Does your digital marketing agency help your firm grow? How do you know?
Recruiting is a sales business. And every recruiter and firm owner has a sales goal number, whether it’s at a practice-level, team-level or for the enterprise. I’ve heard that top search professionals have their “magic number” posted on a mirror to see every morning, or sticky note on the side of computer monitor, or on the whiteboard, and reviewed often to ensure billings are on track.
So why are written and executed digital marketing goals such a rarity in our industry?
As an introduction, Next Level Marketing Communications (NLMarcom) is an inbound digital marketing agency specializing in the search and staffing industry. From branding to new leads, we help companies grow. Our team has experience dating back to the early 80’s and our team is a combination of “old-school” experience and fresh, innovative digital marketers who position our clients for the win. We provide single-point solutions such as building websites, brand packages and SEO programs. What makes us different is our ability to listen intently, then bring a long-term, scalable strategy that leverages digital marketing initiatives to reach marketing and sales goals. When we bring new inbound search requests to our clients, we all celebrate!
We work and talk with recruitment and staffing professionals every day. In the next few articles, we’ll share some insights we’ve gathered over several decades of working with recruiting and sales organizations. We’ll shed some light on common, and specific challenges that prevent firms from “moving the needle” in driving their revenue goals.
Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand. Hopefully these observations will resonate with you.
Challenge #1: Not Having a Marketing Plan
In talking with leaders of recruiting firms and staffing organizations, not having a written or articulated marketing plan is the number one issue they face. Most firms don’t have a written plan and frequently they’re not even sure what those actual marketing goals are! Without documented marketing goals, how will you ever know if you are reaching them? ln sales there are quotas along with action items to ensure those sales objectives are reached. The same holds true for marketing.
Formulating a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan should be clearly articulated.
Begin by answering questions:
- Who are your target audiences? (ideal companies/ideal hiring authorities/ideal candidates)
- Do you understand their problems?
- Do you have a solution to their problems?
- Why would they want to work with you?
- What is your story?
- How will you reach them?
- What interests them?
- How can you help them?
- What results can they expect?
- How will you go-to market?
- What messages will be created, sent and received?
The process of answering these questions will help create your ongoing marketing plan. The key word here is “ongoing!”
A basic marketing plan starts with answering the questions above and aligning with sales goals. For example: How many inbound search requests or marketing qualified leads per month or per year would make an impact in your business? If your average search fee is $40k and one inbound search request per month came in, (12 x $40,000 = $480,000 of sales opportunity) could that amount have a positive impact in your business? Keep in mind these are marketing qualified leads and still need to be sales qualified and closed. Maybe 12 new inbound search requests per month is your goal. If so, this level of lead generation will require a more concerted and elevated marketing approach.
The same holds true for candidate flow. How many new candidates do you need to have in your pipeline in order to reach your placements goals? Another marketing measurement point, search engine visibility, feeds the top of the funnel to website visitors - ideally leading to conversions. How many people are on your website? What kind of website traffic flow do you need to get those leads to come in to your business? A true marketing plan, and better yet, marketing partner will consult and strategize on all these touchpoints.
If search firms and staffing agencies do not have a written plan, they may wind up having unrealistic expectations as to what their marketing efforts should accomplish. They often say, “We don’t see the return with our digital marketing (ROI).” Maybe the issue is not looking at marketing metrics, or worse yet, not having clear calls-to-action leading to the desired results.
You may be one of the largest companies in your space but if your website is not well-optimized, is missing specific calls-to-action, valuable content, backlinks, and you don’t have a dynamic social media presence, then wondering why you're not on page one in the search results is not realistic. The search engines will reflect what's going on that points to your site and your brand. So, expecting to rank well in search engines and have visibility online without any digital program in place is unrealistic. But this can be remedied!
Now more than ever, there is a need to establish a solid marketing plan. The days of just building a website presence as your “marketing” are over. “Brochure” websites are getting lost. Today’s successful brand leaders know that consistent digital content marketing is vital. Whether it be increased visibility in the market, more website traffic, new search requests from hiring authorities, new candidates, new inquiries for interviews from the media, or new future rock star recruiters joining your firm - these are keys to growth.
So, step #1 - create a written marketing plan. Then execute!
Our next post will cover the #2 challenge recruiting and staffing firms face – brand consistency. Stay tuned!
Do you need help with your marketing - or see what can be improved?
Contact us for a free consultation.