5 marketing best practices to drive your brand to the future

Research shows that there are marketing best practices that can help separate your firm from competitors and help draw top talent. Marketing expert Elizabeth Harr shares her thoughts on research, strategy, branding and more.

No single strategy can guarantee success in government marketing. But my firm’s recent research reveals five marketing strategies that can significantly benefit government contractors.

1. Gain Market Insights through Research

The biggest challenge in improving your firm’s government marketing impact is increasing your understanding of your audience’s changing business needs. Research can reveal insights into the challenges facing current and prospective clients, strengths and weaknesses of both yourself and competitors, and most critically, how you’re different.

What’s more, firms that conduct formal research on their target markets grow faster and are more profitable. In a recent study, we found that 34 percent of high growth firms do systematic market research at least quarterly, unlike their slow-growth peers.

2. Follow a Focused Strategy

Our research also found that firms benefit from narrowly focused strategies.

The reason is that the broader a firm’s appeal, the more numerous are its competitors — and the more difficult it is for the firm to stand out. That being said, there are a few differentiators that consistently outperform others. For example, firms that offer a niche service are 25 percent more likely to be high growth firms, while firms that specialize in a particular industry are an impressive 89 percent more likely to become high growth firms.

We’ve identified three reasons that such niche approaches are effective:

  1. They allow a firm to be more visible to a smaller audience, making it easier and less expensive to reach them.
  2. The firms are more likely to be seen as top experts in their field, allowing them to close business more quickly — and charge premium fees.
  3. Smaller, well-defined markets are easier to understand and monitor, positioning these firms to introduce innovative solutions as their clients’ needs evolve.

3. Build Your Brand around Expertise

Our research reveals that expertise is the number one selection criteria decision makers use when building the list of firms to consider. More to the point, in 72 percent of cases, expertise was the single factor that tipped the scale in favor of the selected firm. Even in a contract-driven environment, expertise — and the extent to which your brand is built around it — helps build the visibility firms needs to stay in front of, and on top of, the right opportunities. 

Fortunately, there are ways a firm can make its expertise more visible to target prospects. The most effective is to bring the expertise directly to the audience, even before they are ready to buy. Some of the best ways to do so are by speaking at events, publishing articles and blog posts, and conducting free webinars.

4. A Balanced Approach to Business Development

Our findings also show that contractors get the most traction when their business development efforts balance networking with speaking and publishing activities. Networking by itself can produce useful leads — but when a contractor is also engaging with potential buyers through compelling content delivered at speaking events or through published articles, their audiences are that much further into the sales funnel. Contractors that communicate with prospective buyers through both online and traditional platforms are also better positioned for success as marketing becomes increasingly digital.

5. The Impact — and Implications of — Attracting Top Talent

Professional services firms are only as good as their talent. After all, it is their professionals’ expertise that firms are selling. But many firms struggle to attract and retain top talent. A lack of qualified job candidates can severely limit a firm’s future prospects and put a ceiling on growth.

The good news is that the most important criteria that top talent looks for when selecting their next professional home aligns nicely with the top criteria organizations use when vetting firms with which to do business. We learned from our research on employer branding that being aligned with a growing firm was most important to job candidates in their search. And we know from our other bodies of research, cited above, that expertise is what decision makers are looking for when selecting a firm. Building both your external and your employer brand around specialized expertise signals to decision makers you have what it takes to get the job done, and it signals to future recruits that you really are the firm best able to help them achieve their career goals.

In short, when you’re the firm known for its deep expertise, everyone wins.

In Conclusion

The world of government marketing has been slow to change, but that’s no longer the case, and increasingly, contractors are adopting best practices from the private sector. These five strategies, when executed well, can offer enormous benefits.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.