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Government officials across the country are working to improve their digital marketing strategies so they can reach more citizens, especially those who are more inclined to open emails and read tweets rather than attend meetings at City Hall.

To better engage and connect with their constituents on a large scale through email, social media and websites - on desktops and mobile devices - agency officials are turning to marketing automation technology vendors for help.

Top marketing automation tools in demand by state & local governments - Onvia

Marketing Automation Plays a Major Role in How the Public Sector Engages with Citizens

“The benefits of providing a path to constituent involvement, the ability to tap into the thinking of every community member and being able to data mine this information with analytics will shift the way public policy is made at the state and local level,” Bob Bruwell, chief technology officer at NetApp Public Sector, wrote in column for Government Technology.

Bruwell noted that cities have used these new wave marketing tools to highlight the positive stories from their police forces.

Another example of digital communication tools in affect is found in Washington DC where cancer is the second leading cause of death. In the nation’s capital the mortality rate tops the national average.

DC officials have found that health education initiatives have led to improvements in early detection and in changing the public’s behavior. As a result, DC officials are scaling up these education initiatives and are spreading the word through communication such social media, e-mail and agency websites.

According to Onvia’s database, state and local agencies have steadily increased their investment in marketing tools. The total number of solicitations mentioning marketing tools increased by 22% from 2014-2015.

Growth in government bids & rfps in marketing automation tools - Onvia

Higher education represents a key area where solicitations for marketing automation tools has been growing. Public universities and colleges know that they can engage current and prospective students with better digital marketing and are spending the dollars to do so.

The University of Central Florida
 
University officials plan to leverage more marketing technology to enhance its enrollment management and communication plan. UCF has an important goal to reach: The University wants to increase the “yield” from offers of admission with technology. A vendor will be chosen by their capacity to present a product that will increase university applications across mobile and desktop platforms.
 
The University of South Dakota
 
The university needs support in implementing Salesforce for its enrollment services, an addition to the existing processes created and used by the Graduate and Continuing Distance Education Office. The RFP requirements show that the implementation also includes an event management package as well as marketing automation and integration to existing external entities.
 

Marketing Automation Companies Have an Opportunity to Boost Citizen Engagement

Government agencies need support to effectively engage the digital citizen. Technology vendors in this space should recognize that this is an opportunity to not only gain valuable government clients but also to help perform a public service by helping to better engage the public.