By Lisa Jackel, Content Writer, 190west
Where are these mysterious HR buyers that have seemed to vanish overnight? HR by nature is a gateway into a company, however this trillion-dollar market is MIA – leaving many companies to develop relationships with voicemail and auto-generated email replies.
As a digital marketing agency that targets the HR buyer ourselves, 190west understands the uphill battle solution providers face when targeting today’s HR buying market. We have analyzed behaviors and assessed strategies. We have assembled focus groups and listened to what they’ve had to say first hand. We have learned what works and what doesn’t. All in an effort to better grasp this elusive market.
Approaching the HR Buyer is like hunting in the wild. You need to be a shrewd tracker. Have patience and pace yourself. Every tactic calculated, in anticipation of their next move. You must stay one step ahead. The only way companies can do this is by building responsive campaigns to initialize and maintain engagement.
190west develops and executes customized marketing plans for every client. These comprehensive “playbooks” contain a series of strategies that identify gatekeepers, develop effective communication, build brand awareness, and convey the right message to the right person. By doing something similar, companies can expedite complex buying cycles and vendor evaluation processes to position products and services ahead of the competition.
As you prepare to market and introduce yourself to the HR buyer, note the following:
HR Buyers Hang Out Together
The tight knit HR community can be found in droves, if you know where to look. While they may not all meet up for drinks after work, they do hang out together in similar spaces online. Imagine marketing to clusters of your target audience versus fishing in an ocean of one. Casting that wider net on the ‘net is a more effective method of lead generation. So how do you get started?
- Identify the specific websites frequented by HCM professionals and your HR Buyer.
- HR Influencers spread WOM praise through blogs, boards, and viral media.
- Online resources can identify common HR terms and phrases searched online daily.
Integrated campaigns allow you to reach a plethora of buyers. Using analytics and trend analysis to predict behavior, strategic placement of actionable OLA, and SEO tools and tactics that handpick the keywords most often used by your market, you can introduce yourself to multiple buyers with a single message.
Tell’em What They Want to Hear
Easy right? Not so much. Now that you’ve got their attention, how do you turn a quick glance into a captive audience? (Cue the drip campaign.) Which brings us to our next question, what do you plan to say?
- A company’s initial message should be clear, concise, and convincing. (Not easy with a 15 second window, and that’s generous).
- Before launching any digital marketing campaign, your value prop should be prepped and honed to perfection.
- Have assets at the ready, geared up to turn prospect into lead – put your best foot forward with quality content.
Whether it was Oscar Wilde, Will Rogers, or Madison Avenue that originated the phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” choose your words wisely. This is where you introduce your company to your buyers and start to be heard.
Tougher still, maintaining that momentum. Say hello to remarketing efforts – keep your brand, your solution, and your genius top of mind.
Oh, And Make Sure You Know Who to Talk To
Well duh! But one of the most common mistakes companies make is assuming their finely tuned, awesome message is getting though. When in reality it’s probably not. And if it is, it’s not getting very far.
You can drone on and on about what a great product you have, but if no one understands why it’s great, the only person you’re winning over is yourself. While we’ve discussed the need for the value proposition, the one thing you need to recognize is that a vendor evaluation process is just that, a process. Multiple decision makers at every level of an organization typically means that opinions and personalities run rampant at the intersection of vetting and short-list. You have a general idea of what to say, but who do you target?
- Determine who key stakeholders are in the process and the domino effect that their two cents has on pushing you further in the door.
- Identify their specific needs and understand that each will be asking themselves the question, “what’s in it for me?”
- Leverage reporting and analysis from earlier campaigns will allow you to refine the message and use more effective techniques to expedite communication.
From tactical usage to ROI, at this stage of engagement your message and overall approach will be tailored to each decision maker. Pair existing strategies with new marketing mediums such as demos, whitepapers, and case studies to ensure that individualized content is received by the appropriate person.
Integrated programs tend to evolve over the course of a marketing plan. As campaign analysis and reporting is shared, your tactics should be flexible enough to accommodate this change.
As an HR buyer delves deeper into learning about products and services, the structure of your marketing will progress from brand awareness into a virtual walk-though of solutions. It’s your job to help navigate the user through the information and get exactly what they need to make a decision faster.
Also, with more companies attempting to reach this lucrative market, your audience is likely saturated with the teachings of all-too-similar solutions. Therefore, businesses must focus on their key differentiators and promote unique attributes.
No matter what angle is chosen to initiate brand awareness however, companies should recognize the importance of implementing tactics that support a larger campaign. This will effectively further engagement, fortify a pipeline, and move potential customers through your sales funnel. The days of one-off marketing to the HR buyer are long gone. And, the single siloed approach is nothing more than a waste of time.
190west is different. We’ve developed what we call the All-in Approach™ to digital marketing. As accomplished strategists, SEM, automation, content, and analytics professionals, we collaborate with you and complement your team. We make sure that we are jointly attacking all the marketing tactics needed to drive leads and speak to your specific business goals. We measure and adjust constantly. We do what it takes, we make it happen. We are All-in.