Best Practices & How-To

2014

Curious About Research? Market Connections Answers the Top 5 Questions

November 17, 2014

Any successful company can tell you how valuable understanding their customers and what they need is. We find time and again, articles providing tips that help guide strategies to capture valuable customer insights are the most widely read. Since many companies are now planning for 2015, we have compiled the five top research tips that address the problems we help customers solve. We hope they help you in formulating your marketing plans for the coming year. #1 Let’s Talk Price: How Much Does Research Cost? Cost is a factor when deciding to embark on any marketing project, and market research is no exception. ... Read more

Using Research to Drive Effective Thought Leadership

November 17, 2014

Third-party research can validate a company’s technical expertise by solidifying its position as a thought leader in any industry. For example, the recent nationwide Market Connections study commissioned by NetApp showed that schools are realizing benefits as a result of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) that supports students bringing their own devices (BYOD) such as laptops, smartphones and tablets into the classroom. As opposed to doing research and letting it sit on a shelf, NetApp is using the results of the study to both inform their go-to-market strategies and to enhance sales and marketing activities. For example, NetApp developed a white paper ... Read more

How to Join the Evolution of What Your Customers Want

October 30, 2014

Customer satisfaction is about giving your customers what they want—even when what they need is different. Technology in the government services market is a prime example. The pace of change in technology is rapid, resulting in revolutionary shifts in how business gets done. Yet, as U.S. Department of Commerce CIO Steven Cooper said at a recent event on convergence, the government moves at an evolutionary pace. Convergence—products and services bundled as outcome-based offerings—is a good example of a technology revolution that could significantly help government agencies deliver on their missions while addressing budgetary concerns. Often referred to as “as-a‐service” (XaaS) models, ... Read more

Do You Need to Conduct Brand Research in the Government Marketplace?

September 29, 2014

It is common for companies to work in both the commercial and government sectors. It is also common for them to focus on their commercial brand while unintentionally overlooking whether the focus of their brand’s message resonates with the government sector. Marketing and PR professionals understand the value of the brand: A recent survey Market Connections conducted in partnership with Vocus showed that the number one priority by far for marketing and PR professionals is to increase brand awareness. The thing to remember, however, is that the brand messages that work very successfully with target commercial markets may fall short with the ... Read more

Top Tips for Creating Connections that Drive Federal Sales

September 24, 2014

As budgets continue to tighten, competing in the federal marketplace requires more than producing innovative solutions. Connecting with your customers is critical. But how do you connect with government customers in a complex market? On September 18, Market Connections’ Strategic Marketing and Thought Leadership Expert Monica Mayk spoke at a Northern Virginia Technology Council Business Development, Marketing & Sales meeting with top tips for “Connecting with Government Customers in an Increasingly Complex Marketplace.” Mayk’s presentation included insights from Market Connections’ 6th Annual Federal Media and Marketing Studylast year’s Government Events PulsePoll™ and the LPTA Impact Study.  Mayk’s presentation laid out three key ... Read more

Using Market Research to Position Your Expertise

September 17, 2014

In the competitive federal contracting space, positioning your company and your subject matter experts as thought leaders is a great way to differentiate your firm and provide your customers with actionable information. Third-party research can validate a company’s technical expertise, and is a solid framework for crafting thought leadership materials. For example, SolarWinds recently commissioned a Market Connections study to find out what kinds of cyber threats IT Operations (IT Ops) and Information Security (InfoSec) teams at federal agencies face every day. The study showed that 94 percent of respondents rated their agencies’ cybersecurity readiness as good or excellent, and many believe ... Read more

How to Create an Effective Blog for a B2G or B2B Audience

September 12, 2014

A recent study Market Connections conducted on behalf of marketing software provider Vocus showed that the number one priority for marketing and PR professionals is to create brand awareness. That makes sense—a strong brand is one of the most important assets a company has. What surprised us is that using a blog to create that brand awareness is not a top priority, especially considering that this FedPulse blog has been a strong component in building our own brand awareness. The data showed that … 35% of marketing professionals and 26% of PR professionals do not use a blog at all. Of the people who ... Read more

In Tough Times, Contractors Turn to Creative Marketing Campaigns

August 30, 2014

From The Washington Post Capital Business | August 30, 2014 In the best of times, selling to the government is not an easy task. In the worst of times, it’s even harder. As federal budgets shrink and competition intensifies, contractors are battling it out not only for dollars, but also for the attention of their government customers. That’s sparked a slew of creative marketing campaigns over the past couple of years, featuring virtual conferences, 3-D animation, apps, e-books and the increased use of social media. These are not necessarily groundbreaking ideas in the Internet age, but for the world of government contracting, they ... Read more

How Could the Government Have Avoided the Affordable Care Website Debacle?

April 29, 2014

By Dave Glantz, Director of Research Services At a time of great austerity, it is more critical than ever for government agencies to ensure their core websites serve as a true citizen- and constituent-facing tool. The highly problematic rollout of the Affordable Care Act website doubly underscores the need for user-friendly, accessible and intuitive government interfaces. Usability testing is vital to the success of any website or user interface, whether for the use of citizens, businesses or consumers.  Government contractors and systems developers would be wise to include usability testing in the development of any website or IT system. A groundbreaking technology is ... Read more

How Does Research Help Government Agencies Ensure Program Effectiveness?

April 15, 2014

By Dave Glantz, Director of Research Services Our nation is experiencing an unprecedented demographic shift. More than 10,000 baby boomers are expected to retire each day. The Hispanic population is growing rapidly. In addition, there are now more than 23 million disabled veterans in need of specialized care. For government agencies serving these vulnerable citizens, there are unique challenges in both communicating and providing the right programs to meet their needs. Ensuring program effectiveness by knowing the right messages and determining the proper channels for engaging with these citizens has never been more important. For example, not every citizen within these groups uses ... Read more

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