Making the Transition from Federal to Commercial Markets

With the constant fluctuations in defense spending, many defense firms are overly exposed to risk in today’s federal market. One strategy these firms can adopt to help mitigate this risk is to open up additional revenue streams by marketing their products and services to the commercial market. kglobal has successfully worked with a multitude of such companies, arming them with a strategy for diversified growth. Thanks to the training and consulting services kglobal provided, these defense companies can now confidently approach commercial prospects with compelling value propositions, apply structured planning processes to inform strategic decisions, and identify and prioritize new markets for their products and services.

Take the example of a provider of clinical healthcare and other professional services to the Department of Defense (DoD) that experienced a difficult year in which business development efforts did not bear any fruit and DoD contracting budgets continued to shrink. Some of the company’s operating strengths – namely, minimal overhead resources, a concentrated focus on one anchor client, and an insistence on solo pursuits – became obstacles to corporate growth. The company’s spirit and values reflected those of its entrepreneurial CEO, but were not supported by established business development processes, partner relationships, or market intelligence. Furthermore, in trying to satisfy the needs of a wide variety of potential government customers, the company’s marketing materials and online presence failed to clearly communicate its core strengths and showcase its value proposition.

To help their situation, the kglobal team conducted a series of strategic planning, sales, and marketing activities designed to help our client adjust its approach to business development, identify and explore new avenues for new corporate growth, and revitalize its external communications to attract new audiences and increase sales. The components of our engagement included:

  1. A strategic planning workshop to help the CEO fully account for the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; examine contracts and services to identify underlying value propositions and differentiate between current and aspirational capabilities; and challenge assumptions that were limiting the company’s ability to successfully identify and win new pursuits.
  2. A new logo, tagline, website, and style guide to promote a more dynamic and commercially viable brand while honoring the company’s existing values; communicate the company’s value proposition across multiple sectors, beyond a government customer context; and provide a unifying theme for all communications going forward.
  3. A tailored market analysis that characterized the wider market for the company’s core services; researched federal contracting opportunities that were not on the company’s radar; promoted the value of partnering and profiled companies for initial outreach; and identified commercial market segments and notional targets for the company’s existing capability set.
  4. Read-to-run sales and marketing materials, including a one-pager to effectively outline the company’s value proposition for both commercial and government clients; highlight customary government contracting information without limiting the company’s appeal to other audiences; and help the company “punch above its weight” in business development conversations.

Our engagement helped the company to spearhead a more deliberate and structured approach to business development. In addition to providing actionable recommendations for improving processes and mitigating resource shortfalls, our deliverables included approach strategies and contact information for 8 potential teaming partners, 17 target client organizations, and over 60 leads and influencers. Armed with a new website and marketing materials, the CEO implemented our recommendations to immediate success – winning two contracts, approaching new commercial targets, engaging in partnering discussions, and exploring a joint venture.

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