

Thank you for reading my stuff!

This is the 2nd time this month that my 700 word story at has moved quickly into the "most viewed/most emailed" slot, this time within 16 hours after posting.

My article on B2G lead Generation (posted late in the afternoon on Jan 27) -, is creating traffic for WT and some feedback for me.

On January 8, my article on using Washington Technology to identify likely connection targets at LinkedIn rose to the #1 spot and stayed there for 4 days! So thank you for that as well. . That artiocle generate lots of comments for me and another 50 connections at LinkedIn as a direct result.

So, my question for any readers here is what B2G topics on sales, marketing and BD will keep you going to my articles there and my blog here?

Thanks again for reading my stuff!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

LinkedIn Tip 14: Q and A, part 1

The Question and Answer feature at LinkedIn can be found on the top navigation bar by scrolling your mouse over “More” and selecting “Answers”. There are 22 major categories (listed on the right side of the “Answer” page), with most having several sub-categories. There are about 148 total categories and sub-categories for the Q&A.

There are several reasons to monitor and participate here. First, when you find categories germane to what you do, simply reading the questions and answers can be rewarding. Some pretty bright people both ask and answer questions. Second, if you need some research or different perspectives on a specific question, this is a great place to get new perspectives. Third, I have identified several people I wanted to connect to simply because of their answers.

This is part of a series I post in my groups at Linkedin. If anyone is interested in the other tips - simply let me know here. From now on all the tips will be posted here and announced on LinkedIn.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Amtower Off Center turns 4 (and Amtower & Company turns 26!)

Amtower Off Center turns 4! After completing 3 years at WFED, Federal News Radio – Amtower discusses his twenty-six years in the market as Amtower & Company (January 2010 starts his 26th year as Amtower & Co.- a double anniversary show). In an interview on In Depth with Francis Rose, Amtower talks about the dynamic nature of the government market, why B2G is different form B2B, common missteps companies make entering the market, the difference in the problems facing small, medium and large companies, what marketing methods can works, how market share can occur, the importance of differentiation, best marketing practices in the market, why ongoing education is critical in this market, why and how social networking is becoming a critical element in marketing programs, -all this plus classic Amtower anecdotes and more in a lively discussion with Francis Rose.

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 forecast for THE FEDERAL, STATE, and MUNICIPAL MARKET- free webinar

This will provide great info for companies either in the government market, or those seeking to enter the government market in 2010. Real information from two experts Michael Balsam of Onvia and me) - and it is free.

Here are the dollars:

$5.5 trillion a year.
$105 billion a week.
$15 billion a day.
$625 million an hour.
$10 million a minute.
$175,000 a second.

Spending by federal, state, and municipal governments now represents almost half of total U.S. GDP, and that percentage is expected to increase in the coming years.

Companies that ignore the government sector are significantly disadvantaged.

The Next Economy: 2010 Government Market Outlook Report and Webinar will give you the insight your business needs to capitalize on the enormous opportunity in the government marketplace.

Register to get industry insight on:

-Government investments in Infrastructure, Energy, and Information Technology - from regional health information networks and intelligent transportation systems to smart power grids
-Continued impact of Economic Recovery funding
-Subcontractor and supplier opportunities due to lower barriers of entry
-and much more

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

SmartPay! The Federal Credit Card Program ROCKS!

I have been a huge fan of the federal credit card program since it started in 1989 (IMPAC in the 1990s, SmartPay since 1999) . I have written about it, spoken about it, even did the lunch speech at the MasterCard Government Financial Summit for the card program a couple years back.

The SmartPay program encompasses the purchase card, travel card, fleet card and the integrated card (a card which can do 2 or all 3 of the above functions).

In FY 2009 the Federal government spent $30 billion through the SmartPay program, with two-thirds of that going to the small purchase card - $19.9 billion. There were approximately 25,100,000 micro-purchases made with the SmartPay card.

The SmartPay program is great for many reasons.

First, it allows front line government personnel (civilian and military) to purchase goods and services when they need it without the painfully slow procurement process. The per-purchase limit (micro-purchase) is $3,000, so these people are not out there buying cars, buildings, etc. They are buying stuff they need to do their jobs. This actually ends up saving the government money (a cost-avoidance situation) because paper-based procurement costs mount up in personnel time used to do the procurement. The use of the SmartPay card avoids those costs.

Second, because of the total volume the government spends, each agency gets a rebate from the issuing bank.

Third, it allows companies without government contracts an opportunity to get some government business, including direct marketing companies, catalogers (especially BtoB catalogs), and even small-town main street type stores.

Any purchase under the $3,000 per-purchase limit (micro-purchase) does not require a government contract. And the SmartPay card can be used for the ARRA (stimulus) program.

I have consulted with over 50 open-market (non-contract) companies since the early 1990s about going after open market government business, and the results have been extraordinary. Several companies were able to ramp up to seven-figure annual business via the open market targeting micro-purchases. At least one company went into the eight-figure annual open market sales arena. My track record in this niche is unparalleled.

I have an article in a recent DM News on this you can read here:

Two things: if you want to discuss what I can do for you, simply send me an email and we can set up a time to talk.

or here's the deal for companies that don't currently sell to the government but want to, and for companies that are selling to the government and would like to fine tune their efforts.

We will:

1) review your product/service category to determine the spend, see who the competition is, and determine how much each competitor is making;

2) define who the actual buyers are and how to best reach your target audience (direct mail, web-based activity, events, etc) with specific recommendations targeted to your niche, prioritize the agencies and offices to target;

3) determine if there is an opportunity for you under the stimulus program, and what it will take to pursue the stimulus funds;

4) discuss in realistic terms the resources you will need to successfully pursue government (Federal, state and local) business, including staff, training and other outside resources;

5) our recommended step-by-step action plan for your company, including the information you need for your web site to attract online government buyers;

6) include a one-year membership at (an Amtower & Company web site that provides ongoing education on the government market; $499/yr value) - in effect a year long graduate course in B2G;

and as a bonus I will include my 4 CD set, The Ultimate Government Sales Jumpstart Program (priced separately at $195). And of course a signed copy of Government Marketing Best Practices, the best selling book on doing business with the government.

This is not boilerplate stuff - each report and action plan is customized for the client company. It will be delivered via a taped 60-90 minute teleseminar (which you will be able to download) with both a written report with a recommended action plan and a PowerPoint to use during the call.

The investment for this a one-time only special is $4,995, prepaid.

This is a "first-come, first scheduled" offer.

Get in touch with me ASAP if you want to take advantage of this. The anticipated response will fill my calendar for the next couple months.

And we do take credit cards.

Email me @ or call me @ 301 924 0058
to schedule your customized B2G research project and reference this blog post.

May you have a successful B2G 2010!