If you’re looking to grow your share of the public sector market, B2G engagement is key. But public sector buyers are notoriously time-poor, meaning your window of opportunity is limited. In a highly competitive marketplace, how do you immediately differentiate your offering from the rest of the pack?
In response, and as part of Cadence Marketing’s ongoing B2G blog series, we’ve reviewed our top-performing marketing campaigns to reveal our tips for public sector IT engagement. Whether it’s engaging early or a refresh of your content marketing strategy, the below recommendations are proven to build brand awareness, drive buyer engagement and deliver a pipeline of public sector prospects.
What is early engagement and why does it matter?
There’s nothing new about early engagement. Businesses often engage with B2B prospects early on in the buyer journey. It’s a great way of positioning yourself as an influencer or thought leader, rather than a run-of-the-mill commercial supplier.
But what you might not realise is that the UK Government actively encourages early engagement. According to the Cabinet Office, it helps “promote forthcoming procurement opportunities and provide a forum to discuss delivery challenges and risks associated with the project”1. Early engagement is in the UK Government’s best interest and they want to hear from innovative, reliable and trustworthy suppliers.
In practice, this means reaching out to buyers ahead of the official procurement process, during the scoping and preparation phase, to spark discussions with influencers and key decision makers. But what messaging should you take to market?
Content should be the cornerstone of your B2G marketing strategy
It’s an obvious statement, but reinforcing your messaging with relevant content at each stage of the marketing funnel is key. When brainstorming potential B2G marketing content, consolidate and focus on your buyer personas. What are their current priorities? What are their specific pain points? Where will their focus be in the future?
Once you’ve taken these questions into account, you can deliver personalised content tailored to their interests. In our experience, a B2G case study illustrating a stakeholder’s digital transformation or a piece of bespoke market research into cloud adoption is certain to resonate with public sector professionals. Surveys are also particularly powerful as they generate unique insights for you and your audience, and help position you as a thought leader.
Having relevant content for each stage of the marketing funnel is essential to generate prospects and convert those into SQLs and opportunities. It’s also worth bearing public sector announcements in mind. For instance, the UK Government is prioritising social value as part of its recent Transforming Public Procurement paper. Social value is now a significant talking point public sector-wide, making it a great place to start when thinking about your own engagement.
The devil is in the data
Where B2G engagement is concerned, targeting is everything. Identify which decision makers and influencers you should be targeting, and ensure you’re reaching out with the right messaging for them.
In our experience, having access to a curated database of public sector professionals is half the battle. And if the data is granular enough, you’ll be able to personalise your campaigns in creative ways to get yourself noticed. Personalisation lends credibility to the notion that your campaign is unique to the individual receiving it, making it one of the most effective tools in your marketing arsenal.
Use all the tricks in your B2G marketing toolkit
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to B2G marketing. If you want your campaigns to make an impact, you’ll need to vary your content and pull your tactics together as part of a holistic approach.
You might also consider interactive digital platforms in addition to traditional PDF collateral, or video content and live/on-demand webinars alongside written material. Whether it’s a wide-reaching social media campaign or an infographic breaking down an otherwise impenetrable asset, agility is essential.
It’s all about relationships
Ultimately, B2G engagement is all about relationships. Targeting your audience, recognising their requirements, and delivering relevant content across a variety of channels – these steps will certainly get you noticed.
But it’s all in the service of building trust and establishing lasting partnerships with buyer organisations. Look past the prospects to people themselves and appeal to them with worthwhile content rather than a cold, hard sales pitch. After all, public sector IT wants to work with you. All they’re waiting for is the right campaign.