How 360Civic Succeeds in the Public Sector with Government Information and Research Support from GovWin

October 22, 2020

An interview with Ron Zayas, CEO, 360Civic

360Civic is a marketing and technology firm that specializes in large websites, content marketing and videos for government agencies such as municipalities, superior courts and school districts, as well as private sector clients. As they expanded their operations in state and local government sales, they chose to partner with GovWin IQ to find more RFPs and bidding opportunities, and they leveraged GovWin’s research to better understand the needs of their clients.

Q: Can you talk about what was so appealing about selling to the government market, and what helped 360Civic successfully establish themselves in public sector sales?

Ron Zayas: About eight years ago we were only in the private sector, and we work with Fortune 500 clients. And it's always been our philosophy to say, "Where are we going to be two years from now, and should we be selling something we're not selling today?" And my business partner said, “Why don't we bring the same dedication, the same things that we're good at for business and bring it to government?"

 So we signed up first with a very small service to look for RFPs. And we got nowhere. And we tried to be as low cost as we could and figure out how to do it, and nothing happened. Then we moved onto Deltek, and we were able to start getting more information; we looked at what the pain points were for the government agencies. And that let us go in from a position of strength, and then we started to close contract after contract after contract.

“Deltek’s GovWin IQ not only made a big difference in what we were getting, but it allowed us to feel more confident about what we were doing.”

We felt really confident in our private sector business because we were marketing, because we were going after people. And in the government sector we felt like we were more in a position of being reactive. Deltek allowed us to not be reactive, to feel like we were marketing and being proactive. And that changes the whole equation for a company, and it changed who we were.

The great thing about government work is you keep contracts for three, five, six, seven years. So we keep the original contracts that we sold, and then the next year we sell more. And that's why it's grown to 40 percent of our business today. Looking to the future, we're about to launch a product that I think will account for another 15-20 percent of our business within a couple of years. So realistically we're probably going to see a shift in our business, meaning about 60 percent of our business will most likely be coming from the government sector, and we couldn't have done that on our own.

Q: When did 360Civic start working with GovWin, and how does your team utilize the platform?

Ron Zayas: For us, finding Request for Proposals (RFPs) is the first part of the game. So when we first got into the government business about seven years ago, we needed to find the RFPs. And we thought if we could just find a service to find RFPs, that would be all we needed.

As we got more into it, we realized that we needed the research behind the RFPs. Who were agencies using before? How many times does this come up? What pricing information was available?

“Without the big picture, we weren't being very effective. Once we realized that we could get all that and start doing research, it really catapulted us to a whole different area.”

If you just get an RFP, you're not seeing what was happening before. You're not seeing the totality of that universe. And that's the important thing for us. By doing all that research, by understanding who the buyer is and what their needs are, we're able to go in and tailor our presentation as if we were talking specifically to one individual. GovWin IQ gives us that information.

Q: How has GovWin helped your business tailor its solutions to the needs of your customers?

Ron Zayas: We have one in particular, Huntsville City Schools, in Alabama. This is an extremely progressive school district. NASA's involved there. The FBI's involved there. There's a lot of federal dollars that are coming in. And because of that, they were looking for a website, and they were saying, "It can't be off the shelf. It needs to be particular to us."

We were able to see that information in GovWin IQ. We were then able to go to the school district and say, "We'll partner with you on this. We'll not only build your own website, but as you start to imagine things, we'll be there." And they've been a client now for 3 1/2 years.

Q: What key differentiators does GovWin IQ offer that are helping 360Civic succeed?

Ron Zayas: I think ease of use is something that GovWin gets right for us. It's not just that the information is there, it's that it's well organized, it's easy for us to find.

“GovWin allows us to add new dimensions to what we do.”

One thing that we really like about GovWin is because of the support that's there, because of the information that they're gathering, we can sit in a room and decide how we can best accomplish something we've never done before. We have a wealth of information from Deltek that's there. And if we can't find it, we can pick up the phone and talk to somebody, and they can help us walk through and find it. Then we have the answers that we can apply our innovative approach to and find a way to service the client, get new products, and get new customers. That's like having a marketing team within a small company.

So that's where GovWin really partners with 360Civic and makes us grow more, by giving us that information, that ease of use, and a whole new universe of how to look at where the market is being met and where it's not being met.