Government contractors invest significantly — into the millions — in an effort to influence federal decision-makers. From advertising to earned media and content marketing, contractors use a variety of tactics in their federal marketing campaigns.
But can contractors know whether their federal marketing campaigns and investments are having a return on investment? The answer is yes.
Research, particularly message testing research, can demonstrate the ROI of your campaigns. This type of research tests message recall, a valuable metric that doesn’t always translate immediately into sales, but has a long-reaching impact.
When should you plan for this research? It’s a good idea to include it in the marketing plan from the beginning for two reasons: First, you need to include it in your budget. Second, pre-testing is the most critical part of the research study, and — as the name suggests — needs to happen before you launch the campaign. Gaining baseline awareness data up front is necessary to measure whether your campaign is working, and it is impossible to establish a true baseline once a marketing campaign has begun.
Baseline awareness data, which you use for future tracking, may include both qualitative and quantitative research. This results of this pre-test may help inform your messaging — it’s a good way to get an initial read on your prospects’ awareness of your brand.
After you launch your campaign, it’s time to go back to the same audience to test its overall awareness of your marketing efforts. You can implement this type of post-testing at various phases throughout a campaign, allowing you to make key message refinements that will best resonate with the federal decision-makers or influencers. Agency priorities can change very swiftly and contractors often need to be able to change with the tides.
By grounding their efforts in message testing research, contractors are able to bring a measurable approach that will provide fact-based data for investment decisions and drive more federal sales opportunities.