The black and white photos of professionals in thoughtful workplace poses were warm and inviting against their green backgrounds. Each piece of collateral stacked neatly next to one another along the far wall of the lobby highlighted everything from recruiting to learning to performance to compensation and more. I pictured their online resources that included articles, white papers, reports, case studies, podcasts, webcasts, seminars, conferences...
I thought, "Wow, this company has done such a great job at defining themselves in the marketplace. There should be no mistaking what they do."
Months later I'm reading Bill Kutik's Human Resource Executive article titled What Does Taleo Do Exactly? and the difficulty that many companies have defining and differentiating in the marketplace becomes painfully clear. Too bad that's the only thing that does.
From Bill's article:
At Taleo World, its recent user conference in San Francisco, CEO Mike Gregoire publicly owned up to all of that and even showed this breakout of its customers (large and small) using each of its applications:
After all the product development, acquisitions, integrations, a big ol' bucket of marcom money and a bevy of marketing and media relations pros as well as outside agencies and educating and evangelizing the marketplace, they're still known as a recruiting software company and are utilized as such. We're talking years now. With their own customers.
Bill's right on the money when he writes, "When the market doesn't know what your company does, it's the fault of marketing. That's why they call it that."
But it sure takes a heck of a lot of marketing and most companies today face this daunting task daily. Defining brand and then educating and evangelizing in the marketplace ain't no simple trick of pretty pictures and fancy words over simply a few months. The white noise alone is deafening to the point where we can't see or hear beyond our own arm's length.
Unfortunately there's still a disconnect between what CEOs' expect from marketing and what CMOs' can deliver, hence the revolving marketing doors that lead to the HR B2B street covered with shards of broken economic dreams.
We still keep giving it a go, though. Acording to MarketingProfs:
"Despite a lack of confidence in the overall US economy, CMOs are planning to increase spending on all forms of marketing over the next 12 months, particularly the share of budget allocated to social media marketing, according to The CMO Survey. In addition, surveyed CMOs now report their companies are planning to increase spending on marketing hires 7.2% on average over the next 12 months."
Honestly, generating awareness and interest take time, money, heartbeats and consistency, and no matter what, you've got to develop and launch an integrated marketing strategy that includes every imaginable marketing activity known to the human race -- from traditional print advertising to media relations to social media marketing.
Every imaginable activity. Because when pictures and words aren't enough, make more. Really. You're prospects, customers and influencers (inside and out) these days consume awareness in a myriad of diverse ways.
Including going to conferences. See you next week at the 14th Annual HR Technology Conference and Exposition. Don't forget to stop by booth #950 and ask for your very own balloon rabbit ears.
Labels: advertising, B2B, brand marketing, HR suppliers, media relations, public relations, social media marketing