If you’re part of the massive movement that’s been taking the Rocket City by storm over the past several years, you’re well aware of the opportunity that lies ahead to support our Nation’s military.
“A new era for aerospace and defense has been emerging — and Huntsville is capitalizing on it.” — CNBC
There are more than 900 defense contractors in Huntsville, winning billions of dollars in contracts each year. In order to remain successful, you must position your organization so that it’s top of mind and top of choice for key decision-makers. In 2021, marketing for government contractors is much more than ordering t-shirts or sharing a post on social media. It must be an integral piece of your overarching strategy to ensure you keep up with industry leaders, stand out from your competitors and drive long-term success for your business.
Curious if you’re on the right path? Below, we’ve outlined a few questions to help you think strategically when it comes to marketing your government contracting business.
How do your company’s capabilities stand out from your competitors?
Knowing those competitors you’re up against is key to ensure you can clearly differentiate your core capabilities from others – which can be done by performing a SWOT Analysis. A SWOT will evaluate your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and help you recognize areas of opportunity against your competitors. 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. A SWOT – when done properly – will also unveil market opportunities that you may not be aware of and enable you to structure your approach accordingly.
What influence do your subject matter experts have within your field?
For Business-to-Government (B2G) companies, success requires building brand awareness and relationships with all decision-makers. It’s critical that your target audience knows and trusts your brand. One of the best ways to build trust among your target audience is by establishing thought leadership within your industry.
Start by identifying key conferences, trade shows and other events relevant to your industry. 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 plan for the year. Brainstorm topic ideas to pitch to the conference hosts. Above all, focus on your customer instead of yourself. Rather than focusing on your products or capabilities, plan to speak to what people care about the most: trending topics and solving challenges through innovation.
By establishing thought leadership in your industry, businesses can strengthen their reputation and spark meaningful conversations that lead to real business results.
Are you recruiting and maintaining the best talent possible in a competitive market and high-demand environment?
Recruitment is a top priority for many government contractors because of the shallow pool of job applicants with the required skillset and competitive landscape of companies with the same open positions. A successful recruitment campaign is one that showcases your company’s culture, growth opportunity, benefits and more, and can be targeted based on a variety of demographic and work experience elements. By promoting your company as an employer of choice now, you’ll save time and resources from being wasted by job turnover later.
Are you positioning yourself for key partnerships, joint ventures and business development initiatives?
Relationships are the key to success in the GovCon world. They are needed with customers and prospects, primes and subs, media, internal relationships within your company, and even with your competitors, as they could end up being a partner on a future bid.
One of the most common strategies to increase the odds of winning a contract is by forming a joint venture (JV). JVs offer small businesses to partner together, or partner with a larger business, to combine their strengths and experience to best serve the target customer. By strategically marketing your business in alignment with future contract windows, you’re able to attract potential partners that will open up new opportunities that you may be unqualified for on your own.
Should you outsource your marketing and communications support?
Many companies simply don’t have the time to put a dedicated focus on strategic marketing and communications. You need to focus on what you do best: running your business and providing the best possible service you can to your clients. What we have found time and time again are companies that reach a certain threshold and then realize that they’re behind the curve – and now have to spend time catching up to those around them. Outsourcing your marketing and communications efforts will enable you to have a higher-quality team with more well-rounded skill sets that are dedicated solely to your long-term objectives. In addition to less overhead, more innovative techniques, and access to superior technology that is designed to support your goals, an outsourced team will allow you to scale efforts quickly and more efficiently without disruption.
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