Defense Firms Using Mass Ads in USA to Reach Niche Audience
Defense firms interested in doing business with the Pentagon are limited by federal law in their ability to interact with procurement officials. But that isn’t stopping them from mass advertising. The Washington Post notes that companies may invest years of work and millions of dollars just preparing a proposal for the most complicated multi-million or multi-billion dollar contracts. They don’t always know who is on the decision committee. By blanketing the area with mass advertising, they hope to reach some of the officials who have a say in the matter – or the subordinates, peers, et. al. who influence them.
It seems inefficient, and it is. Still, consider the situation. Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, said: “They spend so much money putting together their proposals that the relatively small amount of money they spend on advertising is a way to try to protect their investment in the proposal,” Allen said. “They might do a $20,000 ad campaign on WTOP [a Washington radio station], which gets you some nice air time, but that is a fraction of a cost of putting together their proposal, which can easily cost more than a $1 million.”