Brand Matters, but Not Without ROI
Our tagline is, “brand matters, but not without ROI”. The reason we came up with this tagline is because many staffing firms have looked at branding as a cost center, instead of an ROI center. The truth is, there is some branding for staffing firms that don’t generate ROI. However, most branding tactics should have ROI. Today, I want to talk to you about the importance of securing your brand, the efforts you take to drive the recognition of your brand, and ROI generation from your brand.
What is involved in a brand?
Your brand is the culmination of the font used in your logo, icons used in your logo, as well as the key messaging and differentiation that you want from your brand. All of these things together create an overall brand experience. The fact is, many people think that their icon is their brand, but that is not the case. The most important aspects of your brand look at what you want to be known for and how you communicate that to your candidates, prospects, clients, consultants, and soon-to-be internal hires. The impression you leave them with, or start them with, is everything when it comes to your staffing firm brand.
How do you develop the brand?
When you develop your brand, or when you’re enhancing your brand, you need to think of how you want to be known in the marketplace. Do you want to be an employer of choice? This entails making sure that you offer superior benefits, you give career path options to all of your employees, and that you always go the extra mile for your employees in tangible ways. It could be as simple as doing a candidate-oriented event, doing recognition and awards trips, or even bring your child to work day. There are so many aspects to being an employer of choice that go well beyond deciding that you want to be an employer of choice.
Additionally, you might want a brand that speaks to the professional nature of your people. In doing so, you need to think about how you convey that. Is it done by dress code or by the speech and writing everyone conducts with the employees, consultants, and clients? Many staffing firms want to be consultant career advocates, while several others point to the fact that they offer unparalleled customer service for both their clients and their consultants. Whichever direction fits your business, it should be driven by the concept of reaching your audience with the messages that motivate them the most. Please be careful that you are sincere about the approach you take. Saying that you are an employer of choice, consultant care agents, or customer service oriented must be followed by actions that demonstrate this. In today’s world, you don’t want to be caught with a lack of sincerity.
Where is the ROI?
We hear many times from staffing firms that they were undertaking a branding project. Whether they advertised in the business journal, re-did their website, or put on an event, they are not looking at how to generate ROI from these various interactions. When you launched your new website, did you make sure that you canvased your client, prospect, consultant and candidate audiences with messages of why you re-did your brand, what you’re hoping it achieves, and encouragement of visiting the new website? Or, did you simply launch your website? When you advertised, did you set up landing pages to drive traffic back to your site in order to have a measurement tool for your marketing efforts? Whether you are talking about an event, a career fair, an email campaign, or simply an ad, please take the time to look at how people could reengage with you from this effort. The fact is, almost every branding effort, and I do say ALMOST, can be ROI generating. Additionally, be conscious of the different marketing efforts you do and their effectiveness of driving the brand.
Recently, we saw a marketing campaign where the company’s name was used well, the campaign was done well, but none of the brand messaging differentiation was included. Along with this, the logo was so small that it was barely noticeable in their efforts. Like I said before, almost every branding effort has ROI, but every ROI effort should also have solid branding.
How do we measure?
As I mentioned before, the creation of landing pages allows you to have traffic driven to a specific spot. Whether you are talking about individual landing pages for every single effort, or a culmination of different things, your social media should point to one place while your email campaigns and candidate-driven activity should point to another. All of these different efforts can be tracked very specifically. Hopefully everyone has an analytics tool such as Google Analytics, so you are able to go in and see how specific pages are doing by tracking the flow from them. I recommend creating workflows inside Google Analytics because you can create a specific workflow that shows that someone came to your website landing page and what they did next. All of these tools within Google Analytics, or other analytics tools, allows you to see where you are driving traffic and where you are not. It also allows you the ability to determine if you are sending them to the places you want them to go. All marketing efforts, as the are created, should be evaluated for tracking capabilities.
Many years ago, I was told that tracking the number of candidates that came in through our website and were submitted to a client, received interviews, and finally got hired was untrackable. This was incorrect. We simply had to work with our ATS in order to build the tracking that we needed. As a result, we were able to clearly define how we were doing in a variety of areas. Whether you are tracking things like this or clients that respond to a campaign, all of these efforts can be tracked and provide you clear understanding of the ROI associated with your efforts.
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.