It’s Marketing Month on the COATS blog! This month, we’re looking at the many ways you can grow your business by growing your market share.
Marketing can be a unique challenge for staffing firms: we market to both clients and candidates, and we’re bound by a lot of laws regarding employment and confidentiality. Plus, it can be confusing to figure out how best to reach each market or what to say to them, and it can get really overwhelming. So let’s start with the basic concepts of marketing.
Audiences: These can also be called markets, but we prefer “audiences” because they’re (hopefully) going to hear your message. Plus, it’s easier to envision an audience as a group of people, and you never want to lose sight of the fact that everyone you’re marketing to is a person, not an inanimate “market.” In staffing, we have at least two audiences: clients and candidates. You can break audiences down further by criteria such as industry, direct-hire vs. temps only or size (for clients) or by skills or location (for candidates). Breaking audiences down like that is often called segmenting. Understanding your audience(s) is the foundation of all marketing; you must know what matters to them and what they’re looking for.
Message: What you want your audiences to know and, more importantly, what you want them to do with this knowledge. Do you want forklift operators to come in and fill out an application? Then don’t just say “We’re looking for forklift operators” or, worse, “We offer employment opportunities to industrial workers, including forklift operators.” (Banish corporate-speak from your marketing unless you are very obviously mocking it.) Add a call to action to your message: “Come to our location [include your address] to fill out an application today.”
Benefits: Sorry to say it, but nobody cares about your business as much as you do. In fairness, do you care about other people’s businesses? Or do you care about what they can do for you: the products or services they offer that make your life better, the convenience of their location, the excellence of their service? When you’re crafting your message, ask yourself the most crucial question in marketing: So what? Why would your audiences care about what you’re telling them? If you can’t answer that question with confidence, go back to the beginning and get to know your audiences and what really matters to them.
Channels: This is how your message gets to your audiences. Channels can include traditional advertising, social media, face-to-face sales, direct mail, telemarketing, etc. As with everything else in marketing, this goes back to knowing your audience(s): what channels do they interact with and respond to? You can have the most amazing board on Pinterest, but if none of the client prospects you want to reach use or even visit Pinterest, that board might as well not exist.
Whenever you’re planning a marketing campaign, or even reviewing your current marketing efforts, be sure you have your audiences, messages, benefits and channels nailed down. Having a solid foundation in the basics can not only save you time and money, it can make sure your business grows in the way you want it to.