Achieving Eminence and Influence on G-Cloud 10
Our newest Strategic Adviser Bill Mew, shares with us his insights on what influencer marketing is and why it is critical for making G-Cloud sales!
Often those new to the public sector assume that simply joining one of the government frameworks such as the upcoming G-Cloud 10, will immediately lead to a pipeline of business. The reality is that the frameworks are not unlike the internet, as in they are an environment with many sellers, the majority of whom are doing very little business at all.
You need to understand that the way that people buy things has changed – and that this applies in B2C and B2B as well as B2G (business to government). Once upon a time if you or I wanted to buy a new digital camera we might have gone from the point of awareness that we needed one, to interest in finding one and then on to consideration at which point we would have gone down to Jessops or Dixons to seek advice. Marketing would have been the main influence on our decision making, that is until the moment that we sought the advice when sales would then have become the main point of influence.
It simply doesn’t happen this way anymore. Instead we do all our research online and according to Lori Wizdo, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, “…today’s buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to a vendor.” It is no wonder therefore that traditional retailers, trade shows, advertisers and vendors are biting the dust. In this new era the ONLY way to influence buyers before they reach the point of final evaluation and purchase is to have a digital presence – and a compelling and engaging one at that.
G-Cloud 10 listing is not enough! Get active!
G-Cloud and other government frameworks are not only a bit like the internet in this way, but they are also a bit of a black box. On G-Cloud with each iteration you publish information about your products and services and then have no real touch points until the customer has completed the search and evaluation process – unless that is you have an active influencer and content management programme to create touch points and engagements with your target community.
For B2C purchases on the internet it is a firm’s google ranking and brand awareness that count, but in B2B, and increasingly B2G as well, it is a question of eminence. The reality is that most firms are good at what they do. They need to have the ability to complete the task and solve the customer’s problem or they wouldn’t be in business. Many firms also have case studies and thought leadership to show that they have real expertise and can deliver real value. Indeed, there is hardly a single firm out there that doesn’t believe that it is the best at what it does (even if they need to frame their leadership in terms that make them appear the best). Unfortunately, being good at what you do, or even being arguably the best, isn’t good enough – especially with everyone out there is claiming (on their own terms) to be the best.
Reputation is everything
The firms that really stand out on G-Cloud are those that achieve eminence, that are known for what they do by reputation, and that are actively sought out by prospects. Only few organisations or individuals ever achieve true eminence, but once achieved it can drastically reduce your marketing costs – as prospects seek you out, literally lining up at your door – and can massively increase your sales win ratio – as you are automatically assumed to be the best in the business. On G-Cloud buyers rarely search for suppliers in a totally unbiased manner that is uninfluenced in any way. The search terms that they use typically include terms, attributes or even product or company names that they have been influenced to use.
Your influencer and content management programme needs to be focused on ensuring that you achieve eminence in your field, that you enable your key executives to engage with top influencers and that they start to build influence of their own and it needs to create amplification in order to ensure that you have the maximum possible reach. And if you are seeking to work with digital or marketing agencies then you need to avoid the ‘snake oil salesmen’ that claim to be able to raise your profile or achieve miracles, but have never managed to really build eminence, create influence or apply amplification effectively for either themselves or their clients. In the year of GDPR, everyone wants to be seen as eminent in privacy, but very few are. Likewise, with cloud at the centre of all current innovation, firms of all sizes are seeking to achieve real eminence in topics associated with cloud. And in areas like Govtech, players are vying for visibility and credibility. You need to be working with the real experts here – ones that really understand the public sector.
About Bill Mew
Bill Mew is a new Strategic Adviser at Advice Cloud. He should know about eminence and influence as, in the year of GDPR, he is recognised as the top global influencer for Privacy (by influence analysis experts Onalytica – see his profile). He is also ranked as one of the top 30 or so global influencers on Cloud (according to the #Cloud Global Power 100 Influencer List) and most importantly he is also the top social influencer on Govtech in the UK (according to the #UKGovTech Power 250).