Six marketing trends that Defence SMEs should explore


Are you keen to break into the ever-expanding scope of Defence industry opportunities but not sure where to focus your resources and budget? Have you been frustrated by the changing business landscape during the past couple of years of Covid-inflicted travel and networking restrictions?

There has been rapid change in the way we are doing business and connecting with each other across industries. And with this change has come a considerable shift away from the traditional ways of marketing and business development to a more agile, digital environment that suits small businesses perfectly. Why? Because it is now more affordable than ever to amplify your brand and your business value proposition without spending a fortune. 

Here are some practical tips to super charge your Defence marketing strategy to make the most of the growing emphasis on sovereign capability and local supply chain growth through Defence projects and larger Defence primes. 

Events are still relevant 

While the past 18 months have been challenging for Defence events here in Australia, they are still considered to be key to developing business contacts, connecting with stakeholders and promoting your products and services. You don’t have to spend a fortune on sponsorships or stands, as often the conversations you have will be far more impactful. Plan to attend the major defence industry events and try to connect early with key contacts. There are often many opportunities to speak directly to government stakeholders, defence industry advocates, and supply chain partners. Prepare key sales material that is brief, but informative, so that you can leave a lasting impression.  

Electronic media is now the preferred medium over print 

According to the latest Deloitte 2021 Media Consumer Survey, the majority of people aged between 25 and 55 are getting their news most frequently from social media, online trusted sources and television. 

While there will always be a place for printed material, it is critical that you provide your information in a format this is preferred by your target audiences. People can choose when and how to read your material at a time that is convenient to them. Also, by providing electronic reading material, it can be updated frequently and in real time. What’s more, with electronic media your content can be shared and found by prospective buyers you don’t know. 

Mobile device usage continues to grow 

According to internet research site as of February 2021, mobile searches consisted of about 60 per cent of all search volume. People are accessing information on their mobile devices as they move around more and indeed their mobile devices become larger and more sophisticated. 

Why is this important? If your website is not mobile optimised, your content will be reaching a shrinking audience, as people will quickly go elsewhere to source the information they need. However, if your content is optimised for mobile devices, your company will reach more people and send a message of being technically competent.  

Social media is used more and more in a work context 

As recently as 2010, most government decision makers did not have social media at work. Now more than half do. If you’ve held off on using social media to help spread your brand message and content, and interact with your different stakeholder groups, you are in danger of being overtaken by competition. Additionally, people who don’t use social media at work are on it at home or on their mobile devices when on the go. 

According to social media tool Hootsuite, Australia has over 11 million LinkedIn users who actively engage with the platform. One of the key benefits of LinkedIn is that 4 out of 5 users ‘drive business decisions’ which allows companies to reach the people that actually make buying decisions. Similarly, 33 per cent of decision makers use LinkedIn to research other businesses. So it pays to have a presence on the platform, and post content regularly, to boost your profile and visibility. 

Blogs continue to grow in popularity 

Blogs are short-form articles that are posted to a section of your website – usually a news page – that often includes the ability for readers to make comments and use social media to share the content. Blogs are an opportunity for your prospective customers to research your business and find out about the type of work you do, your capabilities and past projects that you have delivered. People are looking for proof that you deliver what you say you do, and will look for evidence to support this before engaging with you. 

Blogs are also a great way to build trust with your audience and become a thought leader by writing about content that is of interest to your target audience. What are the issues or areas of concern that they are facing? What topics are relevant to your particular industry? What innovations, improvements, or industry recognition have you gained? This is the perfect forum to share good news stories, and amplify them through your social media networks. 

Industry newsletters and publications are popular 

Since the pandemic, businesses and industry sectors are connecting more than ever with online communities. The defence industry in Australia is highly connected through a number of trusted news outlets, with news sites and online publications engaging daily with their audiences. These are an excellent way to stay connected to the broader industry to learn about key projects, government announcements, and industry partners.  

Deliver your brand and marketing messages and educate your target audience on the products and services you offer. Remain top of mind when decision makers are taking action and improve your brand awareness with your target audiences. Most publications have advertising and publishing opportunities that suit a variety of budgets and have the advantage of engagement by key decision makers. 

Australia’s defence industry increased by 4.9 per cent in 2021 and is now valued at $36.8 billion. If you are looking to grow your business, make sure you employ marketing solutions that make the most of the media and tools that will amplify your company and brand. Make sure you are visible where your key audiences are and you can potentially be part of this growing industry. 

Does your marketing strategy need some fresh eyes and a refresh for 2022? Could you use advice in this area on how to link your strategy better to your marketing plan? Feel free to reach out to Sascha Sinclair at Systematiq to start a conversation on how to improve your brand and marketing strategy. 

Sascha Sinclair is the brand and marketing manager for Systematiq, a defence and rail industry consulting firm who specialise in market entry plans for SMEs.