CDW Thrives in ‘New’ Market
* Customer research. Research your customers so you know how to market to them. Identify the federal and state agencies that could use your product (e.g., transportation, lottery, public works, social services, etc.) and which factors drive each one’s budget (e.g., tax revenue increases, political pressure to increase funding, etc.).
* A focus on quality and service.
* A targeted marketing approach — the more segmentation the better.
3. Prove how your product or service will benefit the government. CDW recognized the government’s need for interoperability in times of natural disasters such as hurricanes, particularly within the criminal justice and public safety agencies’ computer systems. CDW demonstrated how its outdoor wireless system can extend the networks for first responders, providing them easier ways to communicate. Show how your IT solution will help improve citizen services while reducing cost, Garlow said.
4. Evaluate and adjust your metrics. Adjust your marketing vehicle (catalog, direct mail, advertising in trade magazines, etc.) based on the relative performance of each. The niche your product is in can determine the best way to market your product to the government. CDW’s thinking is, if you’re marketing to a city school district in which teachers generally don’t work with IT products frequently, the print catalog may be the route to go. On the other hand, a federal agency that is more IT savvy may be better off receiving an e-mail campaign.
Among other reasons, CDW has attacked the federal government market because the sector will spend upwards of $65 billion on IT products and services this year. The market also remains steady through changing economic times.