Understanding the rapidly changing world of marketing—particularly in the social and digital spheres—can help you win more. The reality of the digital age is that customers are distracted. They are bombarded with so much information that it is difficult to focus. In fact, studies show that knowledge workers attend to a task for only three minutes before something else distracts them. It takes 20 minutes to fully reengage in their work.
What does that mean for your proposals? You must modernize your proposal writing, using techniques digital marketers use, to grab and hold the evaluators attention. You are not just a writer; you are a salesperson using the medium of writing to communicate that you’re the discriminating value proposition of your products or services.
Attention grabbers are one way to keep the evaluator focused on your content. Attention grabbers could include a unique definition, little known fact, statements intended to challenge, questions, distinctive graphics and stories. Stories, for example, are much easier to understand and remember than facts and figures. Proposal writers who can tell good anecdotes have a powerful advantage. Proposals can no longer be done in a vacuum. They must be done as part of an integrated sales, marketing and even public relations campaign spread across multiple platforms to catch potentialcustomers in every conceivable way.
So how exactly do you do that?
Proposal professionals must interact with marketing, sales and public relations roles to see these functions as integral parts of their daily work. While some companies intersect across job functions, often roles are siloed, preventing consistent messaging and limiting chances to connect with prospects before, during and after proposal submission. Too often proposal professionals are focused on the work at hand—this one bid—and they don’t have the insight or time to work more broadly. New, easy-to-use tools and integrations across the digital landscape make it easier and faster to repackage content, delivering it through multiple channels throughout the buying cycle.
You get information on your mobile phone through a variety of platforms. Do you think your evaluator doesn’t?
Through targeted and relevant training, discover easy ways to harness video, meaningfully engage social media influencers, deploy retargeting and maximize thought leadership to reach your prospects before, during and after the official proposal cycle. Maximize retention of information and increase the likelihood they choose you—not your competitor. Learn how digital marketing enhances your proposal submission, providing a 360-degree experience for your potential customer and scores of data for you to truly understand them, their buying habits and preferences through audience mapping.Crisis communications and media relations tie your proposal and your marketing together in the age of the protest where every evaluator decision is weighed and measured in the “court of public opinion.” Get strategies for how and when to talk to the media or prepare those in your organization who fill that role.
Both the commercial and the federal marketplaces are changing rapidly, and companies both large and small need a holistic approach to winning that includes targeted training in marketing, sales and public relations.
Colleen Jolly, CPP APMP Fellow, is a Senior Consultant with Mach Media, an international marketing agency specializing in solving business challenges. She has more than 19 years’ experience helping people refine their message and win new business.
Lisa Pafe, CPP APMP Fellow and PMP, is Vice President of Lohfeld Consulting Group, a premier capture and proposal services company focused on helping customers win business. She brings more than 25 years of capture, proposal and project experience.