Are Your Sales and Marketing Messages Aligned to the Times?
April 30, 2012 1 Comment
The federal government is a popular punching bag these days. I’m not talking about the poor judgment shown by a relative handful of Secret Service and GSA employees, in scandals that are keeping the journalists, pundits, and special interest groups extremely busy. (Apparently, what happens in Columbia doesn’t stay in Columbia any more than what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas).
No, I’m talking about the budget cuts that are forcing hard-working government employees to do more with less every single day. According to last week’s Commerce Department report on first quarter economic growth, as reported in the Washington Post, federal government spending dropped by 5.6 percent, with defense spending down 8.1 percent, and “those cuts are likely to continue.”
Thankfully, the IT community continues to do pretty well in the face of budget cuts. We know that technology, particularly commercial off-the-shelf products, can often be used effectively to increase productivity and lower costs. The government needs these solutions more than ever before if it hopes to continue doing things like protecting the borders, repairing bridges, fighting wars, and treating wounded veterans with fewer human and financial resources.
We’re urging our clients and reseller partners to keep these realities in mind as they roll out sales and marketing campaigns, whether for lead generation, branding, or awareness. Spend time with your internal product experts to make sure you have a compelling story to tell about how your solutions can increase efficiency and reduce time-to-market for more agile, immediate implementations. Lean heavily on past performance stories within the government. If you’re finding it difficult to get those (not surprising given the recent scrutiny of government/contractor relationships), look for parallels within your commercial business to demonstrate your product’s value in solving challenges that mirror those of your federal customers.
Remember, many of the large, customized, multi-year programs that have dominated in recent years are falling out of favor due to unacceptable cost and schedule overruns. Make sure your sales pitch, collateral, and awareness campaigns reinforce your ability to help a bruised, over-worked, and under-funded customer reduce time, money, and risk. It’s all about doing more with less.