HGACBuy, a cooperative purchasing program for local government agencies, has met its customers’ needs for almost 40 years without much publicity. But the goal of extending their service reach led HGACBuy to seek a new marketing approach.
To start, they enlisted Gilbreath Communications to develop a strategic communications plan in order to analyze the situation and guide their communication goals and strategies. A survey was conducted among end-users and business contractors, and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and competitive analyses were completed.
Gilbreath’s recommendations included an online advertising effort after research indicated end-users and business contractors are all heavily active online. Online advertising was identified as a relatively low-cost approach which could be as effective for business-to-business contact as it is for consumer advertising.
Partnering with a developer of smart media management software, Gilbreath leveraged a highly-targeted banner ad campaign, along with a Google search strategy to reach aggressive impression goals and engage with targets online.
HGACBuy’s online campaign was launched in Spring and exceeded expectations. The campaign generated nearly 1.3 million impressions through banner ads and targeted searches. A typical business-to-business digital campaign has an average industry click-through rate (CTR) of 0.1 percent. HGACBuy’s CTR was well above the industry average at 0.73 percent, and HGACBuy noted a dramatic increase in calls and emails.