Welcome to the world of B2G marketing!
We explain below what B2G marketing is and how your organisation can find new opportunities with the public sector.
What is B2G marketing?
B2G stands for business to government. The term is often used to refer to business to government marketing processes and strategies or public sector marketing.
What does B2G Marketing Mean?
B2G Marketing means the process of a private sector business marketing it’s products and services to government organisations like:
- Local councils
- Housing associations
- Police constabularies
- The Ministry of Defence
You may be thinking how does B2G marketing work if businesses need to respect complex government procurement regulations?
Early engagement with prospective buyers is permitted and encouraged. The Government is eager to engage with the supply chain and there is growing evidence that suppliers that invest in building relationships enjoy greater success. In fact, in their recently updated Outsourcing Playbook*, the Cabinet Office championed early market engagement as a means of delivering better public services.
What opportunities are out there?
According to market intelligence expert Tracker, the public sector is very much open for business:
“Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the public sector has ongoing requirements for a vast range of goods, works and services, offering a steady stream of work to suppliers of all sizes.”
In a recent blog, Tracker highlighted framework opportunities as an excellent way into public sector procurement. Public sector framework agreements can help businesses become a preferred contractor.
“While framework agreements make up a relatively small proportion of contract opportunities published, they are very influential.
Not only are they often very valuable – sometimes their total value is estimated in the billions of pounds – but they offer opportunities to multiple suppliers to win places on the framework and, with that, potential work for several years. Frameworks are also an ideal way for new suppliers and SMEs to bring themselves to the attention of public sector buyers.
Missing out on a place on a framework also reduces your ability to win business so tracking these increasingly common arrangements is now essential.”
Where can I find government contracts?
A business intelligence tool like Tracker or Supply2gov can support businesses looking to succeed in government contracting.
While Tracker helps you identify opportunities, Cadence Marketing helps you build relationships with the people behind them. You can learn more about our contact databases and digital marketing services which enable you to engage with buyers in a precise, targeted way here.
How to engage with key government decision-makers?
If your business wants to win more business and grow with government contracting, then early engagement is key. By contacting public sector buyers and government employees earlier in the procurement cycle, ideally before they have published a contract notice, you stand to position yourself as an influencer and thought leader, instead of just another commercial supplier.
Public sector business can be extremely competitive. If key government decision makers have sight of what your business can offer them and you talk to buyers ahead of the official procurement process, during the scoping and preparation phase, you will position your business well and are likely to enhance your chances of success. This is where public sector marketing comes in.
Public Contracts Regulations 2015
Pre-market engagement is now specifically permitted by the current Public Contracts Regulations 2015, and indeed there is a lot of published guidance explaining that it:
- Is essential best practice
- Ensures value for money
- Reduces risk by early scoping of tender requirements
Be bold and reach out to the organisations your business wants to win work with. After all, the public sector is urging suppliers to come to them with their innovations and new ideas. While the Government has said similar things in the past, it is now more important than ever before that businesses act on this advice. The recently published Green Paper, Transforming Public Procurement, includes ambitious proposals to increase the focus on the public good, including social value. Suppliers will increasingly need to engage with buyers in order to understand their priorities and be able to meet them.
There are several misconceptions around public sector engagement, with companies often underutilising their ability to network with buyers to put themselves in a stronger position. Whilst our strategy cannot guarantee successful bids, it can help you prepare much stronger responses and put your organisation at the front of the queue.
The benefit of engaging early is that you will learn more about the requirements and challenges that the buyer needs and faces. Moreover, it also allows you to adjust the specifications and educate the buyer about new developments and different possible solutions available in their marketplace. It is these conversations with key decisionmakers that can enable companies to be innovative in their response or put additional effort into research and development to ensure their goods, works or services are the best option for the buyer – thereby increasing their chances of success.
Before you begin with public sector marketing, ask yourself, is your business being competitive enough? The competitive advantage to be gained from early engagement with buyers is a core driver for companies looking to develop their business – and is more than simply having a compelling USP.
