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End of FY Marketing Tips

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End of FY Marketing Tips

(These were compiled from a presentation at Federal Channels: panel included Lisa Dezzutti of Market Connections, David Powell of the Federal Business Council, and Mark Amtower)

1. Know your customer – ask the right questions.
a. What do you read; what do you attend; what do you belong to
b. Know what they want to buy, who they’re currently buying from, when and how
c. Ask, listen, act

2. Monitor competitors closely during end-of-FY
a. How does the market perceive you relative to them?
b. Emphasize what makes you different

3. Clearly emphasize and communicate your differentiators during end of FY– service, delivery, 8(a), woman-owned, 24 hour ordering, etc.

4. Integrate Your End of FY campaigns
a. Consistent look and message
b. What’s in their hand must resonate with what they see on the web

5. Use multiple tactics
a. Direct mail, web, PR, telemarketing, events
b. No one shot campaigns without a supporting cast

6. Use space ads selectively, make them direct response ads – awareness building should be done earlier in the year.

7. Consider the One-Book-Buys for space ads.

8. Exploit best accounts (agency accounts): if an agency likes you, spend more time/money there (all locations) than elsewhere; table tops, direct mail, email.

9. Mail to your installed customer base every other week July/August – every week in Sept: snail and email.

10. Use the same list three times for prospecting.

11. If you go after low hanging fruit (sales under $2,500), mail the credit card file 2x (outside DC) in August/Sept Remember APO/FPO – mail frequently including prospect mail.

12. Send all mail in DC area in envelopes; remember all DC snail mail is still irradiated.

13. Post cards work outside DC, but not at base activities.

14. Make your messages matter
a. Must have stopping power – relevant headlines and short copy
b. Consistency and frequency

15. Include information to help make decisions
a. Prices, specs
b. Web site address/800 number
c. Contract vehicles

16. Include a government theme - let them know you understand their business.

17. Give multiple ways to respond - web, phone, fax, BRC.

18. Follow-up on all leads…70% are not followed up on.

19. Give multiple ways to buy
a. Online with a credit card
b. Multiple contracts

20. Establish year-end blanket purchase agreements – easy way to buy.

21. Weekly spot reductions from your GSA Schedule price through busy season.

22. Leverage legal gratuities – Include Federal Personnel Guide with every Sept sale- call 301-656-0450 and tell Frank Joseph that Mark Amtower sent you – announce this at your web site.

23. Emails should lead with end-of-FY special and gratuity offer.

24. Extend business hours and communicate it!!

25. Answer the phone.

26. Guarantee calls returned within one hour.

27. Put specials on your hold music, tell about extended hours.

28. Use SmartPay logo on all promo material.

29. Make your web site user friendly
a. Loads quickly
b. Easy to navigate
c. Content rich

30. Keep the web site fresh – update weekly through busy season: specials, news, links.

31. Leverage testimonials or other success stories.

32. Create white papers that can be posted on web site for downloading, used as leave behinds on account calls and use as response incentive in direct marketing efforts.

33. Telemarketing to existing accounts with end of year specials.

34. Have sales contests in your outbound office.

35. Maximize linkage July-October; links with publications, manufacturer partners, channel partners, FBC, GovFacility – wherever you can get links at sites that get the right traffic.

36. Call your sales rep at the publication that works best for you and ask them for the best they can do between now & Oct 15.

37. Plan press releases for busy season…work to get editorial coverage.

38. Meet a new reporter – one whose beat covers your niche; there may be no immediate payoff, but who knows…

39. Ask customers for referrals.

40. Reward frequent buyers – always say thank you.

41. Customer appreciation days – special delivery packages – cookies, etc.

42. Hand out ice cream at key agencies one afternoon a week.

43. Have executive team distribute busy season survival kits.

44. Sales blitz days – close order and pick up purchase order, etc., make it a contest, take execs with you.

45. Special events – seminars – face-to-face marketing.

46. Participate in more in-agency events until November.

47. Have execs speak at events and SIG meetings

48. Be visible at SIG meetings. Attend AFFIRM, PKI, FISSEA & others where there will be a concentration of Feds.

49. If you are known in a niche look for affinity groups in government with list serves; see if they will carry your end-of-FY message: FISSEA, GCN, PKI, etc.

50. Sponsor events/breakfasts and network at these meetings.

51. Think outside the box.

  • Hand out material at top five federal metro stations
  • Movie theater preview ads
  • Fly a banner over jersey beaches

52. Partner with complimentary vendors and share the marketing costs.

53. Radio spots on WTOP.

54. Try metro cards if slots available during busy season.

55. Update any information on GSA Advantage, ProNet, etc.

56. Visit http//:ssq.gsa.gov – run a current report on your GSA Schedule category, regardless of whether you have a Schedule. See who is leading, and look at their web site, ads, etc.

57. Get in MarkeTips. This is the GSA publication that goes to all offices that buy off Schedule.

58. Buy AdWords.

59. Remember, busy season runs into mid-Oct if the budgets are approved -- offer a first of the FY special.

60. Don’t try and do it all, pick what works for you and execute!

61. Survey says…conduct customer satisfaction measurement after FY close.

62. Schedule an end-of-FY post-mortem: bring in Amtower for a Federal Marketing Audit or the Government Marketing Best Practices workshop.