The Magic Marketing Formula: How to Make Better Marketing Decisions

Rewind a few years.  Many businesses allocated a large portion of their marketing spend to yellow pages (surprisingly some still do!).

Why did they do it?  Because their competition did.  Companies felt that having a yellow page ad was simply a cost of doing business.  They HAD to have a presence in the yellow pages because XYZ Staffing down the street did.

Fast forward to today.  The yellow pages is a failing industry because marketers finally came around.  They realized their audience shifted and the return on their yellow page marketing dollars no longer made sense.

The good news: Companies finally came around on the yellow pages.

The bad news: Companies are still throwing away money on poor-performing tactics and under-investing in the right mediums for their business.

I’m sorry if you came here looking for the exact magic marketing formula for your company.  I can’t give it to you in this blog post.  The simple truth is that the marketing mix is different for all companies.  It depends on wide variety of variables.  But with a little digging, tracking and analyzing, you can hone in on your magic marketing formula.

Here’s how to define your magic marketing mix:

  1. Don’t be a ‘me too’ marketer.  Just because your competitor still runs an ad in the yellow pages doesn’t mean you need to as well!  Make the right decisions for your business.
  2. Use recent history.  Pull the last six month’s worth of orders.  Where did they come from?  Determine what sales and marketing tools helped secure those clients.
  3. Use data.  The single biggest issue I see with most staffing firm’s marketing strategy is they don’t use data.  Install analytics on your website and use that information to correlate spikes in traffic with specific sales and marketing activities.  Review traffic sources — you might be surprised to find out where your best recruitment advertising dollars are spent.
  4. Use A/B testing.  Before rolling out a huge marketing initiative test tactics and messages.  Email marketing and social media are two great tools to test new value propositions and messages to see what gets the best response.
  5. Track ROI.  This is a tricky one because it takes diligent effort from every single member of your team.  Use your staffing software to track candidate source.  Ask (and track) the question “Where did you hear about us?”  Review this data quarterly and make adjustments to your marketing mix.
  6. Look at other industries.  Historically, the staffing industry as a whole is a late adopter of new marketing tactics. Look at what new technology and tactics other industries like retail use and consider incorporating those into your marketing mix.
  7. Have a plan.  Sounds like common sense, but I’ve seen all too often that companies have a variety of tactics, but no cohesive plan or strategy.  Define who you are, outline the tools you’ll use to disseminate that message, and make sure your entire staff is on board.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith is director of SEO and social media marketing for Haley Marketing Group. He can be reached at bsmith (at) haleymarketing (dot) com.

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