5 tips for closing the deal with your agency customers

gettyimages.com/Busakorn Pongparnit

More than ever, agencies are looking for real partners. Here are five ways to help your customers in the year ahead.

While 2021 continued the trend of putting new, pandemic-related challenges on public sector agencies and the communities they served, the year ended with the promise of hope through the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The good news is that there is a lot of money on the table for government agencies right now between the CARES Act, American Rescue Plan Funding, and now IIJA. But more money is only part of the solution. Already overburdened government leaders have to figure out how to sequence, align and spend these funds to maximize impact. And quickly.

Which means now, more than ever, agencies are looking for real partners that can help them actually move the needle on top priorities. The following tips are just a few things for marketers to consider when it comes to helping government agencies tackle what’s ahead in 2022:

Be mission oriented

Marketers need to focus on the issues government agencies have prioritized within the communities they serve, especially those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the top of the list is the need to provide equitable solutions.

From broadband internet issues to climate, housing, and workforce development - agencies are working to rebuild basic infrastructure in communities that have previously been overlooked and underserved.

Successful marketers should position their solutions as “technology with a purpose” and focus on how they can help government agencies deliver on their missions. For example, if an agency's desired outcome is extending affordable broadband to low-income residents, provide case studies that highlight the specific challenge your customer faced, how your solution moved the needle and clear, successful outcomes that prospects would want to replicate in their own communities. 

Offer solutions that integrate and evolve seamlessly

With so much to do, agencies are looking for solutions that can pivot easily and integrate seamlessly. They’re moving away from siloed on-premise solutions to scalable cloud solutions.

For example, cloud migration services improve scalability, cost, and security for agencies managing an unprecedented amount of data. Marketers should be clear about how their solution plays nicely with others, and communicate how their solution can not only help an agency deal with present needs, but also how it could be adapted in the future as their challenges continue to evolve.

Make implementation easy

A recent survey showed that only 15% of government agency leaders felt they didn’t have enough information to make a decision on purchasing a service, but 40% remained hesitant due to implementation concerns. The companies that are thriving today are those providing great customer support and value to their government customers after the service is purchased. Marketers should proactively communicate about how they support implementation, in case studies, in thought leadership and everywhere. It’s a differentiator to lean into right now.

Market at the right time with the right materials

The pitch window for companies is shrinking as the market becomes more saturated.

Government decision makers are inundated with up to 75 emails and 50 cold calls a day. The historical pitch process is moving away from a slow-moving funnel to a martini glass that quickly narrows. That means it’s essential for marketers to quickly get in front of their ideal customers, at the right time, with a clear and targeted pitch.

Marketers need to produce content that is targeted, segmented, and focuses on the very specific problems that government agencies have. 

Additionally, marketers need to ensure their materials are timely and relevant. Building personas and tracking specific behavioral insights about ideal customers is key. If your target agency is looking to improve their website’s functionalities and overall user experience, it isn’t beneficial to approach them with a white paper about how your solution can help reduce their risk of ransomware attacks.

The best way to get a seat at the table is by anticipating an agency’s needs, understanding their timeline, and providing viable solutions that will help them meet their mission. 

Provide scalable solutions  

While federal, state and local governments may have vastly different market areas, they often face similar challenges. There may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for their challenges but that doesn’t mean your organization's solution can’t be scaled to drive outcomes at each level.

By personalizing your service to each agency’s market area, you can bridge the gap between their challenge and your solution without losing value in the process. This adaptation also shows your agency’s willingness to be flexible and agile in meeting their needs. 

For more tips and resources on how to best market to the public sector, visit Government Marketing University and The Atlas MarketEdge