I hear from clients a lot asking me “What’s next?” How can we get better at reaching the right person at the right time? How should we optimize our messaging to appeal to passive candidates? Millennials?” Before we talk in depth about the one:me, individualized, personalized market that’s next, first understand where we were and where we are to get a better sense of where we will be.
For a very long time, in the marketing world, we have lived, very comfortably in the one-to-many marketing space.
One-to-many marketing is broadcast messages. It is one-size-fits-all. It is traditional advertising. We all watched a lot of one-to-many ads on Super Bowl Sunday! We once had newspaper ads. These ads reach a large number of active job seekers. We broadcasted our opportunities in the paper and hoped people would send their resume. Then, we had the Internet, and online we could broadcast to a much larger audience with some passive seekers mixed in. But, still hoping someone would respond to our ad. This style, one-to-many marketing, will continue to be around for many years because we can expect a certain result from the activity.
Over time, and because of technology, things began to change. We started plugging databases into our HR departments and collecting resumes digitally. We even started to source people from proprietary databases.
This was the start to one-to-one marketing in talent acquisition. We would learn more about our candidates and could begin to personalize messages with our technology. We allowed them to tell us a little bit about themselves and we could market to them in a one-to-one way. We could send them a job alert, or a direct email. The communication is more tailored to the audience and it efficiently reaches the target audience with more precision. One-to-one is delivering good results and will continue to be a powerful tool.
You have probably heard your marketing team or your agency tell you that marketing is a perfect storm of right message to the right person and the right time. And they are absolutely spot on. The equation is very clear: get the ideal job in front of the right candidate when they are open to change. In one-to-many and one-to-one, you can get pretty close to the right audience with the right message. The timing is the missing element.
With the advent of big data and social media, two very powerful engines, we are on the cusp of a new era of marketing. I call it “one-to-me” (one:me) marketing. As we learn more about candidate behavior in the cloud, we will be able to tailor opportunities specifically for people at the right moment.
One: me marketing will help us pinpoint that time in which a candidate is ready to make change, or ready for new challenges. We could even use predictive modeling to look at cultural fit as well as career path aspirations. In addition, we might be able to use this information to retain more employees. For example, if you could know an A-player is unhappy based on their activities in the cloud at the onset and could change their situation, you could save your company the time and money. With one: me marketing, your marketing dollars will be able to work harder and go farther because the age-old marketing equation will be normalized and far more predictable through cloud data and algorithms.
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Take this example. Sharon has never applied to your company before. She has followed your company in social media. But she’s a lurker. She is, however, an active participant in many groups that are applicable to your company in social media. She has a large Twitter following and is an expert in her field. Let’s say Sharon starts to share some unhappy news about her role and starts updating her profile and getting new connections. The smartest companies will capture and aggregate this information and find a place for Sharon in their company in real time. And if Sharon’s company “gets it” they will beat the other companies to the punch and solve the challenges she is facing to retain her.
I look at this evolution of marketing going from: “HELP WANTED” to “Hi Joe, here’s a job that might match your qualifications” to “Joe, sounds like things might not be ideal at your current job, have you considered this role with our company that fits your goals and aspirations?”
One: me. It is the future. And it is right around the corner.
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