MCLEAN, Va., July 17, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Market Connections, a custom research firm, today announced the results of its 2018 Federal Contractor Study, launched in partnership with Merritt Group, a nationally recognized strategic communications agency, and the Professional Services Council (PSC), the leading trade association for technology and professional services government contractors. The study reveals the most common business development and marketing services practices leveraged among top performing contractors.
Merritt Group, Market Connections, and PSC conducted a blind, online study of 200 government contractors in May 2018. Among the study's findings:
- 86% of government contractors have event sponsorships in their 2018 marketing budgets; however, 23% rarely or never develop marketing content targeting the government decision maker as part of their RFP strategy.
- 53% of contractors increased their digital advertising spending this year — and yet, 24% don't tweak or update ongoing campaigns to match the RFP.
- 50% of contractors say aligning objectives and strategy for sales, marketing and product service development is a critical marketing challenge.
- 57% of contractors identified digital and online marketing as effective, in comparison with traditional print, TV, and radio advertising — which only 39% of respondents found effective.
"As the federal contracting community continues to expand, contractors are tasked with overcoming newly-established procurement hurdles and competitive pressure to win these RFPs," said Matt Donovan, Senior Vice President, Merritt Group. "This research shows that for contractors to maximize their business development efforts and reach sales objectives, they must identify key differentiators within the market, spanning well beyond just price."
While marketing services and business development are increasingly prioritized within the government contracting community, the study found that the methods contractors use are not always updated to match the RFP or target the right audience. This can ultimately hinder their ability to attract, acquire and retain business. In fact, nearly one in four respondents say that they rarely or never develop marketing content targeting government decision makers.
"Preparing for upcoming RFPs is the responsibility of both the marketing team AND the business development team," said Aaron Heffron, President, Market Connections. "Few things are more important than having the right value proposition. As we found from the study, those that struggle to clearly state what the value of their product or service is have been less likely to win. It seems intuitive, but many firms don't spend the time and effort necessary to figure out the best way to talk to their customers."
When it comes to business development, the study suggests that firms yield the greatest success through effective marketing strategies and targeting the right decision makers. And 49% of respondents rate the procurement process as the most challenging aspect of winning contracts. However, 66% of contractors say their firm's marketing message and materials are closely aligned with the messaging developed by their business development team.
Market Connections, Merritt Group, and PSC unveiled the results from the 2018 Federal Contractor Study at a breakfast and briefing Tues., July 17 at the NRECA Conference Center in Arlington, Va. At the event, Sean O'Leary, Director, Merritt Group, hosted a panel discussion with leading executives in the government contracting community, including:
- Jay Hauck, Vice President of Communications & Marketing, General Dynamics Information Technology
- Kim Hower, Director of Public Sector Marketing, Nutanix Federal
- Lisa P. Veith, Senior Vice President of Business Development & Marketing, MAXIMUS Federal
To view a recording of the panel discussion and see the survey results, please visit our website for more information: www.marketconnectionsinc.com/GovConStudy2018 Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GovConStudy18.
About the Study
Market Connections, Merritt Group, and PSC teamed to conduct a blind online study of 200 government contractors in May 2018. Respondents included marketing and business development professionals at government contracting companies. Of the 200 participants, there was an equal split of respondents with primary involvement in business development and marketing.
About Market Connections
Market Connections delivers actionable intelligence and insights that enable improved business performance and positioning for leading businesses, trade associations and the public sector. The custom market research firm is a sought-after authority on preferences, perceptions and trends among the public sector and the contractors who serve them, offering deep domain expertise in information technology and telecommunications, health care and education. To learn more, visit www.marketconnectionsinc.com or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
About Merritt Group
Merritt Group is a nationally recognized strategic communications agency that provides marketing, PR and creative services to organizations ranging from venture-funded startups to global Fortune 500 companies. Merritt Group applies its deep expertise in core market areas – cybersecurity, AI and analytics, IoT, blockchain, enterprise software, mobile, healthcare and government – to deliver results that drive business. Founded in 1996, Merritt Group has offices in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, CA. To learn more, visit www.merrittgrp.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.
PSC is the voice of the government technology and professional services industry. PSC's nearly 400 member companies represent small, medium and large businesses that provide federal agencies with services of all kinds, including information technology, engineering, logistics, facilities management, operations and maintenance, consulting, international development, scientific, social, environmental services, and more. Together, the trade association's members employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states. Follow PSC on Twitter at @PSCSpeaks. To learn more, visit www.pscouncil.org.
SOURCE Merritt Group