With the theme of “Navigating a Changing Federal Landscape,” panelists shared recommendations for government contractors to enhance marketing and business development in the face of shrinking budgets and an environment in which reaching government decision-makers has become increasingly challenging. In addition to Dezzutti and Leiman, other speakers included Alan Boykin, chief learning officer, National Contract Management Association; and Judy Quinlan, manager, advertising and creative services, Northrop Grumman.
In its fifth year, the study aggregates the use of print, television, radio, mobile, social media and Internet-based news media by senior federal employees. More than 3,900 decision-makers—the largest response to-date—participated in the study. Demographic, job function and purchasing data allows cross tabulation to help marketers and communications professionals target the right federal executives in the right places.
Highlights of the study include:
- Mobile device usage is up. Two-thirds (67%) of government decision-makers are now using smartphones, up from 58% in 2012. In addition, tablet usage nearly doubled in the past year, from 31% in 2012 to 60% in 2013.
- Print still is not dead. Federal decision-makers are still reading print publications, with 45% preferring print for work information, reinforcing that marketers need to consider a combination of print, digital and mobile when developing marketing strategies.
- Trade show and conference attendance is down. More than half (52%) of federal decision-makers did not attend any trade shows or events last year, while those who attended 1-3 events (41%) and more than 4 events (8%) are down from 49% and 11% respectively.
- Social media use has leveled off. Survey respondents reported use of Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube remaining about the same as in 2012: 57% use Facebook, 36% use LinkedIn and 46% use YouTube. New to the study is Google+, with 33% of respondents using the online social network.
- Participants are active in the purchasing process. Fifty-one percent of survey respondents are responsible for the identification of the need for products or services, 43% are responsible for determining the requirements for new projects, 29% are involved in proposal evaluation and 27% are responsible for identifying potential contractors and suppliers.
“Media habits inside the beltway are very different than outside the beltway,” added Leiman. “Government executives inside the beltway are consuming a diversified mix of media, which is being now delivered through multiple channels and platforms. This gives marketers the opportunity to quickly influence the government buyer in ways where domain- and geo-targeting is possible.”
New data in the 2013 study includes:
- Readership: 11 additional publications, 34 additional websites and mobile sites
- Spending Expectations: Federal employees indicate spending changes for 33 product and service categories, including cloud computing, energy conservation products, aircraft, consulting services and education/training
- E-newsletters: Preferences and subscriptions
- Mobile Devices: Smartphones, tablets, e-readers and their access to email, news websites, social media and video
- Social Media: Social media sites used for work and for personal reasons
- Other Media: Blogs, trade shows, webinars, D.C. metro newspapers, radio and TV news
A detailed overview of the study results is available for download at www.marketconnectionsinc.com/mediastudy.
Market Connections makes the data from this study available via a dynamic online tool, which allows marketers in the federal space to create their own custom data views to inform marketing and public relations decisions. The online tool allows users to cross-tabulate job title and product purchases; job title and web site visits or publication readership; or product and service purchases and publication readership; or radio listenership. The online tool is available for purchase through Market Connections. More information is available at www.marketconnectionsinc.com/mediastudy.
About Market Connections
Market Connections delivers actionable intelligence and insights that enable improved business performance and positioning for leading businesses, government agencies and trade associations. The custom market research firm is a sought-after authority on preferences, perceptions and trends among government executives and the contractors who serve them, offering deep domain expertise in information technology and telecommunications; healthcare; and education. Market Connections also provides the tools for organizations to expand thought-leadership in their respective markets, and is known for its annual Federal Media and Marketing Study, the only comprehensive survey of the media habits of federal decision-makers, as well as the Public Sector Social Media Study and the Government Contractor Study. For more information, please visit: www.marketconnectionsinc.com.