Last week brought hundreds of IT manufactures and solution providers together in McLean, Virginia for immixGroup’s first annual Government IT Sales Summit. The event, crafted for companies that sell technology to the public sector, featured sessions and panels aimed at providing attendees with the right tools required to accelerate sales in the evolving government space.
The mid-morning session entitled, “Influencing the Conversation: Social Media & Content Marketing”, featured a panel of B2G marketing experts and was moderated by Allan Rubin, immixGroup’s vice president of marketing. The talk explored the social media and content marketing tactics that technology companies selling to the government are employing to generate leads, raise awareness, and accelerate the sales cycle.
Panelist Monica Mayk, marketing director at Market Connections, Inc. and executive editor of FedPulse.com, provided valuable statistics on the public sector’s digital presence. According to Mayk, government agencies, traditionally seen to be behind the curve, are keeping up in the digital space. Eighty percent of government employees use a mobile device and the way public servants utilize the internet at home impacts how they integrate digital communications on the job.
Steve Ressler, founder of GovLoop.com, an online community of over 100,000 government employees, noted that B2G marketers need to be perceived online as trusted advisors. Helping your target customer become better at their job by providing useful industry insight is the key to connection in the B2G marketing space.
Panelist Marc Hausman, president and CEO of Strategic Communications Group, remarked that, at the end of the day, it’s all about getting the sellers next to the buyers. Today’s enlightened buyer is already 57 percent of the way through the purchasing process before they even reach out to a supplier. How are B2G marketers supposed to stand out as the best choice for potential customers? According to Hausman, bringing marketing and sales teams together to brainstorm and craft meaningful thought leadership content that addresses customer needs and pain points is the key to rising above the competition.
LinkedIn expert and trainer, Mark Amtower, also spoke on the panel. Forty-one percent of Government employees use LinkedIn, and according to Amtower, not hopping on the social media train is akin to business suicide. In a world where potential customers sit hidden behind a computer screen, LinkedIn is a valuable tool to help B2G marketers connect the dots in the dark. A comment on an article or participation in a particular LinkedIn group serve as tracks for B2G marketers to follow on the hunt for interested buyers.
At the end of the session, the panelists were asked to name one activity B2G marketers need to be doing within the next sixty days. The responses included utilizing market insights to give credibility to content, developing a social media strategy, distributing content across multiple digital channels and merging sales and marketing teams.
Click here to read more about the Government IT Sales Summit and be sure to mark your 2015 calendar for next year’s event, where attendees will be sure to gain more valuable insight on the state of the B2G marketing world.