Unbelievably, we are less than 50 days away from this year’s elections. Like in many other big election years, our clients always ask us the same question, “How do you think the elections will affect the federal market?” We believe there are two parts to that question. The immediate one that comes to people’s minds is, “How will whoever wins change (or not) federal spending priorities?” There are many pundits and policy experts that will weigh in on that topic in the coming months. Our interest is in the election process itself: “How does the fact that a presidential election is happening affect the ability of federal employees to do their jobs?”
Though we are often asked, we generally avoid interviewing elected officials and appointees, preferring to take the pulse of those folks that make and influence the day-to-day decisions at agencies. For the federal market, that can include everyone from end-users to executives, program managers to procurement officers.
What we’ve found in the past is that elections don’t change the values of the people making the day-to-day decisions, because those day-to-day values (e.g., doing their job well, serving their country, being viewed as an expert) are not tied to a political belief system. Those values will affect how your overtures influence the evaluation and selection process.
What elections do, however, is create an air of uncertainty around change in leadership. Will newly appointed agency heads have different ideas on the longer-term, strategic changes as to how work at the agency is approached? Will they allocate budgets differently? Where are their priorities? How will this affect those working at those agencies and their day-to-day activities?
For most of you reading this post, these concerns are out of your control. Federal marketers and client services teams should focus on how their company can support current efforts, be proactive and forward thinking about new directions that may be taken, answer questions that may come up and deliver on promises already made. The number one goal is to support their customers during a time of uncertainty.
Want to know more about how your federal clients are feeling about the upcoming elections? What will their jobs look like over the next month and a half? When do they anticipate budgets to be set? What challenges do they foresee? To answer these questions, we conducted a survey to see how the upcoming elections will affect the federal market.
Join us for our webinar “How the Upcoming Elections Affect Federal Agencies?” on Thursday, September 24, at 2 pm ET.