The complexity of business to government (B2G) marketing is something that the team at Modern Marketing Today is very privy to. Between all of the regulatory compliance challenges, constant leadership changes, and extremely high levels of scrutiny (and myriad of other challenges), government customers can be tough nuts to crack when it comes to effective marketing.
Allan Rubin, CMO at ORock Technologies, Inc., thinks that the most tactical approach when traversing the B2G world is content marketing. Because of the level and control and customizability of a content marketing program, it’s a great fit for the government environment and can meet very specific parameters and messages. Your clients have the ability to differentiate themselves in a hotly contested market. However, those benefits aren’t always considered by marketing teams that aren’t used to navigating the unique and mystifying culture in the public sector.
“Marketing your products and services to government agencies is not as simple as swapping out the word ‘mission’ for ‘profitability’ and adding photos of eagles, flags, or Gothic columns on your commercial collateral. Sadly, that’s an approach I see many organizations take,” explained Rubin in his recent LinkedIn article Marketing to Government: 7 Reasons to Invest in B2G Content.
In his article, Rubin describes seven key benefits that result from thoughtful, strategic B2G content marketing programs. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Define the problem (and the potential solution) in terms that favor you – In the B2G world, if you start marketing or selling after the customer’s requirements have been defined and a Request for Proposal has already been posted to FedBizOpps, you’ve likely already lost. Well-placed content can shape a prospect’s thinking around a problem (often before they even know they have one) and show them what’s possible. This critical step can influence how an RFI or RFP is written and get you ahead of the competition right from the beginning.
- Build credibility, trust, and differentiation – Content marketing enables you to demonstrate your company’s expertise and knowledge in an area that’s important to the customer. It also helps you provide something of value in exchange for their attention, contact information, and continued engagement. That establishes more trust and separates your brand from competitors who start with a pitch that’s all about them.
- Gain Insight Into Customer Needs – Want to better understand what your prospects care about and what engages them? Combine your content with social media and marketing automation capabilities to track and analyze what they’re downloading, searching for, watching, consuming, liking, and sharing. Encourage them to provide feedback, post questions, check out related content, expand on your information, or set you straight if they disagree with your position. And if you study when and where they do it, you’ll get smarter about the best days, times, and channels you can use to continue your engagement.
You can read Rubin’s article in it’s entirety on LinkedIn here and learn more about content marketing in the B2G arena.