Professional Services Marketing Blog

Apr 21 2014

How to Become a Visible Expert: A Conversation With Mark Amtower

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If you have been following this blog, you are seeing more and more about Visible Experts℠. The Hinge Research Institute, our research unit, has been releasing results from two large studies. One is a survey of over 1000 professional services buyers and the other is an in-depth study of 130 high visibility experts.

In addition, we have been publishing a series of case stories of Visible Experts including Charles Green, Rick Telberg, Robert Lang, Tim Ash, and Andrew Sherman to name just a few. 

Never heard of some of them? If you are in their niche, you know who they are.

Now we’re ready to introduce a new wrinkle, a live webinar with a Visible Expert, where you can ask the questions that are on your mind.

Meet Mark Amtower

If you are in the federal government marketplace, you probably already know Mark. He is perhaps the most well-known expert on getting business through government contracting.

Many folks have heard of Mark through his weekly radio program, Amtower Off Center or read one of his books, or attended a workshop or speaking engagement. He is the real deal.

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Oct 30 2013

Modernizing Your Proposal: Three Tips to Building a Visually Winning Proposal

By Mia Rommel

 

If you could physically package a complex and innovative technology solution, you would put it in a sleek and sophisticated box, wrapped with cutting edge ribbon and stamped with a well-written, concise label, right? It’s common sense to represent what you are selling through packaging. Think about it - Apple would never have made a come back with a boring box, a logo from MS Paint, or out dated advertising for their iPods.

Surprisingly, this happens more often than not. In fact, here in the Washington, DC area, poor packaging is rampant. If you’re a government contracting company, you already know the value of your services. You provide the solutions, technology, experts, and strategies that run some of the most complex and important programs in the US Government. So, when you’re pitching your services, why are you treating your product like a relic from the 90s? As a former proposal manager, I’ve seen it first hand.

Most government contracting companies spend hundreds of hours (and dollars) on their proposals, but put their graphics – each worth a thousand words – in the lowest priority. As a result, many proposals speak beautifully, but display out of date.

Proposal evaluators aren’t looking for a reason to hire you – they’re looking for a reason to disqualify for your proposal. As people are visual creatures, it’s time to focus on not what you say, nor how you say it, but how you show it.

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Jul 12 2013

5 Tips for Marketing to the Government

By Mia Rommel

 

Last week, we shared some insight from Todd Sodeman, CEO of Stratos Federal on how to enter the Government contracting market and the best way to market to the Government. If you’ve already begun the process of developing your positioning, consider the following five tips for effectively marketing to the Government.
 
1. Implement Your Positioning – You’ve reviewed your strengths and commercial past performance and determined how you may best position yourself to partners and the government. You’ve maybe also researched potential contracting opportunities and begun to reach out to your network to create partnerships. But implementing your positioning and messaging shouldn’t stop here. Your messaging is only as strong as its consistency. As you move into Government contracting, review your positioning and messaging frequently.

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Jul 05 2013

Marketing to the Government? Position to Partners Instead

By Mia Rommel

 

If you do a basic Google search on “how to market to the Government,” you may be surprised to see that the first five results are all from sites ending in .gov. If you are trying to market to the Government, you’ve probably already read these sites, blog posts, and info sheets and seen the following information:

  • Understand that Governmental needs are different
  • Follow these guidelines per agency
  • Get on these lists
     

And maybe, you’ve already followed this advice, but the business just isn’t coming. At Hinge, we understand that tackling selling and marketing to the Government is a unique situation – one to which traditional marketing methods don’t necessarily apply. That’s why we sat down with Todd Sodeman, CEO and Founder of Stratos Federal, to bring clarity to professional services firms who are considering Government contracting.

What we learned was not necessarily shocking – marketing to the Government is difficult, and though it can be done, it’s most successful when a firm is already well ensconced in Government contracts and their people can “walk the halls” to meet with Government decision makers. In this regard, the Government matches our How Buyers Buy research, indicating that buyers prefer to hear about new opportunities and capabilities in face to face meetings.

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Apr 06 2011

Government Contractors and Marketing: Bridging the Divide

By Peter Mirus

Washington DC Bridge image

 

I have worked with government contractors in professional services throughout my career. During that time, I have heard many of these firms say that marketing is of little importance in addressing the challenges and priorities facing their businesses.

From one standpoint, this is understandable: government contractors typically acquire new contracts through RFP response. If this is the sole method for acquiring new business, what is the point of marketing?

The answer is that within the framework of government contracting, a good deal of brand strategy and marketing process (market research, opportunity identification, message development, etc.) is performed under the heading of Capture. The most successful government contractors actually undertake a very thorough Capture process.

But is there a role for branding and marketing outside of Capture? Absolutely. Market visibility and credibility is extremely helpful in maintaining competitive advantage. In this article, I will focus on four areas where this advantage can be realized:

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Aug 12 2010

Talking to the Government: A Beltway Bandit Myth

By Sylvia Montgomery

Franklin image

 

Funny thing about myths and urban legends: repeat them enough and they begin to sound like the truth. For example, take the myth that companies can’t learn anything meaningful from decision makers in the government.

Just yesterday, I was having a conversation with a prospect looking to expand in the Federal public sector. I asked, “Have you considered conducting client research with current and past clients and maybe even some of the ones that got away?” The response I got was, “You can’t talk to the government!” At that moment, the myth surfaced its ugly head.

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