Protecting Your Recruitment Marketing IP

When we are speaking to a potential new recruitment customer, one of the questions that we are regularly asked is how as a recruitment industry specialist marketing agency we ensure that we avoid conflicts of interest when representing different recruitment agencies. In summary, we carefully manage our client relationships so that conflicts are avoided and approach any concerns raised with complete transparency. There is obviously a lot more to it than that, so below is the detailed answer:

Visibility is Everything

In the world of marketing, nearly everything that is undertaken will at some stage be publicly visible. In fact, often the more visible something is, the better! The key is to ensure that while the activity is being planned it is kept under wraps so that a competitor can’t beat you to the punchline. Once a particular strategy is live, the chances of it being copied are high, as other firms will inevitably try to go with options that are proven, easy wins.

As an example, we believe we were the first company to really get social job marketing cards right. Simple, branded, customisable images which recruiters could use on social media to promote their hot jobs. We’ve been doing this for over three years and nowadays most recruitment firms have their own version. The key with marketing is to continue to innovate. In the recruitment sector, the pace of change is slower, but this point is still important, especially in today’s digitally driven environment.

However, as a marketing partner, if we were to utilise a client’s unique idea for another agency, this would be a clear breach of trust. We would expect to go out of business pretty quickly if that was how we operated! One of the benefits of working with us is that those barriers exist. If you have an internal marketer who leaves for the competition, or another firm simply copies your ideas, there are no barriers at all.

That said, there are elements to marketing that are commonplace and can’t be ‘owned’ by any particular firm. Salary Surveys are a great example. How many recruitment agencies produce salary surveys? It’s a lot, many of whom are in direct competition. There is nothing new about them (although our product is pretty cool!), so multiple clients producing these rarely presents an issue.

We’re Your Partners

As a marketing partner, we ensure we are heavily exposed to and involved in your recruitment agency’s marketing strategy. However, we avoid exposure to your day-to-day business strategy unless it’s absolutely necessary. For us, this allows us to get on with our part of the job to the best of our ability, but this unique way of partnering also means that we avoid other conflicts that could otherwise present themselves; such as the movement of staff between agency or competing for similar business.

Furthermore, everything we do for our clients is brand personalised and specifically tailored to that agency. This is the true value of content marketing. We may write 10 different blogs on CV tips (sometimes even for the same client!) but each will have a unique angle, reflecting the different opinions and outlooks of every recruiter we speak to.

We do this by having a dedicated team that pays close attention to what makes each recruiter, and each agency different, and reflects that in the work that is produced for them. Internally we have grown to be such a size where we have numerous strategists, writers and designers, ensuring that content produced for one client will not be similar to that of another. We also operate very stringent Chinese walls, whereby the work of each client is kept isolated from one another.

In Closing

Like all business partnerships, there are always conflicts that will arise. It’s unavoidable, to some degree. It’s our belief that when these conflicts happen, it is how these are addressed and managed that makes a great partnership. As mentioned, we know this is a sensitive issue for our current and prospective clients, so we approach it with care, sincerity and complete transparency. If you’d like to speak to a marketing partner whose ethos is based around co-operating effectively to deliver excellent results, then we’d love to speak with you.

Chris South

As Director of Prominence, Chris is the first-person recruiters speak to when trying to get a handle on their marketing activity. He is also highly involved in the day to day delivery on all client accounts, but is slowly learning to let his fantastic team take care of business and to only interfere when needed! Based in Auckland, Chris travels to Australia monthly, meaning he has a lot of air miles and has also seen every new film. However, he is the first to tell you that the life of a frequent traveller isn’t quite as glamorous as it seems! Chris is inspired by people that break the mould and try to make things better.

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