Is Content King in B2G Marketing? (Part 2)

Photo of Allan RubinAs I discussed in my last blog post, new research from Starfleet Media summarizes the importance of content, social media, and sales/marketing collaboration in the business-to-business (B2B) marketing world. What conclusions can business-to-government (B2G) marketers draw from these stats? Do government audiences consume content in the same ways as B2B buyers? What types of content work well in the B2G world, and how can we measure their effectiveness?

I’ll dive much deeper on these topics on November 20 at the Government IT Sales Summit. Until then, consider the following facts.

Market Research firm Market Connections surveyed 3,700 government employees and found that federal employees are more likely to seek out information online, with government decision-makers accessing information in increasingly complex and fragmented ways. In reviewing a summary of their 2014 Federal Media and Marketing Study, these data points jumped out at me:

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New Data on How to Reach Government Customers

bphoto_Allan-Rubin_65x85y Allan Rubin, Vice President, Marketing

As today’s government shutdown clearly illustrates, it’s hard to get anything done when two parties are so far apart in their beliefs. Could the same communication breakdown be occurring between government marketers and our prospective customers?

At some point (hopefully soon), they’ll be back at their desks browsing the Web, opening our email on mobile devices, and maybe venturing out of the office once or twice a year to meet with industry face-to-face (assuming they’ve been given the proper hall pass). If we want to capture their attention, we have to follow their lead.

I was recently invited to review and comment on the results of an original research study by Market Connections and Boscobel Marketing Communications:

Connecting with Government Customers in an Era of Event and Travel Restrictions

The study identifies how government employees plan to obtain the information and training they used to receive from live events. Its aim is to give contractors current insights into their target customer base that will help them refocus their efforts to reach government prospects.

I’ve written extensively about the challenges we’ve encountered with live events over the past 18 months, and the study provides data that supports our concerns. It also gives recommendations on what to do about it.

An interesting part of the study highlights a potential gulf between the way we want to market to the government and how our customers want to find information. It’s summarized in the graphic below.

Different Opinions

This data held a few surprises for me:

  • It’s easy to see that contractors have shied away from print advertising in trade publications just from picking one up, but interesting that customers still rate them so highly;
  • Only 21 percent of contractors surveyed think government will get information and training online. Really? There’s this cool new thing called the Internet…
  • Apparently, we in the contracting community think prospects are much more interested in talking to us directly than they appear to be.

There are plenty of other nuggets in here that make it a worthwhile read. I hope you’ll check out the study!

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