Posts tagged ‘Govwin’

Changing How Government Market Research is Done

One of the fun things about agency work is being involved in multiple client initiatives. Strategic Communications Group has a philosophy of great work for great clients, and great clients offer the chance to work on big, exciting projects.

A good example is our work on behalf of Deltek, founder of the GovWin social network. GovWin is a social community dedicated to helping government contractors to be more successful and to better serve government. The community has over 30,000 registered users and is used by 98 of the top 100 contractors.

On top of that, last year Deltek acquired the two most important market research firms focused on the government space, INPUT and FedSources. Strategic is working closely with Deltek on integrating these powerful sources of proprietary content with the growing GovWin community. The goal is an integrated offering leveraging the best primary research and the wisdom of the crowd. It will change how government opportunities are researched, pursued and won.

A small sample — INPUT has just completed a market snapshot of the federal Architecture and Engineering spending out to 2016. Overall government spending will only grow by 3.9%, and A/E firms will need to compete in a very different fiscal climate. Here’s a link to more specific information, including an invitation to a webinar on Tuesday, August 30 to discuss the findings.

An executive summary of the report is available here, registration required. But I’m happy to send the summary directly to any Work, Wine and Wheels reader who would like to receive it. Just shoot me an email at cgp01@yahoo.com, or drop a comment below.

Building something entirely new that combines market research and social networking — that’s exciting work for an exciting client. If you are in the government market and haven’t joined GovWin yet, come on board and see where we’re taking this community. It makes good business sense.

August 25, 2011 at 8:44 am Leave a comment

Easing into Social Media for Business

Yesterday I started my work week with a Small Business Roundtable breakfast at the Tower Club. The event was sponsored by the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) National Chapter. The topic was social media — what exactly does that buzz word mean in a b2b/b2g environment, and how can executives put it to work for their businesses?

To facilitate the conversation, ACG brought in three executives currently executing social media strategies for their organizations. Victoria Clark directs govWin, a social media community for government contractors owned by Deltek. Steve Gleave runs marketing for MetaSwitch, a technology company that puts VOIP and IMS based intelligence into service provider networks.

Kevin Moss is an executive at British Telecom who has established himself as a leading authority on Corporate Social Responsibility via his blog CSR Perspective. Disclosure alert — Kevin and Victoria are clients of my firm Strategic Communications Group.

I can’t do full justice to the fast paced and interesting discussion, but here are my notes on how the panelists defined social media, and how best for business executives to get started.

Victoria:

  • The critical element of social media is two way communication, the fact it is a conversation. In a business setting, that conversation needs to be vertical specific, and have specific business objectives.
  • Listen first, then start to participate focusing on one social media tool — her favorite is LinkedIn.

Steve:

  • What social media ISN’T are the tools, the term means harnessing the wisdom of the crowd, and organizing a flood of information into a focused channel directed at your specific audience of interest.
  • Set a big goal, and be clear on the purpose of your efforts. For example, Steve has launched the “curated” news site Carrier Evolution and set an initial goal of 10,000 readers. MetaSwitch has reached this goal, and Steve shared that he’s achieved PR objectives through the site — placed stories, contact with influencers — at far less cost than traditional PR and advertising methods.

Kevin:

  • B2B social media is halfway between traditional PR and one to one connections. The trick is to find the balance between the messaging discipline of good PR messaging and the veracity needed for direct contact.
  • Definitely important to listen first in your social media niche, but even more important to start participating. The best way is to comment constructively in discussions you find, and don’t be anonymous – use your real name.

I’ve shared in this blog previously that b2b social media is very different than consumer. Some answers come via experimentation and just trying new things, which is a tough culture change for many organizations. Nobody has all the answers yet, and ROI measurements will vary by company and vertical. But innovators like these panelists are in the arena figuring it out.

How are you employing social media tactics in your vertical? You’re not still on the sidelines, right?

November 16, 2010 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

Social Media and the Rule of Three

Describing concepts in three parts is a popular and effective communication tool. A term like social media can mean different things in different environments, so breaking it down into three steps is a good idea.

Last week Government Computer News ran an interesting story quoting Mark Drapeau, a well known authority on Government 2.0 now working for Microsoft. (His Posterous blog is a good read) Mark calls Phase One surprise, government officials discovering social media was relevant. Maybe you could also call that education.

The second phase is experimentation, setting up things like Facebook and Twitter accounts and using them to connect with audiences. The third phase Mark thinks government is now entering is the solution phase, with government agencies looking to solve specific problems with social media tools.

The terminology is different, but these phases reminded me of an excellent post by my partner Marc Hausman from April 2009. Marc described what we were seeing at the time as our b2b and b2g clients were moving to social media execution. The first step was Pockets of Innovation — usually there was a champion inside the client willing to experiment on a project basis.

The second Mark called Bridging to Pervasive, in which success on a project basis leads to greater adoption across business lines. The final stage is the Last Mile, in which the successful socmed tactics are tied directly to measurable business objectives — deal capture, lead gen, superior customer service, etc. This is the most difficult phase but also the one that justifies the budget spend.

Different description and terms, but I think the Marc/k(s) are describing the same evolution. An organization tries new socmed tools, sees that they work and then attacks specific problems in a new way. This last phase is the toughest phase by far, but the results can be powerful and exciting.

A good example of using social media to support business objectives is GovWin. GovWin is the community for government contractors just re-launched by Deltek, a Strategic client. The objective of the community isn’t simply conversation or sharing best practices. Participants look for contract partners, pool and share staffing resources, and collaborate to better service government contracts.

All this goes on transparently, online. It’s a different mindset and a different approach that is better for the government, and better for participating contractors.

Think of it as eHarmony for government contractors. Here’s a link to a good Federal News Radio interview with GovWin’s Jeff White, moderated by Chris Dorobek.

What stage of social media evolution is your organization going through? You should be getting through your experimentation phase — it’s time to get down to business.

October 21, 2010 at 7:18 am 2 comments


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