In the 90s, Out of Home (OOH) marketing, print media, and broadcasting were at the top of the “how to market” list. Direct mail plus telemarketing were touted as vital to reaching the masses. At the time, these were deemed leading-edge.
You don’t need to hold an MBA, to know that the realm of marketing has since morphed globally, especially in the public sector. When you get down to it, marketing is your virtual salesperson for your company when a human is not available. As famed marketing and business guru, Gary Vynerchuk says, “Content is King, but marketing is Queen and the Queen runs the household.” You might have great content (solutions, technology, capabilities), but if you don’t promote it, people – the target audience that would buy your solutions – won’t see it.
To flourish in the marketplace today, the takeaway here is not to dismiss traditional marketing ploys as old-school. Instead, sync tried-and-true methods with digital marketing of 2023. Capitalize on the best of both worlds.
The new strategy
The 4P’s of marketing have not gone away. The concept of “Product,” “Price,” “Promotion,” and “Place” stands as the basis for Marketing 101. As always, the end goal is to appeal to your target market.
Leveling up your marketing by adding digital can be a game changer for all types of businesses. Every player in the defense and high-tech space should a) align with the professionals in the industry and b) use digital capabilities that are marked as best-in-class.
The digital age
Promotions (one of the 4P’s) have been shaken up in the best way possible with the emergence of digital platforms. The list below for that which can move your campaigns from mediocrity to greatness:
Online Video: You’ve got to see it to believe it. Opt for in-story and native video or YouTube TrueView. Take it up another notch with OTT (Over The Top) or CTV (Connected TV) with dynamic video ad options. With these formats, the audience is in a lean-in mode when your ad is shown. View rates are higher and your branding is absorbed.
SEO: At the crux is SEO. Marketing leader and author Chad Pollitt shares that “SEO is not something you do anymore, it’s what happens when you do everything else right.” That means you have good content on your website that is highly searchable for what you do. And you update the site often as your solutions develop and modernize.
Online Display Advertising: Choose from (1) direct-sold placement – on publisher websites or (2) programmatic ad-buy management – where a partner places your ad on a plethora of websites based on your target audience. You can (re)message through customer and look-a-like audience targeting. You can set latitude or longitude with geo-fencing based on certain radii and get finite, even down to a particular building. From creative implementation, you can form standard display (728×90, 300×250, 320×50, 300×600), native, where it looks like content, or high-impact ad units that expand and move with you as you scroll down the page or take over the entire page (adhesion, roadblock/takeover). Delivery can be based on cost per (thousand) impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC), and in certain implementations, cost per lead (CPL) or cost per acquisition (CPA). The audience segmentation and target variety have even more options.
Email Marketing: Data analysis and appends play a key role here, where you can leverage your existing audience to find new ones that you haven’t talked to. However, frequency is also key in email marketing. So, use it with an integrated display and/or a social campaign.
Content and Creative Services: According to the April 2020 Market Connection COVID19 Pulse Poll, 26% of government decision-makers are using white papers and case studies a lot or more frequently since the pandemic. Blog posts, infographics, and a keen focus on the creative are a must-have. Sponsored Content is another way to put your capabilities and thought leadership on a publisher’s site. After all, didn’t you always want to get published?
Social Media: Leverage custom and look-a-like audience targeting and pixel placement on your site to reap the benefits of site re-messaging. 25% of Defense agencies working for the government use social media to follow government contracting firms.
Sponsorships: Partner with another company, non-profit, or community group to market your brand. It’s all about relationship building and the “halo” effect of being part of a positive and recognized event your audience cares about.
How to choose between traditional and digital
There is no hard and fast rule that will point you to traditional versus digital. Each is effective and has its perks. Like an a la carte menu, you can pick and choose. The medium may depend on whether you are reaching out to government contractors, agencies, or another special group. Note that with traditional marketing you reach a wide range of personas. The clear benefit is both credibility and exposure to your brand.
Your approach may differ when it comes to hiring employees. Keep in mind that defense and high-tech workers don’t look for a job. In this digital landscape, they get recruited. There are multiple benefits to digital tactics. This yields more precise targeting based on skills, interest, and job titles, as well as, improved measures and cost efficiencies.
Whichever channel you select may be contingent upon where your target resides, i.e., online, in an urban community, or in a rural locale.
The pathway forward
Now that you know what is out there, it is key to devise a strategic plan. Sync up with a team of experts that understand the challenges unique to the defense and high-tech space. Enlist their support to analyze your current processes, and tie back the ROI to each source of your campaign.
This new age of market analysts will (a) look at your traffic flow, (b) conduct competitive research, and (c) plot out how you compare. When you work with a professional group that has deep expertise, you can match the best route for each target market.
With the vast array of traditional and digital channels in marketing, it is essential to find a good marketing partner. Seek out a one-stop shop with professionals who tout vetted know-how in each one. Get real guidance from the expansive team at AMG Defense Tech whose insights in marketing cover A-Z.