Thursday, May 24, 2007

There was a very interesting webinar this morning organized by Washington Technology magazine and featuring Ray Bjorkland of FedSources.

Here is couple of tidbits I found interesting:
  • there will be fewer government opportunities over the next few years but those that exist will be bigger
  • it is increasingly important to get on an IDIQ contract or get on an existing team
  • pure A-76 contracts will be rare, but mostly used for small scale staff augmentation deals
  • the impact of the 2008 election will be minimal until the 2009 budget due to the length of the government budgeting cycle (well....duh)
  • eGov initiatives seem to have broad based bi-partisan support and won't see much change over the next few years
  • IPv6 is not a high risk change for government, but poses a huge managerial and cultural challenge. Will the government develop and implement a viable plan for all the ancillary changes that need to be addressed? Still up the in air.
  • there a strong resurgence of interest and budgets in health IT. Electronic health records are driving budget growth as well as funds to directly support warfighter and veterans
  • there will be increasing collaboration among government agencies, ie IWIN with DOJ/DHS. However, in the end, most contracts of this sort tend to get driven by one or another of the agencies involved.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Monday Morning! I read a very interesting article ("Political Device Goes Corporate"-registration required) in the Wall Street Journal on political campaign operatives moving from the political world to the corporate world. Aside from this article being a nice promotional piece for the Republican staffers fleeing the sinking ship to set up their own consultancies, there are some interesting points made.

Sara Taylor, the marketer highlighted in the article, claims that she has refined traditional database marketing under the pressure of modern political campaign.

"Microtargeting lets you pinpoint not only the issue an individual cares most about, but also what it is about the issue that is most likely to motivate the person to support a candidate," Ms. Taylor says. "That could be true of a corporation's products too."
Another benefit is that she and her peers have squeezed the slowness out of ordinary market segmentation due to the short timeline of a campaign.

At first blush, this seems like a great thing. Who wouldn't like to save money by having one's market analysis done in record time! After all, I'm sure she bills hourly...but with this efficiency comes some cut corners.

In politics, unfortunately, a candidate only needs 50% plus one of the voters with a single call to action on one day every couple of years. Negative messages (fear, doubt and uncertainty) are effective at rallying your supporters and discouraging your opponents. One doesn't care if you piss of the other 50%- in fact, that's a good thing!

Corporate marketers have higher ambitions than 50% of the marketplace. And this (hopefully) higher share must be continuously induced to all sorts of calls to action on a sometimes daily basis. Add in all sorts of legal restrictions and liabilities and the corporate marketers job starts to seem harder and harder.

Something I think Sara will learn very early on in her corporate marketing did these former politicos when they botched the WalMart engagement for Edelman.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A very interesting post from B.L. Ochman's blog:

"Study: 82% of Americans Trust Social Media Before Corporate Sites"

While corporate web sites are obviously full of self serving hot air, I'm a little surprised with the 82% number. That's a lot. Social media, to me, is a very interesting medium with a lot of potential but full of biased, barely credible people. It's very interesting that most people are looking to online social networks as a source of information.

Again, this is another data point to support the theory that public relations will become more and more important as companies lose their grip on the mass communications techniques that served them so well for the last 50 odd years.

And then we read about "Blogola" from the Wall Street Journal. Will the pendulum swing too far and destroy the credibility that social media seems to inherently have? Seems possible...
Whew, I step away from the blog for a few seconds to get some work done, and almost two weeks go by. Bad blogger, bad.

However, I have been busy. I recorded an audio podcast with Charles Gold. Charles is the Senior Director of Worldwide Marketing for DataDirect Technologies. DataDirect focuses on providing data connection and mainframe integration services. Charles was very generous to spend some time talking about the challenge of marketing mainframe services, volunteering on the advisory boards of startups and the impact of social media in his marketing mix (psst: not much yet, but studying best practices now...)

You can find a link to the audio file at Strategic's Straight to the Point media library.

BTW, if you haven't taken a look at Blogtalkradio, please do. It is a free online service that allows anyone to set up a radio talk show program. The audio files are hosted at Blogtalkradio so there is no editing, no need to purchase microphones or no tricky audio editing software. Just call in.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

As part of my company's new marketing campaign, I've been sitting down with local marketing leaders to pick their brains. My goal has been to develop content that can serve as valuable information, tips, inside scoop and help guides for fellow marketing peers.

My interview with Toni Lee Rudnicki is posted below. Here I'd like to share a video podcast I shot with Mark Root, Executive Director of Corporate Communications at ManTech International. ManTech is a publicly traded (NASDAQ:MANT) IT and technical services firm serving federal government customers. Mark has some very interesting and enlightening nuggets to share about the "how, where, when and why" of government marketing.