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Want to Sell to the DoD? Better Sharpen your B2D Skills!

By Jeremy Brilliant, Managing Partner 



B2D—it’s a thing. Yes, you’ve heard of B2C marketing (Business to Consumer) and B2B (Business to Business). Then there’s B2G (Business to Government) and the subset, a nuanced, yet importantly different form of marketing, B2D—Business to Defense.


A wise former boss used to start all meetings with three simple words, “what’s our goal?”—“Start with the end in mind”. It’s a great point. The end goal should always be a driver in formulating any marketing (or business) strategy. When you market to a consumer, you’re appealing to their emotions and needs—what they want and need to buy. Business marketing usually targets a company’s bottom line—how can they make more money and grow their business. The government is a very different beast. Defense marketing is an important subset—in 2022, DoD spent nearly $390 BN on products and services. The DoD is America’s largest government agency. 

The mission of the Department of Defense is simply stated: “to provide the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security.” It’s key, therefore, to speak the language of the “customer” and ensure that products and services are what’s needed to ensure robust national security. That’s broad, and since DoD procures almost every product and service imaginable, it’s important to focus on a particular area. At Dioltas, our focus is disruptive technologies. In a nutshell, we’re talking about products and services that enable the end-user to do more with less, be more efficient and introduce an altogether new solution. So here are some pointers for marketing new technologies to the DoD:


Create a Quad Chart This is essentially your calling card. Deeper and less salesy than a marketing slick, this single page is divided into four (therefore quad), it includes a synopsis of the technology and its relevance. It shows how far along in the process you are (prototype to mature and ready for market). It includes some visual element to show either the product itself or a graphic illustration of the process/service. Finally, it gives a rough estimate of the cost to produce. 


Post on LinkedIn: Unless your product/service is classified, you should be talking about it publicly. Post on your own company page. Write blogs, show progress and post pictures and graphics. Ask friends to share your posts and engage with your content. Create a buzz about what you’re doing! Your DoD customers and potential teaming partners likely are on LinkedIn as their preferred social media channel.  


Develop an Elevator Pitch: Sure, you do this in the commercial world but remember to tailor this pitch to your DoD customers. Your pitch should include not only an explanation of what your product/service does but also how the customer can access this technology. Are you on any contract vehicles? Are you partnered with a company that is? Do you have any DoD past performance (including SBIRs)? This is all part of your pitch. 


Carry a Tablet: The next time you’re at a conference or meeting and discuss what you do, pull out the tablet and give a quick demo. Have some pictures and graphics at the ready. Nothing helps someone understand a new concept like a concise elevator pitch together with some great visuals. 


Explore Paid & Earned Media: Are there any local or online publications you could pitch your story to? If budgets allow, launch a targeted social media campaign—targeting your potential customers and teaming partners.  

Most of these tips can be accomplished in-house at little or no cost. Best case, you can farm some of this out to marketing professionals. The key is focusing on your target audience with a specific product/service instead of trying to sell everything to everyone. The DoD Office of Small Business has a guide for small businesses that are selling more standard goods and services.   

Start with the end in mind and start getting the word out there—our nation needs great, innovative solutions and your product or service could play a role in keeping America safe!  



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