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Testimonials

Karin, the Las Vegas event was exceptional. We are already handling 8 SDVO set-a-sides. Thank you for the part that you played in a truly exceptional event. We will be there next year.
Ken Shoemake, The Stay Safe Store

Marketing Tools

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  • Obtaining Information
    • Know your customer – ask the right questions.
      • What do you read; what do you attend; what do you belong to
      • Know what they want to buy, who they’re currently buying from, when and how
      • Ask, listen, act
    • Ask customers for referrals.
  • Ads/Promo/Campaigning
    • Use space ads selectively, make them direct response ads – awareness building should be done earlier in the year.
    • Consider the One-Book-Buys for space ads.
    • Radio spots on WTOP.
    • Buy AdWords.
    • Integrate Your End of FY campaigns
      • Consistent look and message
      • What’s in their hand must resonate with what they see on the web
    • Use multiple tactics
      • Direct mail, web, PR, telemarketing, events
      • No one shot campaigns without a supporting cast
    • Use SmartPay logo on all promo material.
    • Maximize linkage July-October; links with publications, manufacturer partners, channel partners, FBC, GovFacility – wherever you can get links at sites that get the right traffic.
    • Plan press releases for busy season…work to get editorial coverage.
    • Meet a new reporter – one whose beat covers your niche; there may be no immediate payoff, but who knows…
    • Think outside the box.
      • Hand out material at top five federal metro stations
      • Movie theater preview ads
      • Fly a banner over jersey beaches
  • Mail/Email
    • Mail to your installed customer base every other week July/August – every week in Sept: snail and email.
    • Use the same list three times for prospecting.
    • If you go after low hanging fruit (sales under $2,500), mail the credit card file 2x (outside DC) in August/Sept Remember APO/FPO – mail frequently including prospect mail.
    • Send all mail in DC area in envelopes; remember all DC snail mail is still irradiated.
    • Post cards work outside DC, but not at base activities.
  • Follow-Up
    • Make your messages matter
      • Must have stopping power – relevant headlines and short copy
      • Consistency and frequency
    • Include information to help make decisions
      • Prices, specs
      • Web site address/800 number
      • Contract vehicles
    • Include a government theme - let them know you understand their business.
    • Give multiple ways to respond - web, phone, fax, BRC.
    • Follow-up on all leads…70% are not followed up on.
    • Emails should lead with end-of-FY special and gratuity offer.
  • Phone
    • Answer the phone.
    • Guarantee calls returned within one hour.
    • Put specials on your hold music, tell about extended hours.
    • Telemarketing to existing accounts with end of year specials.
  • Sales
    • Give multiple ways to buy
      • Online with a credit card
      • Multiple contracts
    • Have sales contests in your outbound office.
    • Call your sales rep at the publication that works best for you and ask them for the best they can do between now & Oct 15.
    • Sales blitz days – close order and pick up purchase order, etc., make it a contest, take execs with you.
  • Saving Money
    • Partner with complimentary vendors and share the marketing costs.
    • Establish year-end blanket purchase agreements – easy way to buy.
  • Meetings
    • Have execs speak at events and SIG meetings
    • Be visible at SIG meetings. Attend AFFIRM, PKI, FISSEA & others where there will be a concentration of Feds.
    • If you are known in a niche look for affinity groups in government with list serves; see if they will carry your end-of-FY message: FISSEA, GCN, PKI, etc.
    • Sponsor events/breakfasts and network at these meetings.
    • Schedule an end-of-FY post-mortem: bring in Amtower for a Federal Marketing Audit or the Government Marketing Best Practices workshop.
  • Events
    • Special events – seminars – face-to-face marketing.
    • Participate in more in-agency events until November.
  • Crunch Time
    • Have executive team distribute busy season survival kits.
    • Try metro cards if slots available during busy season.
    • Remember, busy season runs into mid-Oct if the budgets are approved -- offer a first of the FY special.
    • Don’t try and do it all, pick what works for you and execute!
  • Web
    • Make your web site user friendly
      • Loads quickly
      • Easy to navigate
      • Content rich
    • Keep the web site fresh – update weekly through busy season: specials, news, links.
    • Leverage testimonials or other success stories.
    • Create white papers that can be posted on web site for downloading, used as leave behinds on account calls and use as response incentive in direct marketing efforts.
  • Rewards
    • Reward frequent buyers – always say thank you.
    • Customer appreciation days – special delivery packages – cookies, etc.
    • Hand out ice cream at key agencies one afternoon a week.
  • GSA
    • Weekly spot reductions from your GSA Schedule price through busy season.
    • Update any information on GSA Advantage, ProNet, etc.
    • Visit http//:ssq.gsa.gov – run a current report on your GSA Schedule category, regardless of whether you have a Schedule. See who is leading, and look at their web site, ads, etc.
    • Get in MarkeTips. This is the GSA publication that goes to all offices that buy off Schedule.
  • General
    • Survey says…conduct customer satisfaction measurement after FY close.
    • Monitor competitors closely during end-of-FY
      • How does the market perceive you relative to them?<
      • Emphasize what makes you different
    • Extend business hours and communicate it!!
    • Clearly emphasize and communicate your differentiators during end of FY– service, delivery, 8(a), woman-owned, 24 hour ordering, etc.
    • Leverage legal gratuities – Include Federal Personnel Guide with every Sept sale- call 301-656-0450 and tell Frank Joseph that Mark Amtower sent you – announce this at your web site.
    • Exploit best accounts (agency accounts): if an agency likes you, spend more time/money there (all locations) than elsewhere; table tops, direct mail, email.