Marketing in Uncertain Times: The Dos and Don’ts
We’ve had our fair share of ‘uncertain times’ in recent years and marketing is often first on the chopping block as a ‘non-essential’ business item when it comes to cutting costs.
But there is so much data to support the fact that maintaining marketing activity through turbulent times results in businesses coming out stronger than ever on the other side. According to the Harvard Business Review “failing to support brands or examine core customers’ changing needs can jeopardize performance over the long term”.
While your recruitment competitors will likely be thinking of how they can scale back, you can stay front of mind, build trust and ultimately be there when you’re needed by investing in your marketing strategy – in the right ways. When things look rocky, clients and candidates will need reassurance and to know you’re still there for them. Not to mention there will be recruiters out there whose jobs aren’t secure – it’s the perfect time to find top talent in the market for your own business.
“By maintaining your position in a customer’s mind, you can give them a feeling of normalcy when other parts of their life might be in turmoil. They will come to think of you as being reliable, particularly if your competition scales back or even halts their own advertising,” says Forbes.
The other impact of cutting marketing budgets is the effect it will have on your team. While it’s a good time for you to keep an eye out for recruiters moving jobs, you also want to ensure your team don’t begin to panic and look around for other jobs in what they see as more secure companies. Having a robust employer brand is just as important for attracting good recruiters post-downturn as it is for retaining the ones you’ve got.
There’s a huge opportunity to come out the other side better than your competitors. If other companies are struggling it can mean there are less recruiters vying for the same candidates and clients – it’s much easier to be seen and to cut through the noise.
So, with all this talk of ‘what’s going to happen in the few months’ here’s our advice for your marketing strategy.
- Stay Consistent
The worst thing you can do is disappear. That real estate you’ve spent years building up will quickly be taken up by your competitors.
- Focus on Your Loyal Customer Base
Recruiters in particular are guilty of going after new client leads and not paying enough attention to their existing ones. Look at who you have good relationships with, is there an opportunity to build out that account?
- Shout Even Louder Than You Were
There’s never a more important time to shout about your wins. It may feel wrong to highlight positivity in what can be a negative time. But this is where your clients, candidates and even other recruiters (if you’re looking to grow) need to see that you’re seeing successes to continue to trust you.
The scope of marketing activities you can get your teeth into may feel a little overwhelming, so our advice is to focus on the strategic avenues.
It doesn’t have to be every day but make sure you’re posting your latest roles, testimonials from clients/candidates and sharing your success stories. Your network needs to know you’ve not gone anywhere. By looking at the data you can focus your time on the social posts you know get the most engagement.
Capitalise on your database. When was the last time you reached out to clients or candidates you worked with more than a year ago? And we don’t mean spamming them with generic sales emails every day. Instead, curate quality and relevant content that employers and job seekers will appreciate. You want to be the first company they think of when it’s time to recruit or look for a new role. Building and maintaining relationships is the key here!
Look at how you can streamline a lot of your processes – especially if you see a rise in applicants due to higher unemployment rates. You can automate things like rejection emails or interview confirmations to free up your time so you can focus on other priorities.
People will never stop using Google. Focus on how you can update your website to ensure you’re on the first page of Google. SEO is a long process but once it’s done it’s free marketing! You do need to keep your website refreshed with content though.
Bringing in the Experts
Working with a recruitment marketing agency like Prominence means you don’t have to go through trial and error we know what works first time around. When there’s no time or money to lose, it pays to do it right first time around.
A long-term commitment to marketing and resisting the urge to panic and cut costs is the key to ensuring you thrive in times of turmoil. When companies stop marketing in a downturn there is so much evidence to suggest they struggle to come out the other end when compared to those who have maintained strategic marketing activities.
If you’d like to have more of a chat about how we can help with your recruitment marketing strategy, drop me a line!