Federal Market Trends Reflect What Is Seen Across the General Market

At Market Connections, we often tell our clients that buyers and decision-makers sitting in federal government agencies are people, too. They are often affected by general trends as much as the person who lives next door. Result trends we found in our recent Federal Media and Marketing Study are also being found and reported by additional parties both in the federal space and the general market.

Over the past 18 months, the media has come under increased scrutiny. False or exaggerated stories have been spread through social media, often by nefarious actors. This “fake news” may have damaged the credibility of news and information sources. Market Connections asked about the impact of “fake news” on the credibility of news sources among federal government buyers and decision-makers. Two-thirds of respondents mentioned that there was some impact on their perception of news organization credibility. In addition, we saw a rise in the number of media sources accessed. This is a potential result of decreased trust in a single news source.

Publishers are recognizing the impact of the term “fake news” in their industry and responding in kind. In a recent story, MediaDailyNews reported on a group of well-known news publishers including The Washington Post, The Economist and The Globe and Mail who are setting transparency standards that allow the public to determine the quality and reliability of journalism.

Time spent with media infographic

The Federal Media and Marketing Study results point to the increased viewership of TV news. Watching the news or news programs on TV went up among federal decision-makers from 51% in 2016 to 57% in 2017. Looking at the general public as a whole, MediaDailyNews  reported an increase in viewership from a year ago, citing Pivotal Research Groups saying, “all network TV news viewing through November 12 — on broadcast and cable — is up 6% versus the same time period a year ago.”

What does this mean for federal marketers? Remember that although we are in a niche market, our audience is like everyone else. Your target audience is relying on more sources to get and verify their news and information. Don’t discount trends in the general market and use tools like the Federal Media and Marketing Study to help you make decisions about your market strategy by allowing you to better understand the depth and breadth of the readership, viewership and listenership in the federal market.

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Download the report to see how the study results may impact your 2018 media mix and strategy.

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