Public Sector Basics, Part One: Know your audience

By Jimmy Baker, Public Sector Marketing Strategist

Understanding your government customers and how they gather information about technology solutions is vital for anyone involved in business development, capture efforts, marketing and selling. This blog looks at the differences between audience demographics at the federal, state and local government level, and how to address your marketing message accordingly.

First, however, I’ll let you in on a great resource. Market Connections publishes their Content Marketing Review, which is among the best surveys I’ve seen elaborating on what types of information the public sector needs to make decisions and where they go to get it.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Mari Canizales Coache from Market Connections about the study results and have had some riveting conversations. Here are some insights I’ve gleaned that should help you understand your audiences a little more.

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Encouraging the next generation to join the cybersecurity workforce

By Gail Bamford, Brand Marketing Manager

In support of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, immixGroup and Arrow Electronics recently hosted two webinars: “Women in Cyber” and “Careers in Cybersecurity for Liberal Arts.” Each event featured a panel of technology leaders. These important discussions are a “must-see” for business professionals, education leadership, parents, students, and individuals seeking a career change.

The goal of the NIST NICE Cybersecurity Career Week is to bring awareness to careers in cyber. According to cyberseek.org, there are 464,420 unfilled cybersecurity positions in America. As cybercrime as well as the level of sophistication of attacks rises, so does the need to educate and raise up the next generation of cyber defenders. 

A recent survey on women in the field of cybersecurity revealed that men outnumber women three to one. However, the percentages of women in key cybersecurity leadership positions are increasing. The “Women in Cyber” webinar discussion featured a panel of cybersecurity leaders sharing their insights on the field of cybersecurity. 

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Most valuable types of information you can provide to government IT decision-makers

By Jimmy Baker, Public Sector Marketing Strategist

The last federal fiscal year was truly one for the history books and COVID-19 has changed the way government decision-makers receive and monitor information.

Like many marketing professionals around the country, I stay up to date on the latest trends in government policy, spending and marketing. With a FY22 technology budget of approximately $95B, I want to make sure the assets I create deliver value and resonate with government stakeholders.  

For the last several years, Market Connections has published the Content Marketing Review. This study is truly one of the best surveys out there on what and where the public sector is going for information. This report takes the time to break down the differences (in terms of content preference) between the federal government, state and local government and the education marketplaces.  

Here are the top three things I learned about the federal government from the 2021 Content Marketing Review:  

  1. 81% of government leaders will read research reports 
  2. 72% of government leaders will read white papers 
  3. 61% of government leaders attend webinars 

We have all heard the phrase “content is king.” However, the government needs some precise information before looking at a vendor’s content. This report provides vital insights and details that is a must read to anyone that markets and sells technology products and services to the public sector.  

Please make plans to read my blog next month as I interview Market Connection’s Mari Canizales Coache and go deeper into the results of the latest surveys on where government decision-makers go to learn more about technology products and services.  

Keep on top of the latest trends in government IT. Subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog now!

Learn more about Market Connections’ 2021 Content Market Review.

Building your state contracting toolbox through OMNIA Partners, Public Sector

By Chauncey Kehoe, SLED Contracts Manager

State, local and education agencies have many paths to procurement and numerous contract vehicles to choose from. Some contracts, however, do not allow for reseller participation or post award modifications to add new product lines; they leave the customer with no way to purchase the technology they need from the vendor they want.

The solution is for resellers and manufacturers to build out a contracts toolbox for when these situations arise. Your toolbox should include a variety of mandatory statewide and cooperative contracts for you to suggest to your customers. This multi-part series will introduce you to a few key statewide contracts and cooperatives for your toolbox.

To start, we will explore OMNIA Partners, Public Sector, who I featured in a recent webinar. OMNIA Partners, Public Sector is one of the largest and most experienced cooperative purchasing organizations dedicated to public sector procurement.

immixGroup is fortunate to have an award for Software Solutions and Services under the OMNIA Partners’ portfolio. Why should this cooperative be in your toolbox? Let’s dive into the benefits of the Software Solutions and Services contract:

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Nur Rahman honored on the 2021 CRN Rising Female Stars List

immixGroup and Arrow are pleased to announce that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Sr. Manager of Sales Operations Nur Rahman to its 2021 list of Rising Female Stars. This list honors up-and-coming talented women in the IT channel whose contributions are shaping the future of the IT channel through their leadership, tireless dedication and innovative ideas.

