Because purple squirrels are all about familiarity, credibility and trust

Ah, the elusive purple squirrel - that passive "yes, I'm highly qualified and would fit like a glove in your company culture, but really not looking for a new career right now" candidate.

And if you catch him or her (why am I thinking of that stupid friggin' Geico commercial with the guy trapping the money bundle with eyes on his lawn?), what are you going to do to nurture and retain this bright new employee?

This week I had great recruiting and retention conversations with Stephen Lowisz, President and CEO of Qualigence, and Dick Finnegan, president of Finnegan Mackenzie, The Retention Firm, and developer of The Retention Institute.

These conversations got me thinking about how targeted B2B marketing has become and if there's such a thing as the purple squirrel prospect in the HR marketplace.

"Yes, I'm a highly qualified buyer/influencer and your products and services would sure fit like a glove with my organization, but we're really not looking to buy anything new right now, so please get your foot out of the door before I crush it."

Yep, there be purple squirrel prospects. She just ran in front of us and is now hiding from your direct marketing campaign. And avoiding your trade show booth. And not reading your press release. And not visiting your website.

Because she doesn't trust you. You're just trying to sell her stuff and your uncomfortable shallow schmooze and pretty spangled gimmicks are just making her rant about how uncomfortable you're making her (here's a good rant about how even social media marketers are shallow).

Remember, marketing is hard work. Drinking your own overly-sweetened lime Kool Aid (which I loved as a child by the way on hot summer days...sigh) will get you as crazy as Bill Murray's character in Caddyshack.

And you'll start blowing sh&t up.

Not a good way to build relationships with your prospects. Truth is, it takes time, hard work and an integrated marketing strategy with regular measurement and realigning.

Our last marketing eBook titled How to Reach and Engage Human Resource Buyers and Convert Them to Leads discussed in detail our integrated three-step guide for increasing your publicity, Web site traffic, improved SEO and more HR sales leads.

These steps included:

Step One: Strategy, Messaging and the Search-Optimized “Marketing” Web site

Before engaging in any marketing, you need to have a strategy (duh) – a long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal and the messaging to drive that strategy. Then you need a Web site with a strong online presence that is search-optimized to improve the volume and quality of traffic to a Web site from search engines via natural (“organic”) search results. (Organic is so much better for the body.)

Step Two: Content. Content. Content.

How many times do we have to say it - a primary goal of your Web site is to convert visitors into prospects (then nurture them into true leads). But without site traffic, you have no prospects. And without great content, in addition to SEO, you have no site traffic, only goose eggs.

Step Three: Promotion.

Okay, now you have a winning strategy, powerful messaging, and a great Web site that is search-optimized. And you have lots of great content and processes in place to generate fresh content on a regular basis. Now you’re ready to promote and distribute that content to generate visibility, traffic and leads.

Promotional tactics being everything from:

And now we've got social media marketing - the sharing of relevant content and the building of trust and relationships with very specific prospect groups - those purple squirrels.

Our social media marketing for the HR marketplace eBook will hit your desktops and laptops very soon, possibly even landing on a few purple squirrels in its path.

Because purple squirrels are all about familiarity, credibility and trust - that's what your integrated strategy with the social media combo-pack must do.

(My apologies to any purple squirrels hurt in the making of this blog post.)

Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn)

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