With our partner, Doug Anderson of DCA Live, we recently gathered a group of B2G marketing leaders to discuss what issues are top of mind as they look towards the second half of 2024. So, what do you get when you bring together a group of savvy public-sector marketers for a peer-to-peer chat? A really thought-provoking discussion on brand.

Brand – Not your government’s Oldsmobile.*

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out when so many government contracting firms offer similar services. In response, public sector marketers are starting to approach their government buyers more like consumers than procurement and contract professionals. As one participant said, “our customers are humans first.”

Moving away from traditional images of the Capitol rotunda, flying eagles, and flags and ditching copy that starts and ends with “mission”, B2G marketers are taking a nod from the private sector. They’re introducing more creative, some may even say edgy, themes. Take RIVA Solutions, for example. RIVA is a government contractor and systems integrator specializing in digital transformation and modernization. And yet, their mascot (yes, mascot), is an alpaca. An alpaca that is front and center on their About Us page. They’re also using videos with pop-culture themes to get noticed. Their best-known video is their The Office parody that celebrates a contract that came out of protest.

At RIVA Solutions, we refuse to blend into the typical ‘sea of blue’ that characterizes the government contracting world. Instead, we dare to be bold by infusing our brand strategy with vibrant ideas from the private sector, laying in trending audio and pop culture references. In doing so, we don’t just stand out—we aim to be the alpaca in the room, memorable and unmistakably unique. Our approach is about bringing a new energy and perspective that not only distinguishes us, but also resonates more effectively with our audience and clients,” said participant Alex Love, RIVA’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

Shameless Webinar Plug

For more on the evolution of B2G branding, join us May 15th for our complimentary webinar on Standing Out in a Sea of Sameness: A Fresh Look at B2G Branding.

Here are a few additional highlights from our conversation…

Events – (Still) back.

You usually can’t have a conversation with government marketers without talking about events. We saw a big return to in-person events in 2023, and 2024 has continued this trend. One of the participants said her company is doing 25 public-sector events this year alone. Interestingly, the marketing leaders at the meeting mentioned that they’ve getting more creative with their event execution on the show floor, which ties back to the conversation about brand and moving away from traditional B2G creative strategy.

ABX – Gaining traction.

For the last several years, the implementation of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), now more commonly called Account-Based Experience (ABX), strategies has been a major focus for B2B marketing leaders. Now, these three letters are increasingly being cited by B2G marketers. A participant in the meeting mentioned using ZoomInfo’s WebSights tool to gather intent data, and another is leading the implementation of 6sense, one of the leading ABX platforms, across her company.

With government funding in flux and the ongoing turnover in procurement offices, many public-sector marketers are focusing their marketing strategies on existing customer expansion. ABX is well-suited to support these efforts given the program’s surgical approach to targeting prospects and customer engagement.

 

*Editor’s Note – For our (many) readers who likely don’t understand our Oldsmobile reference, this is for you.