Editor’s Note: This Article Has Been Updated June 21, 2023
GovCon marketing has changed its face drastically over the last 5 years. We are no longer utilizing salesmen-type tactics, but moving more toward valuable, needle-moving discussions that push people and their businesses forward. In the interest of continuing that discussion, we at BOOST would like to provide you with our Top 5 Must-Haves for Government Contractors.
If you’d prefer an audio experience, you can listen to the discussion on this topic below.
1) Define your Mission, Vision, and Values
Write them, workshop them, include your core team in their creation. Everyone must be all-in on all three for the business to achieve growth and success.
• Mission: Who you are and what you do?
• Vision: Where your company is going? The future declaration of purpose.
• Values: What do you believe? How is that communicated by the team?
Having a mission, vision, and values statement helps the company as a whole to communicate purpose. These “big three” as we’ll call them, inform strategy development through a focused lens of understanding. Finally, they help teams to develop measurable goals to gauge success. If the new endeavors and current opportunities in your business align with your mission, vision, and values you can assume you’re on the right track.
GovCon Tip: Your Mission, Vision, and Values will tie directly to the language used in your capabilities statement. (Read more on Cap Statements here.)
2) Know Your Audience
Who does your business speak to? Who are the decision-makers that will sign task orders and complete invoices? We’re talking about those who will help you to meet your goals for revenue and growth. The following questions are one’s we suggest you answer to better define this audience.
• How do they like to be reached? Email, Social Platforms, Phone Calls, In-Person Events, Introductions, etc.
• Where are they spending their time? Specifically during non-work and work hours.
• How do they like to be spoken to? Quick snippets, long case studies, blogs, high-jargon emails (probably not this one).
GovCon Marketing Tip: GovCons typically have three audiences, teaming partners, employees/future employees, the Government. Depending on the goal and messaging, your audience could change slightly and needs to be clear in all three areas.
3) Be Consistent
As you develop the pieces of your brand and your marketing, the effort will all be for naught if you don’t have anywhere to showcase those assets.
• Determine what you want to tell your audience. What are the most important things for them to know about you that will also be of value to them.
• Determine how you want to share your message. Some of those options are social, print, email, video, and in-person communication.
*Remember* We’re talking about 7-10 high-quality “touches” to even get your foot in the door with a potential client/customer who hadn’t heard of you before. “Touches” here refer to the marketing pieces that those individuals consume. This is not a waste of your time but an investment into a potential long-term relationship.
• When you begin (and you should start ASAP), keep going. Consistency translates to an increased know, like and trust factor which moves clients/customers through the journey toward a long-term opportunity.
If you continually show up in the industry as and for your business, clients will expect the same caliber of attention and excellence being shown to their service or business.
GovCon Marketing Tip: The speed of businesses doing work with the government is drastically different than the commercial space. In GovCon, the follow-up and the nurturing of relationships through print and digital marketing will have an impact on your positioning within the industry as a whole.
4) Manage Your Platforms
When we talk about your platforms we discuss them in a three-fold way.
• Employer Branding: How your employees talk about working for and within your company. How are they supported? What would they write on a Glassdoor review?
• Teaming: How are you positioning yourself and your unique capabilities to win more work with new and repeat teammates
• Clients, Customers, and the Government: How are you sharing information that will help those you serve to better, and easily understand what it means to have your support?
GovCon Marketing Tip: TikTok isn’t for you! Snapchat is probably a no-go as well. Stick to the platforms where your audience hangs out. In the GovCon world, that would include email, LinkedIn, Twitter, and maybe Facebook (in that order).
5) Streamline Your Brand
Once you have all of the pieces in place you’ll need to make them accessible and consistent to ensure that everything fits. Your website, print materials, the language in your social media, your proposals and sales materials, speaking and industry appearances, everything. A potential employee or client should be able to touch one piece of your marketing and see its echo each time they run across your brand in the future. Much like consistency, the repetitive nature of the beast builds trust and relationships.
Marketing is a full-time commitment, and good marketing is consistent, streamlined, and focused. If you find that you’d like to build your brand and develop a strategic marketing plan, chat with BOOST’s Marketing Team here.
About BOOST’s CEO, Stephanie Alexander
Stephanie Alexander has spent more decades than she wants to admit supporting high growth government contractors with an eye towards their bottom line. She is the CEO and founder of BOOST LLC which supports back-office functions for government contractors. She is a co-founder and Partner at govmates, a free teaming platform and technology scouting tool to connect business across the federal landscape.