Goverment Marketing Best Practice by Government Marketing Agencies

Unlocking Success in Government Marketing

Whether you are a seasoned player in the GovCon space or a newcomer, understanding the nuances of government marketing is essential to grow and scale. There are hundreds of billions of dollars of opportunities, but competition can be fierce and unseating incumbents difficult. Fiscal 2024 federal procurement spending is estimated to be $762 billion to $870 billion, according to data from Bloomberg Government. In this article, we are sharing B2G marketing best practices recommended by government marketing agencies to help you win more of that budget.

Why Government Marketing Matters

Government contractors operate within a distinct ecosystem very different from B2B markets. Their products and services impact critical functions from defense and infrastructure to healthcare and technology. Tailored government marketing strategies allow your services and solutions to resonate with agency needs and mission alignment while emphasizing reliability and security.

Effective business-to-government (B2G) marketing helps your company stand out from the competition and prove that you are the most valuable choice. Messaging is at the core of your branding. To increase brand visibility, you must be able to clearly and succinctly articulate your value. A well-crafted targeted message will help you get the attention of your target decision-makers and influencers. Don’t forget that scaling a B2G company relies on attracting teaming partners and recruiting and retaining top talent, not just impressing government decision-makers. This article focuses on the agencies.

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Before You Market — Getting Started

• Register and Certify Your Business

• Conduct Research to Identify Contracting Opportunities

Government Marketing Best Practices

• Create Clear and Succinct Messaging

• User-Friendly Website Design

• Build Brand Trust and Credibility

Scaling for Success

• Government Marketing with Ocean 5 Strategies

Government agencies work with people and organizations they know, like, and trust. A consistent marketing presence helps build your credibility and build brand trust. When agencies can connect your brand with quality and performance, you will have the opportunity to have more conversations and win more contracts. Companies trying to grow and scale often consider a government marketing agency partner to help navigate the complexities of marketing to the federal government. Startups and young companies most often need to rely on a bootstrap budget and more DIY.

Before You Market — Getting Started

Register and Certify Your Business

Are you new to federal contracting? Perhaps you have a well-established B2B business and are seeking government contracts for the first time. Or, you might be a brand new business just getting started. Before you can start selling to the federal government you will first need to lay some groundwork. Government agencies can’t even consider your business for a contract if you miss this step, and you will want to reference these in your government marketing.

  1. NAICS Codes
    Determine NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes appropriate to your business. These codes are used by agencies to conduct market research, locate viable small businesses for contract opportunities, and determine size standards. Note: You can select multiple NAICS codes that align with your business, but you only need one to register with SAM.
  2. SAM and UEI Code
    Register with the System for Award Management (SAM). You will be assigned a 12-character, alpha-numeric Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) when you register for SAM. You will need this number to do business with the federal government or receive federal funding. Note: The UEI has replaced the DUNS number as the authorized identifier for the federal government.
  3. PSC (Product and Service Codes)
    These help describe the “What” of your products and services while NAICS codes describe the “How” your products and services will be used. Contracting Officers use PSC to make market research decisions like small business set-asides.
  4. Set-aside Certifications
    Set-aside contracts are contracts that must be given to small businesses registered with SAM—most to businesses with socio-economic certification.

Conduct Research to Identify Contracting Opportunities

  • Use SAM to find active contract opportunities. Explore agency forecasts based on NAICS codes as all agencies must publish upcoming contract opportunities.
  • Federal government tools like SAM Databank and USA will tell you which agencies and departments are buying your products and services.
  • Determine if your company qualifies as a small business and is eligible for set-aside contracts. Size standards depend on the industry and can vary widely. These can be golden opportunities.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) automatically designates every federal government purchase between $10,000 and $250,000 for small businesses, provided at least two companies can offer the product or service at a fair and reasonable price.

Here are some set-asides and special interest groups you may be eligible for:

  • Small Business
  • Small Disadvantage Businesses (SDB)
  • Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB)
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB)
  • Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Small Businesses

And don’t forget to research your competition!

Government Marketing Best Practices

One of the biggest challenges facing a government contracting company is creating the right messaging that helps to define your brand, differentiate your business, appeal to your various target personas, and communicate your value proposition. Getting your messaging on-point is critical and will be disseminated internally, used during your government contracting website design and development, and reflected on all of your sales and marketing materials and proposals.