Through early engagement with buyers, as we have already highlighted, you can plan and even influence the shape of the final contract – which provides you with a competitive edge. Also, by really taking the time to network and ask buyers the right questions around their views on their current suppliers for active contracts, you can identify your competitors and understand what works for the buyer and what does not.
B2G Marketing Strategies
Any business working with the public sector must first have a solid plan. By utilising tools that support your ability to plan, you can ensure your business is adopting a more streamlined approach to business development, growth, and early engagement.
Having a B2G marketing strategy has never been so important.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the UK Government has been actively encouraging suppliers that can offer support in several areas to reach out to them.
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) website states that the public sector has:
“received thousands of offers from suppliers across the UK to provide goods and services to the public and third sector during the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.”
Buyers want to work with innovative, reliable and trustworthy suppliers. Early engagement can support buyers that need to carry out an accelerated procedure, where quick decisions about suppliers must be made. For a potential supplier, it is an advantage if a buyer already knows and has a relationship with your business.
The main thing to remember when creating your B2G marketing strategy is that you must be proactive instead of reactive. Your organisation does not need to wait until an opportunity is published to get in touch with a buyer.
Content marketing for B2G
Just like the business to business (B2B) world, it is well known that a content marketing strategy can support a supplier to improve lead generation.
Marketing expert Neil Patel highly recommends integrating content marketing into your lead generation strategy. He explained:
“Content marketing works because you’re not just attracting visitors to your site and leaving them alone to hopefully buy something. Instead, you’re sending a clear message that you are attuned to their needs and ready to help solve their problems.”
If you are not currently investing in your content marketing strategy, then now is the time. There are many benefits of content marketing – thought leadership is one.
B2G buyers are like those in any other marketplace. A prospect rarely responds to a salesperson’s first outreach attempt. According to Salesforce:
“It takes 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. You must be engaging with the right target group and providing them with relevant information at each stage of the buyer’s journey. This can support your business to move cold prospects that have engaged with marketing efforts to the point where they become a warm to hot lead for the sales team.”
When creating a content strategy, start at the top of the funnel with rich content and move down with more product-driven content.
Influencer marketing for B2G
Influencer marketing content delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. An influencer is someone who has the power to influence the perception of others or gets them to do something different.
The goal of influencer marketing is advocacy; therefore, business to government needs to use this along with other marketing strategies.
Although it is commonly used in the business to customer (B2C) marketplace, it works incredibly well for those working in a business to government environment. Statistics also back this up. Influencer marketing has a place in B2G marketing as 90% of decision-makers initiate their purchasing process by researching opinions from industry experts and peers. The key to success in this marketplace is positioning yourself as an influencer and thought leader, instead of just another commercial supplier.
Within the business to government marketplace industry experience and knowledge are crucial for a campaign to work. By creating online research surveys, you can get to know your target market in real depth and show that your business knows and understand the marketplace.
B2G Marketing with Cadence Marketing
Cadence, a BiP Solutions service, is a full-service B2G marketing agency with an unwavering commitment to delivering results. Our portfolio of digital marketing services is designed to support companies with a defined growth strategy, while its unrivalled database of public sector contacts enables you to engage with buyers in a precise, targeted way.
Our collaborative approach is allied to a passion for outstanding content marketing and great data. Cadence constantly updates its contact databases, guaranteeing that you will be engaging and building connections with the right buyers and influencers. Within the public sector space, no-one is better at helping businesses realise the Government’s ambition of early market engagement with prospective suppliers.
Our Ingenium database includes all decision-makers and influencers within the buying process, from procurement staff to Chief Executives, across all functions and parts of the UK Government and wider public sector – the definitive B2G community for precise marketing.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ business at Cadence – instead, a personalised approach is taken by our marketing experts to fully understand your business and what makes it tick. We offer a range of marketing communication techniques. Cadence’s range of expertise includes:
- Lead generation
- Marketing communications
- Market research and surveys
- Webinars and content marketing
- Data services
- Promotion and contact information.
- Case studies
Arrange a meeting with one of our B2G marketing experts today to learn more about early engagement and how it can boost your B2G opportunities.