target audience 2OK… So you’re here and you pressed the button!

You’ve started reading the blog… even though it said not to. This isn’t down the fact you’re feeling ‘a little naughty’, it’s because we, as human beings, are wired up to push the boundaries and venture into the unknown, our intrigue makes us want to seek out new things and develop our knowledge – survival of the fittest, evolution and all that jazz.

It’s early in the article and before we start going too deep into science I’ll quickly bring it back to the point. If we’re driven to seek out new things e.g. exciting pieces of writing or eye grabbing marketing communications, surely the opening caption of blogs/content or ads should grip and then hold the reader and target audience. I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about marketing; however, I do speak to a vast amount of fantastic marketing and comms professionals and know from experience that you can lose the audience in the first few words or you can compel them to read on. On that basis, you’re still here so I’m hoping you’ll go to the end, by the way!

It’s very easy for product-focussed marketing and communications to disengage the audience, typically if it’s tech/software/IT or anything ultra-techy. In this realm the likelihood is that the target audience has to know why they’re reading about the products or services in advance in order to get the benefit. Unlike consumer brand building campaigns, which play on the emotions and desires of the audience, B2B tech writing has to trigger something which delivers a necessity or business need to the audience. Of course this isn’t always the case, and as companies move closer to creating campaigns which put their overall ‘brand’ out there, this tends to be when the real growth starts to kick in, riding the wave of thought leadership and storytelling which then ensues. Powerful stuff!

Which then leads me onto recruitment.  Again, I’m not claiming to be a recruitment guru – far from it. However, it’s somewhat baffling when you see (insert numerous large and small agency names!) posting up very generic and completely uninspiring advertisements for their roles. I saw an ad go up the other day from (unnamed global rec company) recruiting for a Head of Talent for marketing agency and I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s been undersold, think of all of the gripping things that could have been said to make me read on.” As recruitment professionals, we should all now be aware that we’re sat in a candidate-driven market and unless we attract the very best candidates and engage them accordingly throughout the whole of the recruitment process, our competitors will, FACT! We’ve won quite a few awards at Brand with regards to candidate care but admittedly it’s something even we have to shake up from time to time – engagement is key and without that, your product won’t be worth anything initially to the candidate and customer. “We’ve always done it that way” will kill your business eventually, and it’s essential to move with the times.

As professionals working in recruitment I think it’s our obligation to be aware of marketing, and the power of what we all put out into the public realm. That can be said for internal recruiters also, and working across marketing comms recruitment has taught me a huge amount about how companies can buy into marketing and digital, but we should always use the same ethos and vision when working on recruitment campaigns!

Creating a buzzing using marketing and building your brand identity by recruiting pays huge dividends, and in my last five years at Brand I’ve seen some massive growth in some truly inspiring companies. The biggest players with regards to this are the companies who have bought into the overall candidate, employee, supplier and customer journey. We work with many of the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For and these organisations are the ones leading from the front, creating engagement to attract the right candidates and working with the right specialists who are bought into their company journey and what they’re trying to do.

It’s been a fantastic year so far. Long may it continue, but we all need to be aware:

Marketing and engagement is key. Don’t undervalue what your communications are saying about your business and where you’re heading for in the future!

Thanks for reading.

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