Create Clear and Succinct Messaging

Federal buyers want to know:

  • You understand their problem
  • How your solution solves their problem
  • How your solution is different and better than your competitors
  • Your solution will eliminate or minimize risk

Download the 6 Messaging Must-Haves To Close More Deals.

The content plan of your government marketing strategy should include messaging that explains to your target audience who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It should differentiate you from the competition by aligning your solutions to the agency’s problems.

Your messaging is at the core of your brand. Consistency in your messaging will build brand trust. Inconsistent messaging can create confusion and doubt.

Ensure that the messaging applied to your correspondence — proposals, marketing emails, social selling, pitch decks — is the same as on your website pages, blog articles, white papers, and educational materials. Verbal conversations should reiterate your brand message.

Partnering with a B2G marketing agency can help you craft your messaging and address these concerns clearly and succinctly. This is your opportunity to explain how your solution is the ideal solution and how it fits in with agency mission.

Considering working with a government marketing agency to conduct a messaging strategy workshop? Reach out to speak with one of our messaging experts.

User-Friendly Website Design

Your B2G marketing strategy needs to include a review of your digital footprint. Your digital presence could be the difference between winning or losing a contract.

82% of Federal decision-makers rated corporate websites as their top-rated sources for research.

You can do it yourself or hire a government marketing agency to conduct an in-depth analysis of your website — evaluating navigation and page design to ensure a logical layout and easy access to information.

To ensure user-friendliness and a positive user experience (UX), a government marketing agency will also look for consistency across all of your devices — desktop, mobile, and tablets and test the load time of your website.

Make sure you have a government-specific page with easy access to your codes, capabilities, contract vehicles, and points of contact.

Decision-makers are busy and under pressure and a tight schedule to deliver research and will quickly jump to the next website (your competitor) if they can’t get the information they need quickly.

Google ranks websites based on UX and has adopted a mobile-first policy — ranking websites based on their mobile version over their desktop version. They also check for security concerns — malware and SSL certificates. If you fail either of these it could trigger a warning to appear on your website. Not what you want your GovCon visitors to see.

Growth Driven Design Continuous Improvement

Learn how your website design is unlocking (or blocking) your growth

Download: Website Checklist for Government Contractors

Build Brand Trust and Credibility

As we stated before, government buyers buy from people and companies they know, like, and trust. Their goal, when choosing a vendor, is to recommend a partner that will help them support their agency mission, meet deadlines, and minimize risk.

You help build credibility and mitigate risk concerns by highlighting your past successes with other agencies and clients. A government marketing agency can help craft validation content such as case studies, white papers, and capability statements.

Hiring a government marketing agency that specializes in B2G marketing strategies can help establish you as a subject matter expert in your field. They can help you create thought leadership content, and develop white papers and case studies you can use for your website pitch decks, and social selling opportunities on LinkedIn that will set you apart from your competition.

According to the Market Connections 2023 ‘Marketing to the Public Sector (M4PS) Report‘, case studies are one of the 3 most important forms of marketing content during all three key stages of the Federal buying process—early research, determining solutions and specifications, and choosing vendors.

Don’t forget to include relevant certifications and accreditations on your website.

Scaling for Success

We are all passionate about what we do and want to be successful in doing it. Selling to the federal government can be a challenge if you don’t have past performance experience. To increase your chances of winning

  • Register and certify your business with the right entities
  • Select the best NAICS codes and PSCs for your business
  • Use the tools the government provides to look for opportunities
  • Create outstanding messaging and apply it to all communications
  • Develop a marketing strategy including a 12-month plan
  • Improve the messaging, design, navigation, and UX on your website
  • Develop content government decision-makers and influencers are looking for
  • Create a strategy for social selling

Scaling companies with a growth imperative generally consider working with a government marketing agency that specializes in B2G marketing. Their expertise in B2G brand awareness, brand messaging, and brand trust is invaluable to getting in front of the right audience, supporting business development, and helping you grow your business.

Government Marketing with Ocean 5 Strategies

Ocean 5 specializes in government marketing. We offer branding, messaging, and marketing workshops for growth-focused strategies to help companies grow and scale. For help with your B2G marketing strategy, messaging, website design and development, content and other marketing tactics tied together with a cohesive strategy, contact the experts at Ocean 5 Strategies today.