Marketing to Government
Getting into the minds of public sector managers can be difficult. A-ZGovBIZ surveyed government buyers and asked a crucial question - How do you find new suppliers?
* 10% use government trade journals
* 20% rely on sales representatives to keep them up to date
* 40% rely on getting information in the mail and
* 80% use the internet to search for suppliers
Market Sector Overview
Federal Government spending in 2009-10 was approximately $343 billion dollars - which constitutes approximately 26% of GDP
Education has also been a big winner from the stimulus package with $2 billion earmarked to be spent over six years for new ICT equipment and infrastructure.
Given that less than 3,000 organisations are responsible for a whopping $300+ billion dollars of spending annually, public-sector marketing can often require a different approach to private-sector marketing.
When marketing to the public sector you need to consider that government organisations are fluid, loosely defined entities with flexible borders. These are frequently shared and interdependent corporate structures with huge $ for $ buying power.
Send multiple packages. Not everyone will respond to your offer on the first mailing, and usually 4-6 mailings of the same offer will increase the ROI of your whole campaign.
Target your market appropriately. Executives and project managers look for product benefits that will help them do their job more efficiently. Purchasing managers and other “non-end users” focus more on price and delivery.
Keep in mind that government business units vary in size from massive Federal Government Departments such as the Department of Defence (Approx 5,000-50,000 employees) to small advisory bodies and local councils with 4 or 5 employees. However, very frequently smaller organisations can be considered to be constituents of a larger government body.
Tips and hints
- Identify those departments and sections that will use your product or service and research their needs.
- Find out their procurement policies, the processes and timetables they use when buying and how much they buy when they do.
- Research the quantities involved and work out the value of pursuing any contracts to your business. Analyse whether such a course of action is monetarily feasible and proportionate to the effort required.
- Contact people within the public agency and build a market presence for your business. Create relationships with staff via regular email marketing program or utilise the services of a mail house for regular direct mail programs so that your organisation will be better known and remembered when procurement situations arise.
- Throughout the process of networking with government and tendering for contracts, remember to seek feedback and improve upon any issues that are raised. Also make use of the tender debriefing option if you are ever unsuccessful in bidding for a contract.
- Only pursue tenders that have funding at least signed off or released.
- Nurture relationships, but don't waste too much time helping civil servants trying to secure funds by writing funding documents or BIDS.
- Target the decision maker and try to establish a relationship with them directly.
- Do your research first. If you target agendas, then your product or service should help deliver on that agenda. Build a public sector profile to reflect that you understand the agendas you are targeting.
- Use their language. If you've done your homework, you will have picked up the buzz words for your particular agenda. Use them in your marketing.
- Marketing to government relies on careful timing. Be aware of the ebb and flow of government buying cycles.
A-ZGovBIZ is a list supplier specialising in the Australian public sector. Our government marketing lists will ensure you get the highest quality customer data that will turn the simple purchase into an on-going value enhanced relationship. That's why they call us the public sector people.
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