As CEO and chief strategist of the Borenstein Group, a b-to-b and business-to-government marketing services agency, Gal Borenstein has worked with clients such as Airbus North America, Lockheed Martin, Marconi and Nextel. BtoB recently spoke with Borenstein about how marketers are reaching government buyers.
BtoB: What trends are you seeing in government marketing?
Borenstein: There's an incredible shift from print to digital content, particularly in the IT space. We basically have gone from having a media mix that was fairly balanced between print, events and online ... to almost a complete dominance by the notion that digital and interactive media are the way to not only create awareness but also to generate prospects, engage in conversations and create social networks.
Also, there's a new generation of buyers, especially in IT. Baby boomers are retiring, and as the government recruits new, younger IT managers, we are dealing with a new challenge of how to communicate online brand, credibility and trust. It creates a completely new dynamic. ... Buyers are going to the Web first, forming their impression based on your brand, and only then you might get a phone call.
BtoB: What's the role of social media in this market?
Borenstein: Social media has gone from being an experimental platform to being a main way by which people create relationships, gather business intelligence and engage prospects. A year or two ago, we'd do a print ad campaign to introduce a product ahead of a launch and have a webinar about it. Now it's more likely that we're going to be using a social media site to gather business intelligence about prospects and create a conversation. Out of that conversation we will have not only prospecting capabilities but also customer intimacy, in terms of knowing what their needs and pain points are. People share information that otherwise is very difficult to share in formalized marketing environments.