How Staffing Firms Can Make Sense of Digital Marketing for Getting New Accounts

This weekend, it’s my turn to host the poker group, and that means a trip to the store for munchies and beverages.

I’ve been playing with the same guys for (gulp!) more than 25 years, and when we started we drank bourbon, ate fried foods and smoked fine cigars. Now, all smoking is forbidden, we munch on veggie platters, and drink sparkling water or craft beer.

There was a time when I could walk into Wegmans or a gas station and pick up a couple of cases of beer in about 15 seconds because of the limited number of choices I had. Now, I walk in and face such a dazzling display of different beers from different microbrewers that I get paralyzed with indecision.

(There’s even a marketing term for this, called “the paradox of choice.”

I think that owners, C-suiters, and market/sales managers face a bewildering paradox of choice when it comes to building and managing their firm’s marketing and sales programs for acquiring new accounts or customers.

Depend on networking and referrals? Spend money on traditional marketing like advertising and sponsorships? Plunge into digital marketing?

Here’s a spoiler alert: you need to do a weave of all three strategies. How to make that weave work the right way to deliver the ROI you expect is difficult — kind of like figuring out if my friend Tom is bluffing or whether I got rivered — again, *!!&^@$#*%$ !!!!!

Today, the greatest confusion is in the realm of digital marketing. Not only is there a bewildering number of choices when it comes to tactics and technologies, the pace of change is phenomenal.

PREMIUM CONTENT: US Staffing industry Pulse report

What Goes into Putting Together an Employer-facing Digital Marketing Program?

Putting together a digital marketing program to get new accounts requires four different types of decisions (1) the types of content assets or inventory to be used, (2) the digital tactics to be deployed for raising the firm’s visibility and generating leads, (3) identifying the specific measurements and metrics to be used for measuring program success, and (4) the technologies needed for executing the digital marketing program, from improving experiences to infrastructure.

I’ve put together a comprehensive list of options in the chart below relative to the four different types of decisions that need to be made.

Don’t panic or throw up your hands in surrender! Nobody or no company can possibly do everything on this list.

Think of it more as a tool to help you understand the options you have, and a roadmap for the due diligence you’ll need to make good decisions and investments. It’s likely that you’re going to pick three or four options for each decision, and at the end of this post, I have some guidance for making this journey easier.

Parts, Pieces and Options for Putting Together a Digital Marketing Program

Content Assets and Inventory• Articles
• Blog posts
• Case studies and testimonials
• Earned online coverage (PR, social media, and reviews)
• EBooks and whitepapers
• Infographics
• Interactive tools
• Online bios and profiles
• Online brochures
• Online sell or product sheets
• Podcasts
• Sequenced emails for drip campaigns
• Slide shows
• Social media channels
• Videos
• Website
Tactics• Affiliate Marketing
• Content Marketing
• Email Marketing
• Inbound Marketing
• Marketing Automation
• Native Advertising
• Online PR
• Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
• Sales enablement
• Social Media Marketing
Metrics and Measurement• % of marketing qualified leads that become sales qualified leads
• % of sales qualified leads that become customers
• % Site visitors that are marketing or sales qualified leads
• % Site visitors that become leads (general)
• Average pages per visit
• Average time on site
• Bounce rate
• Click through rates
• Conversion metrics
• Conversion rate
• Cost per click
• Cost per lead
• Customer acquisition costs
• Mobile traffic
• Overall site traffic
• Return on investment – lead generation campaign
• Return on investment – overall
• Revenue metrics
• Traffic Generation
• Traffic sources
Technology for Improving Marketing Experiences of Prospects and Clients• Communities and reviews
• Content marketing
• Creative and design
• Customer experience
• Display and native ads
• Email marketing
• Events and Webinars
• Influencer marketing
• Interactive Content
• Loyalty and Referrals
• Mobile marketing
• Personalization and Chat
• Sales enablement
• Search and social ads
• Social media marketing
• Testing and optimization
• Video marketing and ads
Technology for Marketing Operations

• Communities and reviews
• Content marketing
• Creative and design
• Customer experience
• Display and native ads
• Email marketing
• Events and Webinars
• Influencer marketing
• Interactive Content
• Dashboards/visualization
• Performance and attribution
• Team and project management
• Vendor data/analysis
• Web and mobile analytics
Marketing Infrastructure Technology• API
• Campaign and lead management
• Cloud integration
• Cloud/SaaS
• Databases and big data
• E-commerce
• Marketing automation
• Mobile app development
• Web content
• Web development

The Way of the Chicken or the Path of the Egg?

If you talk to a dozen different marketing gurus, you’ll probably get a dozen different takes on the best way to develop and roll out a digital marketing strategy. I’m going to give you my take below, but I certainly want to encourage others to chime in with their recommendations in the comments section.

Here’s my recommendations for answering the “what comes first” question:

Phase 1: Put infrastructure in place

Just like it’s impossible to build a skyscraper without a solid foundation, it’s impossible to build a digital marketing program without fundamentals like a strategic marketing plan; an optimized and responsive website; and sales collateral. I also recommend that consideration be given to an all-in-one marketing software platform like HubSpot as part of the infrastructure build, as that will deliver capabilities ranging from email to marketing automation to metrics.

Phase 2: Get your lead flow moving

Who doesn’t like leads, especially marketing and sales qualified leads? To get your lead flow moving you’ll need offers, a way to promote those offers, a means to capture leads and a plan and technology for nurturing those leads through their buyer’s journey.

Phase 3: Get more eyeballs with advertising and other promotional tactics

You’ll get visitors to your site organically, but that’s likely to be only a part of the solution to growing your visibility and maximizing your opportunities for lead conversions. Using social media platforms, email and online advertising are appropriate tactics to increase your reach.

Phase 4: Develop and execute a comprehensive social media campaign

If this post was about candidate facing marketing, my tendency would be to move this up to either the number 1 or 2 position on an action plan. Social media marketing is a combination of using social platforms to promote things like blogs and offers, as well as for influencer campaigns where you identify, connect and interact with prospects, clients and industry or community leaders.

Crawl, Walk, Run

The underlying premise to the approach I’ve outlined above is that you can’t do everything at once because of operational, skill or budget limitations. Start slowly and decide what you can fund and accomplish, as building an effective digital marketing program is a marathon, not a sprint.

My first boss and mentor always told his us, “There is no elevator – you have to take the stairs.”

Be patient. Be persistent. Be realistic.

And never bet against Tom even if you’re holding a low boat.

MORE: Tackling the Four Biggest Culprits Blocking a Huge ROI from Marketing

Alan Vitberg

Alan Vitberg
Alan Vitberg is executive director of LeadG2’s professional services team. You can reach him at (585) 750-8258 or via email at alanvitberg (at) csscenter (dot) com. Visit LeadG2’s website for its marketing and sales blog.

Alan Vitberg

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