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Can Government Buyers Find You? Time to Up Your SEO Game!

By Gail Bamford, Brand Marketing Manager

In the last year, B2G marketers have had to pivot from depending on live events to fill their sales pipelines. Our websites, which many of us have neglected or not recognized the true value of, have become cornerstones to growing our businesses.

Why You Should Care
A recent report from Market Connections, a leading B2G, B2B and government research company, stated that 82% of federal decision-makers rated corporate websites and search engine results as their top-rated sources for research.

Your website is where you can start building trust and relationships with potential customers and, further down the road, fill your pipeline with qualified leads. But if they can’t find you to begin with, leads are never going to materialize. This is where Search Engine Optimization or SEO can help.

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SLED 101 Series – What is the SLED market?

Welcome to the first blog of our SLED 101 series. Over the next few months, you’ll see a series of blogs that walk through the basics of the state, local and education markets. Topics will include understanding the budget cycles, identifying the IT budget, navigating CIO priorities, understanding procurement, differentiating master contracts and cooperative contracts, and finally, comparing the SLED market to the federal market.

To kick things off, I wanted to start by defining what the SLED market entails and why understanding their independence is crucial to success. When we talk about SLED, we are talking about more than 90,000 different government organizations.

  • 50 States
  • 3,000+ Counties / Boroughs / Parishes
  • 36,000+ Cities / Towns / Municipalities
  • 12,000+ Public School Systems
  • 2,000+ Higher Education Institutions
  • 38,000+ Special Districts
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Good Content Produces Quality Sales Leads

By Gail Bamford, Brand Marketing Manager

In the last nine months, marketing to government has really been turned on its head. The government events we all have all relied on in the past for leads have been canceled or virtual events have taken their place. If we hadn’t taken digital marketing seriously before, we sure are now.

We have been forced to refine how we do inbound and outbound marketing to fill the funnel. Not only is content “king,” it is the incentive for potential buyers to consider and evaluate our capabilities, our products and our services. We need to think hard about the right content for each stage of the funnel. And we need to establish metrics that measure our success.

I’ve been participating in regular calls hosted by Government Marketing University with fellow government marketers for the last couple of months. We’ve discussed all kinds of ways we’ve all been dealing with this abrupt change to support our sales teams. Lots of good topics and advice has been shared.

One of the regular contributors on the calls is Chris Parente, founder of StoryTech Consulting. He and I got to talking about how important it is to not only develop strong content throughout all stages of the funnel but to also make sure we are setting measurable objectives and sharing performance metrics. Read more of this post

LinkedIn Refresh: A New You for 2020

By Janna Neequaye, Senior Marketing Communications Manager

The holidays are over and it’s time to get back to business! Have you taken stock of your own personal branding and how you want to portray yourself lately? When is the last time you spent some time reviewing your LinkedIn profile and updating it?

How you present yourself in LinkedIn is important to your professional success – especially if you are in sales or business development. Not only do you check out others, they’re checking you out too! Think about it — your potential customers check you out. Your peers, friends and acquaintances in your social circles even check you out.

So, why wouldn’t you want to present yourself and your accomplishments in the best possible light, with the most up-to-date information? Read more of this post

15 Minutes Can Build Your Business

By Rita Walston, Senior Director, Marketing Programs

I carry a custom coin around with me. On one side it says strong relationships build business; on the other, I am not a commodity.

I designed and had 100 of those coins made last year and frequently use them in training and mentoring sessions.  We recently put those words into action at immixGroup by hosting an Emerging Tech Speed Networking Event.

We’ve hosted Speed Networking Events before, but this one was unique and addressed a specific need we’d heard from both our partners and our IT manufacturer suppliers. The partners want to know which companies are “the next big thing”—emerging technology logos they should add to their line card to grow their business. The IT manufacturers want to know which partners they should add as they establish or grow their channel and drive revenue—who is hungry and will be a hunter, not just an RFP gatherer.

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