In 2020, the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce reported 15,301 established businesses in Huntsville and Madison County. With businesses thriving on almost every street corner and spanning across a multitude of industries, the demand for your company to stand out from the competition is greater now than ever before. Government contracting, entertainment and nonprofit organizations all play an integral role in the success of Huntsville’s economic development. Standing out takes a little creativity, and lucky for you, you’ve got a friend in the marketing business! We’ve put together a few industry-specific tips to help your business flourish in Huntsville’s competitive market.
There are over 900 government contractors in Huntsville alone. With contracting being a billion-dollar industry, it’s imperative that you position your organization in a way that makes you the clear choice to contract decision-makers. Marketing for government contractors goes far beyond T-shirts or well-branded trade show SWAG. Flourish has outlined a few tips to help you distinguish your company in the highly-saturated Huntsville landscape.
Stand out from your competitors.
Find ways to make your capabilities stand out from your competitors. Conducting a SWOT analysis to evaluate your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will enable you to identify the areas that your company can expand upon to pull ahead of the competition. It’s likely that your company’s strengths are well known internally by your leadership team and employees, but how well are they being promoted to your targeted customers? It’s equally as important to identify those key differentiators and consistently highlight them through your marketing and communications efforts so that external audiences, including potential customers, partners and employees, can understand how your company stands out from the rest.
Build thought leadership.
One of the best ways to build trust among your target audience is by establishing thought leadership within your industry. Chances are, you have a team of subject matter experts on your team who are equipped to represent your brand and share their unique insights about your industry. Start by identifying key conferences, trade shows and other events relevant to your capabilities. Your team members should be frequently attending these events to engage with other industry leaders and potential customers. Research the themes for each event and incorporate them into your company’s strategic marketing plan for the year. Brainstorm topic ideas to pitch to the conference organizers. By establishing thought leadership in your industry, you can strengthen your brand’s reputation and spark meaningful conversations that lead to real business results.
Relationships are the key to success in the GovCon world. You need strong, professional relationships with customers and prospects, primes and subs, media, and even with your competitors, as they could end up being your partner on a future bid.
One of the most common strategies to increase the odds of winning a contract is to form a joint venture (JV). JVs offer small businesses the opportunity to partner together, or partner with a larger business. By combining their strengths and experiences, JVs are able to better reach and serve their target customer. Strategically align your company’s marketing objectives with future contract windows to attract potential partners that will open up new doors to contracts you may not be qualified for on your own.
Having a strategic communication and marketing plan is extremely important to the vitality and success of your business, and we’ve only scratched the surface of what goes into a successful plan. Interested in learning more? Click here for more insights and to browse our GovCon service offerings.
Huntsville is a hotbed for the entertainment industry in the South. According to The Simple Dollar, the average household spends $2,482 a year on entertainment, meaning there is ample opportunity for entertainment businesses to obtain and retain local business. The key to gaining that business is knowing how to get your brand’s message in front of the right audience. This is where experiential marketing comes into play.
Experiential marketing (or engagement marketing) is a form of marketing that engages with an audience and invites them to interact with an organization in a tangible situation. Read our top three experiential marketing tips below.
People love to be a part of something new and trendy. When you can craft a story around your show, restaurant opening, venue renovation reveal, or other notable event that creates suspense and builds hype, people are more likely to be drawn to your business. Planning a soft opening of your show, restaurant or venue and inviting local influencers to promote your business creates buzz and offers a sense of exclusivity that will make your audience want to be included
Make it memorable.
Your audience wants to walk away with an experience they won’t forget. Being memorable doesn’t mean to stray from your brand. This is important! You have to think through creative ways to showcase your brand that entices consumers and leaves them with a lasting impression.
Agave and Rye (Huntsville) is an example of a local business that has mastered making their customer’s experience memorable. From the moment consumers first engage with their brand, Agave and Rye makes the experience “epic.” Their social media presence presents a quirky, out-of-the-box twist to your favorite taco experience, which continues throughout their restaurant. The experience customers have with the brand keeps them coming back for more. Visit their Facebook to see how they create epic tacos and epic environments.
Know your impact.
At the end of the day, all consumers seek out businesses, products and services to solve their problems. Think about how your service provides value or impacts the community. Once you have determined the solution you provide, you can begin building out an experiential marketing plan with potential to make a difference.
In Huntsville’s competitive market, it can be difficult to know how to take your business to the next level. Flourish has created several virtual workshops and resources your company can utilize to gain a competitive edge in this market. Check out our marketing strategy workshop to learn how to effectively plan a marketing campaign.
Nonprofit organizations often represent the heart of a community. They help contribute to the economic stability and mobility of the local economy. Many community members rely on nonprofits to provide necessary assistance and resources. With limited funding, nonprofits must be lean and efficient in their operations to maximize impact. Below are a few communications strategies to optimize your nonprofit’s impact in Huntsville.
Make the most of earned media.
In the nonprofit world, organizations are often working on a budget that is much smaller than that of for-profit organizations. Nonprofits need to know how to position and pitch themselves in order to earn organic, unpaid media. Your pitch, which is the email or phone call you make to encourage media to cover your news, must be relevant and timely to your community. It’s also wise to consider how you can make your pitch stand out from others, because reporters receive hundreds of pitches every day. Check out our video on how to create a media drop and turn a boring pitch into a lasting impression.
Take advantage of free resources.
Social media enables organizations to market to the community strategically and at no cost. There are several free resources out there that make social media marketing run seamlessly. We have included some of our favorite social media tools below:
- Canva – Use this tool to create sleek and professional social media graphics, presentations, brochures, and other types of marketing collateral. Check out our free Dig Into Canva workshop series to get the most out of the platform.
- Facebook Creator Studio – Use this tool to schedule Facebook and Instagram posts.
- Blender – Take advantage of this free video editing software.
- BeFunky – Use this tool to edit your photos and promote brand consistency.
Nonprofits often have to get creative to make the greatest amount of impact possible. We have several resources that can help your organization stand tall in the Huntsville market. Flourish has also partnered with a variety of nonprofits in North Alabama to help increase awareness about the awesome services they provide. Check out our community giving program, the Ivy Initiative to learn more about working with our team.
When it comes to strategic marketing and communications, many companies don’t have the time or the resources to dedicate to planning and maintaining marketing plans. Outsourcing your marketing and communications efforts enables you to focus on the growth and long-term objectives of your business. An outsourced team will allow you to scale your efforts and increase your innovation quickly and efficiently. Interested in learning more? Click here to see Flourish’s full service offering. We want to see you succeed!