There’s no shortage of 2018 predictions out there. Experts in every industry have staked their claims on what we’ll see in technology, weather, and even beverages (hello turmeric latte!) over the next 12 months. When it comes to marketing, the buzz is all about influencers, increased use of automation and data, and a doubling down on voice-activated tactics (more on this topic to come!). While we don’t know exactly how these trends will play out, companies have to adapt their marketing strategy to the changing times.
This is as true as ever in the highly competitive, explosively growing staffing industry. What was once a very siloed and tactical function, marketing has evolved into a much more influential part of staffing businesses’ success. So much so, we’re seeing marketing perform more as a “bonafide business partner,” than a team that just builds websites, writes newsletters and issues press releases.
I was thrilled to recently comment on marketing’s rise in the staffing world in, “Marketing by Design,” an article by Katherine Alvarez that was featured the November issue of Staffing Industry Review. In the piece, I and other experts, including Kristin Kelley of Ranstad, Urusula Williams of Staffing Industry Analysts, and Crissy Russo of the Nelson Family of Companies, discuss marketing’s increasing importance in staffing.
In an era where technology has elevated staffing’s capabilities, marketing is rising to the occasion. One area where we are seeing this more is in the shift away from pushing specific products, and more toward creating meaningful experiences. These can be in-person events, webinars, surveys, and more, but the key lies in a high-touch approach. Russo shares examples of how her organization, Nelson, leverages geographically targeted educational seminars that reach a number of different stakeholders, and how that has evolved into a webinar series. Russo adds the goal is, “to broaden our reach a little bit and get more focused on topics that interest our clients and prospects.”
Social media’s abundant popularity in the digital age also requires savvy staffing marketers to use these platforms to build their brand and navigate the talent pool. This means understanding your target audience’s behavior and where they spend their time online, whether it be Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or even Snapchat and beyond. Pay particular attention to sites like Glassdoor, where a candidate’s bad experience with one recruiter can have negative repercussions for the entire company brand.
Marketing is also starting to bring its A-game to mobile applications and data science, understanding how these two work together and separately to better reach candidates and deliver a positive brand experience. For example, Randstad is looking at any technology that improves its candidates’ process as a way to bolster its brand — from video interviewing to reference checking. “From a marketing perspective, we’re working with lot of technology to help us map out the journeys that people go through when they are either looking for a job, trying to hire talent, or their experience when they are on a job,” Kelley explains.
I’m curious to hear your take on marketing predictions for 2018, as well how you think marketing has evolved (and will continue to evolve) in the staffing industry. Please weigh in below!
And for more information, as well as practical advice on creating a timely, results-oriented marketing strategy in 2018, I hope you’ll check out a recent episode of TheEdge: “How to Create an Effective Marketing Strategy in 2018.”