We often speak with prospects in government contracting who have encountered a great divide within their firms — those who desperately want their firm to revamp its website for increased business development opportunities and those who don’t think a website matters because their work comes from RFPs. When confronted by professionals from both sides of this divide, we at Hinge turn to our research to help explain why websites are, in fact, relevant for RFP-driven firms. And our latest research continues to support this perspective.
Each year, as part of our annual High Growth Study, Hinge surveys firms that derive the majority of their revenue from government business. This past year, we surveyed 91 firms in the government contracting industry. These firms earned $76 billion in revenue and had over 300,000 full time employees. Government contractors also were the fastest growing industry segment in this year’s study, growing at a median rate of 13.4% — that’s over twice the rate of the slowest growing industry, accounting and financial services!
When we asked the high-growth cohort of government contractors to identify their top marketing priorities, digital tools dominated their responses. And guess what topped the list? That’s right, upgrading their website.
In the figure below, you can see the top marketing priorities for these fast-growing firms compared to no-growth firms.
What do these priorities have in common? They all help firms increase their online visibility and support business development efforts. Below are three things high-growth firms know about the benefits of an updated website:
1. It increases the likelihood of receiving an RFP
Relying on the same clients to send you RFPs is not a recipe for business growth. To grow your firm, you need to reach new audiences and expand your network. Twenty years ago, this was done by attending networking events. In 2018, it’s often achieved through content marketing.
Today, a website serves as the hub of a firm’s marketing activities. It is used to determine the content and design direction of all your marketing materials. Developing targeted, quality content and disseminating that through your website, social media, industry publications and your employees’ networks is how firms increase their visibility in 2018 and beyond.
2. It supports the buy decision after you’ve responded to an RFP
A modern, well-written and well-designed website gives both long-term clients and new prospects a reason to short-list your firm. It also gives your firm an opportunity to outshine your competition.
Take a look at your competitors’ websites. What are they telling prospective clients? If you were a prospective client, how would your website and the way it portrays your firm stack up against the competition? Here are three factors you can use to evaluate your site:
- Messaging: Your website should speak to your prospects’ needs. Do you provide specific and straightforward (i.e., minimal jargon) information about your firm’s capabilities and experience? Is it clear why a company should hire your firm?
- Design: If a prospect goes to your website and cannot find what he is looking for or sees a site that looks like it was designed 15 years ago, what will he think about the work you will do for him? Does your site have easy-to-use navigation, compelling (not clichéd) images and a consistent style throughout?
- Content: Many modern websites have robust “resources” sections. This content is built around a unified content strategy and includes regularly published blogs, guides and other educational materials. Does your site have a cohesive and consistent content strategy that demonstrates your thought leadership and builds trust with prospects who are new to your firm? Does it position you well against industry leaders?
3. It can attract top talent to your company
We are all familiar with the “talent war” that is raging in professional services today. Hinge’s 2017 Employer Brand Study found that 62.7% of job seekers look at firm websites when searching for new career opportunities. Does your website’s careers page speak to job seekers and demonstrate why they should want to work at your firm? What opportunities are there for career advancement and training? Does it convey your firm culture?
Is your website giving you a leg up? Or is it slowing your down?
- Download the free Executive Summary of the 2018 High Growth Study: Government Contractor Editionand learn what propels high-growth firms into the stratosphere.
- Check out our Lead Generating Website Guide, which details how your firm can generate qualified leads with its website.
- Learn how to uncover your firm’s true differentiators with Hinge University‘s Differentiation, Positioning & Messaging
How Hinge Can Help:
Let Hinge help you create and implement a research-based strategy to increase your firm’s visibility and growth. Hinge’s Visible Firm® Program is the leading marketing program for professional services firms that want to market themselves like industry leaders. Ask about it today!