At HRmarketer.com, we have the opportunity to work with hundreds HR service providers representing all aspects of human resources. It continues to amaze us how little time the marketing people from these service providers actually spend interacting with their target audience – HR professionals. And the few who do usually limit their interactions to their own clients which presents a skewed sense of reality.
Anyone in marketing should spend at least 1-2 hours per month interacting with their target customer in order to identify trends, find new product opportunities and get a better sense of the field of HR and the customer’s day-to-day needs.
Famed investor Peter Lynch used to spend a considerable amount of time observing the aisles at supermarkets in order to see how consumers felt about various products whose companies he was considering investing in. A senior executive at healthcare giant J&J did the same thing on a regular basis to observe how consumers selected products in categories where J&J competed – he’d even mingle with shoppers asking them which brands were best and why.
Here are four basic tips on how to get more involved with HR professionals:
Again, spending just a few hours a month interacting with HR professionals will be one of the best investments you can make in your own marketing continuing education – and help you develop better marketing campaigns for your company.
- Join a local chapter of SHRM (or another relevant association). For a listing if hundreds of professional membership associations in all discliplines of HR, go to HRmarketer.com.
- Participate in monthly meetings for the association you join. This doesn’t mean sponsoring an event or exhibiting. This means actually sitting in on discussions, listening to the challenges of HR, what their needs are on a day-to-day basis and what are emerging trends. It also means establishing good networking/professional relationships with the HR professionals.
- Register as an “attendee” at the annual SHRM event and other key industry tradeshows. Sit in on meetings, eat lunch with other HR professionals, ask them why they are at the event, what other events they attend, why they are walking the exhibit floor, what products they are “shopping” for, what they consider important when making their buying decisions, etc. But DO NOT talk about your company, your products, or sell them anything.
- Sign up and attend a free Webinar/Webcast of your competitor. To find one, visit HumanResourceWebinars.com, the only online public directory that provides the best listing of free HR-related Webinars. Not only is this a great way to learn more about your competition but it allows you to hear questions presented by HR professionals and what’s on their minds, what’s important to them, etc.