Mobile device usage is up and print is not dead. Those are just two of the findings from the 2013 Federal Media and Marketing Study (FMMS) by Market Connections Inc., a government market research firm. The firm conducted the study in conjunction with Sara Leiman, vice president media director at TMP Government. Lisa Dezzutti, president and CEO of Market Connections, and Leiman presented highlights this morning at a sold-out breakfast at the Gannett Conference Center in McLean, Va.
In its fifth year, the study aggregates the use of print, television, radio, mobile, social media and Internet-based news media by senior federal employees. More than 3,900 decision-makers—the largest response to-date—participated in the study.
“The way government executives are consuming media is changing dramatically,” said Dezzutti. “The federal sector is catching up with global and national trends when it comes to mobility. As such, marketers should optimize all of their sites and content for mobile devices, as well as continue to focus on traditional channels for reaching government decision makers.”
This year’s theme at the breakfast was “Navigating a Changing Federal Landscape,” and panelists shared recommendations for government contractors to enhance marketing and business development in the face of shrinking budgets and an challenging environment for government decision-makers. This year’s speakers included Alan Boykin, chief learning officer, National Contract Management Association and Judy Quinlan, manager, advertising and creative services, Northrop Grumman.
Highlights of the study include:
- Mobile device usage is up. Two-thirds (67 percent) of government decision-makers are now using smartphones, up from 58 percent in 2012. In addition, tablet usage nearly doubled in the past year, from 31 percent in 2012 to 60 percent in 2013.
- Print still is not dead. Federal decision-makers are still reading print publications, with 45 percent preferring print for work information, reinforcing that marketers need to consider a combination of print, digital and mobile when developing marketing strategies.
- Trade show and conference attendance is down. More than half (52 percent) of federal decision-makers did not attend any trade shows or events last year, while those who attended one to three events (41 percent) and more than four events (8 percent) are down from 49 percent and 11 percent respectively.
- Social media use has leveled off. Survey respondents reported use of Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube remaining about the same as in 2012: 57 percent use Facebook, 36 percent use LinkedIn and 46 percent use YouTube. New to the study is Google+, with 33 percent of respondents using the online social network.
- Participants are active in the purchasing process. About 51 percent of survey respondents are responsible for the identification of the need for products or services, 43 percent are responsible for determining the requirements for new projects, 29 percent are involved in proposal evaluation and 27 percent are responsible for identifying potential contractors and suppliers.
- “Media habits inside the beltway are very different than outside the beltway,” added Leiman. “Government executives inside the beltway are consuming a diversified mix of media, which is being now delivered through multiple channels and platforms. This gives marketers the opportunity to quickly influence the government buyer in ways where domain- and geo-targeting is possible.”
New data in the 2013 study includes:
- Readership: 11 additional publications, 34 additional websites and mobile sites
- Spending Expectations: Federal employees indicate spending changes for 33 product and service categories, including cloud computing, energy conservation products, aircraft, consulting services and education/training
- E-newsletters: Preferences and subscriptions
- Mobile Devices: Smartphones, tablets, e-readers and their access to email, news websites, social media and video
- Social Media: Social media sites used for work and for personal reasons
- Other Media: Blogs, trade shows, webinars, D.C. metro newspapers, radio and TV news
A detailed overview of the study results is available for download and can be found here.