Wake Up! (Your Marketing Strategy, That Is)

Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat is credited with saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will get you there.”

In a work of fiction, aimless wandering makes for a great story – full of action, adventure and crazy plot twists. But when it comes to your staffing firm’s marketing strategy? Wandering aimlessly just wastes time and money.

Where is your marketing headed in 2018? Is your marketing strategy unclear? Ineffective? Nonexistent? Then consider this your official wake-up call. For any plan to get you where you want to go, it must be well-defined, consistently executed and measurable.

Take the cat’s advice. Use these tips to create a sound marketing strategy that achieves the results and ROI you need:

  • Start with the big rocks. I know, I know, everybody is struggling with recruiting these days – and that should be one aspect of your plan. But when creating your strategy, take the blinders off. Consider your firm’s biggest challenges, opportunities, strengths, weaknesses and threats.
  • Set SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound goals have been around for a long time for one simple reason: they work! When setting marketing goals, don’t just describe what you want to do and hope for the best. Put the work in to clearly define what it is you want to achieve – so you’ll know if you “got there” at the end of the year.
  • Create cascading goals. Once you’ve defined your strategic goals, require your teams to build supporting measurable goals into their departmental (and individual) plans for the year. This encourages your staff to develop ownership and accountability for achieving organizational goals.
  • Revisit your plan. Assemble your team to review your progress once a month – and make sure you’re on the right path. When you get together, ask each employee or team who is responsible for meeting a marketing goal to give a quick status update. If progress is on track, that’s great. But if you’re behind, discuss the reasons and adjust your tactics to course-correct.

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Here’s an example:

Since recruiting candidates is such a hot topic these days, let’s use that. While you could certainly post more jobs and hope for the best, a clearly defined, well-executed strategy will generate better results:

  • Define your goal. How many more applicants do you want – and by when? What kind of applicants do you need? What, exactly, is an “applicant” – someone who applies to a job, or who comes in to interview with your staffing firm? You must define all these answers to create a SMART goal. Then, you might set a goal like: “Increase 2018 light industrial job board applications by 6 percent (over 2017’s LI applications).”
  • Choose the right tactics. Your staffing firm has a dizzying array of options for achieving the goals you define. To increase job applications, you could:
    • Post blogs geared toward light industrial job seekers – and link those posts directly to your job board.
    • Use Facebook to promote specific jobs.
    • Add/improve CTAs on your Job Seeker website pages to drive more traffic to your board.
    • Create and send a “Hot Jobs” email campaign to your candidate database.
  • Create detailed plans to test what works. Prioritize your tactics and select a few you’d like to test. Then, create specific plans to determine what works best.
  • Assign responsibility for executing. Whichever recruiting tactics you decide to implement, task out your team so you’re sure the work gets done.
  • Measure results and refine your tactics. Review your job application statistics monthly, and compare them to the same period as last year. Use Google Analytics to examine application, bounce and exit stats across different sources of traffic (based on the tactics you test). By tracking data, you can use what you learn to determine what’s working, decide what you can improve and ensure you hit your goal by year’s end.

Want better marketing ROI in 2018? Start with a better strategy.

MORE: Marketing by Design: Today’s emphasis on user experience is helping the discipline come into its own

Mandy Wittschen

Mandy Wittschen
Mandy Wittschen is a marketing strategist with Haley Marketing Group.

Mandy Wittschen

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