There are three customers you should target with your marketing efforts:
- Procurers (including contracting officers/specialists) are identified as contracting officers, contracting specialists, acquisition/policy shop personnel or others who actually selected the procurement methods and conduct the procurement. The procurers have substantial authority to determine the procurement method, but they also must consider the needs of the influencers and organizational policies. However, they are also guided by self-interest to be seen as an in-disposable person. While awareness is an issue among procurers, the primary impediment to successfully marketing to this group is their lack of knowledge about how and when to use the schedules process. The main type of procurers: the contracting officer/specialists are the gatekeepers to the program managers and end users. The program managers know what they want but turn to their contracting specialist to get the materials/services they need and advice on the best way to procure those services. This makes the contracting officer/specialist a key customer because of their influence over the project manager/end user and their responsibility for selecting the contracting method.
- Influencers (including program managers/high-level decision makers) are identified as program managers and high-level decision-makers. Program managers and end-users are individuals who have generated the requirement or are responsible for facilitating its execution. These are individuals who may exercise influence over an individual procurement or organization-wide procurement policy, but do not actually conduct the procurement process itself. Program managers and end-users have a stake in how the process is conducted. The method of procurement may impact the contractors who will be considered, the speed with which the procurement will be conducted, and the ease with which the contract itself will be administered. Although they may not be in a position to dictate the procurement vehicle to be used, they can likely have influence over the decision. High-level decision makers within a Government organization view the procurement process from a broader standpoint. They may be concerned with manpower, allocation of resources and other big-picture issues. These decision-makers may set policies that guide how procurements will be handled. Both influencers and users look to these policies to help guide them in determining the appropriateness of various procurement methodologies.
- The End User is very influential in getting the most qualified contractor (in his/her opinion) on schedule. He/she has been given tight deadlines and wants the quickest way to procure needed services. Most end users are confused about the procurement process and turn to their contracting specialist for help. End users are savvy at their jobs and in their selection of contractors they want to assist them. They do not care how they get the contractor on board: they want the quickest mechanism to get the contractor. They still want to be in charge of the selection of the contractor and they want to remain the key contact in the working relationship with the contractor.
These customers are direct recipients of your services and each customer, regardless of their specialty or area of interest, expects the same basic features and services when procuring services. We will briefly describe each customer and then focus on how you can reach this customer through your marketing efforts. End users can also be classified as an influencer, but their motives usually differ from a program manager. Although we touch upon some of the key elements and issues that affect both program managers and end users, a targeted message and profile of an end user was created as a separate audience.
How do you find Government customers?
By attending conferences, trade shows and other conventions targeting government sector:
By conducting market research or contracting market research firm you can find out which government agencies are procuring what professional services. Gathering information about your governmental target market should be your first step towards increasing federal sales. Below, for example, we have listed a number of market reports that provide important data about potential government markets or markets where the government sector represents a significant part:
US Federal Government market reports:
U.S. Federal Cloud Computing Market
U.S. Federal Government Mass Media Market
U.S. Federal Government Mobility Market
U.S. Federal Cybersecurity Market
Modernization of U.S. Federal Government IT, Market Scenario
High Energy Military Laser Market Forecast
U.S.-Mexico Border Security & Protection Market
Electromagnetic Railgun Market
U.S. Federal IT Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Market
U.S. Federal IT Market