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Episode 81 | 4 keys to virtual marketing within the public sector

July 28, 2020

Episode 81 | 4 keys to virtual marketing within the public sector


Before the pandemic, IT consultants were able to connect with public sector organizations in person at events. Those events claimed the majority of our marketing efforts and budgets.
 
Now, how do we still offer the service the public sector has come to know and expect?
 
Keri sits down with Dell Technologies director of North America public sector marketing, Milo Speranzo. The two discuss:
 
  • The keys to virtual marketing in the public sector
  • Why partners should be focusing on stimulus dollar spend long after the pandemic
  • Why it’s important to act as a consultant and not a salesperson especially in today’s environment
Discover how Ingram Micro supports marketing to the public sector.
 
"The best way to engage right now on the education side is to know what decision-makers and influencers need in the new normal." — Milo Speranzo
 
Milo gives partners 4 keys to successfully market to the public sector in a digital world.

1. Get creative

There are numerous ways to give your public sector customers close to what they’re used to at in-person events. Here are a few ideas:
 
  • Host a virtual trivia night. Pair it with a quick pitch and Q&A for your customers to get questions answered.
  • Host a recurring webinar. Give your customers opportunities to meet with you and to discuss their business objectives.
  • Plan a virtual cooking class. Hire a chef to lead your customers and their families in preparing a meal. Pair it with a pitch and/or Q&A time.
Even if your virtual event doesn’t go exactly according to plan, your customers will appreciate your effort and remember you once the world begins to recover.
 
Plus, everybody seems to be a little more forgiving nowadays, your customers included.

2. Identify key stakeholders

This is one key that will also benefit you once in-person events start back up.
 
In the world of remote education, essential stakeholders have switched positions within the buyer’s journey. Before, superintendents tended to be the influencers in an educational institution. IT professionals, then, were the ultimate decision-makers when it came to new technology.
 
Now, IT professionals are working as the influencers while superintendents are doing the deciding. In other words, financial professionals in educational institutions are making the final decisions on tech investments.
 
In the public sector, it pays to know who’s doing the deciding and who’s doing the influencing.
 

3. Focus on stimulus spending

Public institutions that are receiving stimulus money aren’t likely going to spend it within 18 months of receiving it. In fact, it will probably be years until they use up all their stimulus dollars.
 
Milo and the team at Dell Technologies know this because they found a pattern in public sector spending starting before WWI. When public entities receive stimulus money, it often takes them 6-9 years to spend it all.
 
Paying attention to those spending habits can help IT consultants jump in at the right time.
 

4. Be a consultant, not a salesperson

Milo warns IT providers that many government officials will remember if a company uses the pandemic to take advantage of public institutions.
 
Being sneaky about selling during this time will have ramifications that outweigh any benefits you might see.
 
He advises partners to be sensitive toward customers and prospects and act as a helping hand, not a salesperson.
 
To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk
 
Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. You can also listen on our website.