What Is B2G Marketing?
Business to government (B2G) marketing is a field of marketing that focuses on selling products and services to the public sector. B2G marketing requires a unique set of skills and involves understanding the needs and preferences of government buyers. Public sector marketing also requires a deep understanding of numerous legalities and components, including:
- B2G legal regulations
- Advantages for large and small organisations
- How to get government contracts
- The profitability of B2G marketing
As a B2G marketer, your organisation must strategize in order to effectively communicate your product or service’s value and stand out from the competition. For example, your organisation might choose to focus on developing tailored presentations that highlight how your product or service can fill existing industry gaps.
It’s also crucial to proactively identify potential opportunities for sales growth within the government market by leveraging relationships with your existing customers. In addition, when marketing to the public sector, you should be regularly researching new expansion opportunities.
A critical concept in B2G marketing is early engagement. Meaning, the process of initiating contact with potential customers early in the buying (procurement) cycle. Early engagement allows you to better understand public sector needs and establish your business as a trusted service to meet these needs.
B2G Marketing Strategy vs. B2B Marketing Strategy
A B2G marketing strategy is any kind of strategy or plan that an organisation uses to market goods or services to the public sector. On the other hand, a B2B (business to business) marketing strategy is a marketing strategy that’s designed to sell products and services to other private businesses.
Here are some other key differences between B2G and B2B strategies:
Marketing Tactics Utilised
The needs of government organisations are often different from those of private businesses. For example, B2G campaigns tend to focus more on public relations or policy-oriented approaches. On the other hand, B2B marketing generally involves more traditional advertising or sales tactics.
Products or Services Offered
While the terms B2B and B2G are very similar, there’s usually a significant difference in the types of products and services offered in B2B and B2G markets. In general, businesses are looking for products and services that will aid in:
- Increasing efficiency
- Reducing costs
- Streamlining operations
- Implementing digital solutions
- Improving customer service
In contrast, public sector entities often require specialised products and services that need to meet specific requirements established by the government’s regulations or standards. Organisations interested in B2G marketing need solutions that are tailored to meet these unique needs. Public sector organisations generally are looking for products and services that will allow them to:
- Improve public infrastructure (like roads)
- Utilise cloud-based software
- Provide maintenance services
- Implement eCommerce solutions
Branding and Client Communication Style
There’s also a noticeable difference in branding and overall client communication style between B2B and B2G marketing. In a B2G campaign, it is crucial that your organisation is aware of any political sensitivities associated with its message (as well as any legal restrictions or requirements) when communicating with government entities.
On the other hand, your messages can be more flexible when your organisation is targeting businesses. Generally, there are fewer restrictions on the content of your marketing materials due to less stringent regulations governing business-to-business interactions.
Remember, whichever sector (private or public) your organisation specialises in, the ultimate goal is to drive sales. Each sector requires different approaches when it comes to developing an effective marketing campaign that drives sales. While a B2G strategy may focus more heavily on establishing relationships with key decision-makers within government agencies, a successful B2B campaign will likely prioritise developing relationships with potential customers through various channels (such as content creation and email campaigns).
B2G Strategy and the Procurement Cycle
The procurement cycle refers to the actual process of doing business with government entities. It involves multiple steps which may vary depending on the exact product or service that is being offered. Steps include (but aren’t necessarily limited to):
1. Need Identification
The B2G procurement cycle generally kicks off when the government entity begins to identify a particular need. This process can also involve researching potential vendors and evaluating their capabilities.
2. Early Market (Pre-Market) Engagement
During this time, the public entity might contact your organisation about potential dealings or simply just to get to know a bit more about you. This is also known as soft market testing.
3. Vendor Selection
Once the government entity has an idea of the product or service they need, they will issue required items such as an Invitation To Tender (ITT), Invitation To Quote (ITQ), and Request for Proposal (RFP).
4. Bid Evaluation
Once all bids have been received and evaluated, negotiations can begin. This is an opportunity for your organisation and the government entity to finalise all agreement terms. Next, the contract can be drawn up.
5. Contract Formalisation
After an agreement is drawn up, a purchase order is issued to formalise the agreement between your business and the government party.
6. Product Delivery
Now comes the actual delivery of goods or services. Delivery (whether physical or digital) includes inspecting products for quality assurance and ensuring that all requirements specified in the contract are met.
7. Receipt Issuance and Payment
Upon receipt of goods or services, the government entity should submit an invoice to your organisation for payment. This receipt must then be processed per applicable laws and regulations.
8. Performance Evaluation
After completing any government contract, your organisation should evaluate its performance against agreed-upon standards and perform any necessary follow-up activities (such as amendments or modifications to existing contracts).
Throughout each step of the B2G procurement cycle, it is critical that your organisation understands and follows all applicable laws and regulations regarding public sector procurement. Failure to do so could result in fines or other penalties, which can turn into an enormous legal and financial headache. Your organisation should also aim to maintain transparency throughout every step of the public sector procurement process to ensure accountability among all stakeholders.
Tailor Your B2G Sales Strategy with Cadence Marketing
Here at Cadence Marketing, we bring almost forty years of market experience to the table. Our area of expertise is bringing data-driven B2G solutions in the public sector. Contact us today or schedule a meeting to learn more about the services we offer.