The bucks stop without ROI


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Though new media are gaining in popularity among federal employees, the study found that traditional media, such as print, are not dead. Forty percent of respondents reported a preference for reading trade publications in print, followed by a combination of both print and online (29%). Marketers are most likely to succeed when they use a combination of media, Dezzutti said. “The most successful marketers in this space are using and integrating a variety of tools into the marketing mix,” she said. “They're not doing any one or two things; they have a lot in their tool bag that they're drawing on.” Joyce Bosc, president-CEO of Boscobel Marketing Communications, said government marketers continue to have success with public relations, print and radio advertising, and trade shows. “Trade shows remain very important, even though travel budgets have certainly been cut back dramatically,” she said. “The government wants to meet face-to-face with the people they'll be working with. Trade shows are still a big thing.” But marketers must make sure events are highly useful, said Nigel Ballard, director of federal marketing for Intel Corp. (see case study below). “Not enough marketers put themselves in the heads of the people they're trying to message to,” he said. “Take a guy who's a federal government employee. He has a full-time job, hundreds of emails, a desk full of papers. [Going to an event] means missing six or eight hours of his workload. To put on an event in D.C., you need to have great speakers and fresh salmon—not more chicken, please—and attendees have to walk away having learned something.” Gal Borenstein, CEO-chief strategist at the Borenstein Group (see Q&A, page 15), advises marketers to re-evaluate their brand positioning—including their digital brand and its extensions in social media—build thought leadership content and analyze buyer personas. “The government agency of today is comprised of fragmented and decentralized decision-makers, which means it's almost like marketing to a village rather than a country. Each village requires a customized approach and content.”

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