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How to Create a Federal Marketing Plan






How to Create a Federal Marketing Plan

The federal government fiscal year begins October 1 and ends September 30. The process starts with the agencies submitting estimates to the Office of Management and Budget and the President submits the final budget to Congress for final approval. Beginning October 1, agencies incur the obligations and make outlays to carry out the funded programs, projects and activities. The last quarter of the fiscal year federal agencies adopt the “Use it or lose it” attitude. Agencies enter into an accelerated buying process.

In fiscal year 2010, the federal government purchased over $432b in goods and services from commercial entities. Small Business accounted for 22.65% or $97, 946,784,160.69 of all federal purchases. The socio economic designated purchases included Small Disadvantage Business 7.95%, SBA 8(a) contractors 4.27%, Veteran Owned Small Business 4.30%, Service Disable Veteran Own Small Business 2.49%, Women Own Business 4.03% and HUBZone 2.76%.

Selling to the federal government requires a marketing plan. Successful companies operate under a business plan that includes a marketing plan. This marketing plan enables the company to maneuver in and out of markets as they open and close. The federal market space is open for business but requires a sustained effort, senior management commitment and resources for at least 18 months before a return on investment can be realized. The goal of this marketing plan is to position the company within a targeted federal agency contracting office to identify requirements and present their solutions before the requirements become open bid contracts. In most cases a small business can be successful in less than 18 months if the company has a contract vehicle, a teaming arrangement with existing federal contractors or a Small Business Administration/Veteran Administration sponsored socio economic business certification.

The federal marketing plan should contain an assessment of the company’s readiness to do federal contracting; federal procurement history; a one page capability statement; a contact database and milestones for measuring success.
The company should conduct an assessment of its ability to successfully operate a federal contract. The assessment should include a review its accounting system, quality control procedures, personnel qualifications, raw material sourcing and other terms and conditions that a company must comply with.

A review of federal procurement history will help the company answer the following questions.

• Does the federal government buy my company's products/services?
• Who in which contracting office buys my company's products/services?
• How do federal contracting personnel buy my company’s products/services?

The goal of this information is to find the contracting office physical addresses. Current bid notifications can also be used to identify contracting offices.
The one page company capability is the “30 second” elevator speech for initial introductions to targeted federal agency contacts. The capability statement should be electronic and contain a summary of the information in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database. The statement should also answers to the following questions.

• What does the company sale?
• How does the company accomplish the sale?
• What are the qualifications of the company personnel?

The federal marketing plan should contain a database composed of contact information on key decision makers within targeted contracting offices. There are over 371,000 federal facilities with more than 200,000 federal employees dedicated to the procurement process. The database should contain the names, titles, email address, telephone numbers and physical addresses of targeted program managers, contracting officials, and senior executives. The database can be used for telemarketing, appointment setting and newsletter marketing activity.

Finally, the federal marketing plan should contain goal and objectives that are measurable. Milestone should reflect reality and are balanced with company resources. The plan should include a time table for company readiness and the various steps the company should take that we lead to contract. The time table should also include the number of bids the company will submit over a period of time. If you do not win the contract ask for a debrief session from the contracting officer. The debrief session is the way to bid better and establish a relationship with the contracting officer. Allow 18 months to get that first contract. Remember, federal contracting is a marathon and not a race.

The ultimate goal of the federal marketing plan is to get federal contracts. The positioning of the company within a targeted agency contracting office will ensure a sustained federal contracting program. This plan contains an assessment of the company’s ability to perform on a federal contract, a one page capability statement, a database of contact information for targeted federal agency contracting office, and milestone to measure progress. Happy hunting.



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About the Author

Gregory James, fedcontractintel.com
Fort Worth, TX 76134
2148502887

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