Good marketing is about finding just the right person, connecting with them, and developing a real relationship just like interviewing for a new job.
I recently went through the process of searching for and getting a new job, and it occurred to me that this process and marketing have a lot in common. It’s all about finding the right match for you, having a two-way conversation and building the relationship, and then making the decision as to whether they are right or not.
These are the six stages I went through in finding my perfect role and how you can apply it to your marketing:
Don’t try to reach everyone
Whether you are looking for a new job or marketing, you don’t want to reach out to everyone. Sending my CV to every role with the word ‘marketing’ in it was certainly not the approach I wanted to take. I knew the type of role I was looking for and the sort of people I wanted to work with and, maybe more importantly, I knew what I didn’t want. With a one year old to factor into the equation, I didn’t want to have to travel or have a long commute, so straight away I knew I wanted to work for a local business where I would be office based, and this immediately narrowed my search.
In the few months I was looking for a new, more suitable job, I only actually applied for three roles. I spent time reading the job descriptions, researching the companies by looking at their websites and social channels. If I didn’t think a role was a good match for my skillset or I didn’t think the culture would be suitable, I didn’t apply. I wasn’t interested in applying for just any job and when you market your business you need to do the same. If you attempt to appeal to everyone, your marketing and messaging will actually attract nobody. Be selective and focused, and when you have your ideal target market in mind, you’ll know where to find them and how to connect with them.
Your online profile
One of the first things I did was make sure my LinkedIn profile was up to date and gave an accurate reflection of my skills and experience. I requested some recommendations from previous managers and colleagues, and ensured I had been endorsed for the skills I knew I had.
Your online profile or your website is one of the most important marketing assets. It’s often the first place that your prospects will come to check you out so you need to make an immediate impression. Everything from the language, the user experience, the visuals, and of course the content, needs to resonate with your target audience, so take them on a journey and make them want to take the next step and interact with you.
Use your network
Build a strong network of partners - a recommendation from a partner business or supplier goes a long way.
When I decided to start looking for a new role I used my network, and having worked in marketing for a number of years I had quite a few friends and contacts in the industry so I put the word out.
This is something I’d recommend to include in your marketing strategy. Build a strong network of partners - a recommendation from a partner business or supplier goes a long way. Likewise, use your existing client base to sing your praises and provide references. Strong loyal advocates of your business are a powerful marketing tool and should be used throughout marketing. For example, product reviews can significantly improve conversion rates, so think about how you could incorporate something like Trustpilot into your website or use customer testimonials to reinforce your message and strengthen your sales proposition.
Tailor your communications
The few roles that I did apply for were of course all slightly different. Some were more communications focused whilst others highlighted lead generation as a primary need. The same blanket CV wasn’t going to cut it, so I tailored my CV so that I was drawing attention to my achievements in the areas they were looking for.
Personalisation adds value, increases conversion rates, and improves customer loyalty.
It’s the same for marketing, you should reach out to different consumers with different messagings based on demographics, interests, location, and purchase history - reaching lots of consumers but each with something that seems personally relevant and interesting. For example, if someone visits your website and views a particular product, the next time they visit your site you could serve up content about that product. Personalisation adds value, increases conversion rates, and improves customer loyalty. On the other hand, if you constantly serve up irrelevant content and messages, people are likely to see your marketing as invasive and annoying and therefore turn them off.
It’s a two-way conversation
Next came the interviews. I very much feel that interviews should be two-way. I was interviewing the companies just as much as they were interviewing me. It’s in the interest of both parties to ensure the fit is right. I wanted to make sure that the job itself was right for me, that it matched my skills and experience and likewise the companies wanted to make sure that I would be capable of doing the role. This was covered in first interviews. The second interviews were more about cultural fit. I knew the type of organisation I wanted to work for, and the type of people I wanted to work with. I met several people I would be working with, got to see the office, and experience the working environment.
Your marketing and sales approach also needs to be a two-way conversation. Just telling your prospective customers what you do and how great you are without finding out anything about what they want won’t work. Nobody wants to be sold to these days, they want valuable and personal conversations. Think about the different ways you can have two-way conversations and engage prospects, whether it be via your social channels, live chat or face-to-face at events.
After three interviews here at Ridgeway, I’d started to build a relationship with them. I had met all the key people I would be working with, they had been flexible and offered me condensed working hours to suit my needs and I was confident that I could deliver what they needed. I was convinced this was the job and organisation for me. And luckily they thought so too, hence why I am here writing this blog!
Once you’ve identified prospective clients that fit your target, it’s then important to develop a real relationship with them and continue to engage with them and gain a good understanding of their needs. Being flexible and offering solutions that meet their individual needs will hopefully win you the business and a loyal customer.