October 15, 2012
“Employer branding is the new black,” according to George Anders’ recent article on Forbes.com. LinkedIn is spreading the word about the significance of having a strong employer brand while also providing more tools and resources to help companies promote one on their platform.
So you’re not Apple, Amazon, Deloitte, or Disney. Don’t despair. That doesn’t mean you can’t have an employer brand or employer value proposition of your own.
Here are 4 things to tell your boss when you’re putting it into your 2013 budget:
It’s not a headline or tagline within your recruitment marketing materials.Your employer brand is the essence of the employer/employee contract. It contains the reasons people join your company and the reasons they stay. Intuitively this information may be known to some or all of your organization, but going through the exercise of defining your brand architecture, your differentiators, and your employer value proposition will make sure that you’re all speaking in one voice.
Once this is defined, it may never appear in any of your recruitment marketing materials or internal communications. But the essence of the employer value proposition can be communicated in a multitude of ways, varying by business unit, country, or corporate initiative.
It makes the company money.A well-defined employer brand will be integrated with the business strategy and articulate the shared responsibilities for achieving success. The ROI is not an HR metric (cost-per-hire, time-to-fill) but rather a metric of revenue growth.
In March 1994, the Harvard Business Review wrote about the service-profit chain. Employee satisfaction drives customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue growth. This relationship still holds true today. Employer branding fuels employee engagement, which fosters productivity, which fuels profitability.
It saves the company money.
Good employer branding connects employees with cultures, reducing the chance of a hiring misfire. There is transparency in the employer-employee contract and everyone knows the deal going in. Both turnover rates and recruiting costs go down.
It doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Those of you who have attended my employer branding presentations already have many of the tools to do it yourself. But even going outside to bring in an employer branding expert doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. Communication audits and employer branding surveys can get the ball rolling, and executive interviews and internal focus groups can be selectively added. For a small research plan, costs can be as low as $10,000. If you’re lucky enough to get a bigger budget, I recommend you survey external constituents to really provide context and color to your internal findings.
You will have more fun at work.
Yes, it’s true. Once you have gone through your branding exercise and embedded the essence of your competitive differentiation into your careers website, videos, recruitment and social media marketing, and internal communications, you’re all set to reap the rewards. Happy hiring managers, increased employee referrals, more unsolicited resumés coming in from top talent, lower turnover, and greater retention. You’ll have more time to work on other critical initiatives like workforce planning, talent management, or diversity and inclusion. Or maybe just steal a few extra minutes to read a blog or two.
October 7, 2012
Since the early days of Madison Avenue advertising, demographics have helped advertisers kind-of sort-of pinpoint the types of consumers that might be interested in purchasing their products or services by such segments as age, income, location or education.
But now big media, including news networks like NBC News, and are focusing on something that could potentially provide much more value for advertisers, and provide much more relevant advertising to consumers: psychographics.
The idea behind the shift is such: Though demographics help content producers and advertisers define particular spectrums in terms of those that are more likely to be able to purchase particular products, they don’t necessarily focus on things like aspirations, attitudes, or perhaps most importantly, intent.
So, are demographics dead?
Can we – advertisers – truly divorce ourselves from something that has long been the way to target advertising? Are demographics still as important as they once were?
Take, for example, Nielsen TV ratings which has often caught flak from audiences and advertisers alike for relying on things like demographics and impressions in order to determine the value of advertising in the increasingly-disrupted medium that is TV. It may be foolish to rely on half-century old ways of targeting consumers when, in just the past decade alone, the way we consume information has begun changing at an alarming rate.
But Nielsen, too, seems to have realized that, joining forces with Catalina Marketing in order to more effectively target their advertising initiatives through psychographics.
Which means that it might be time for a paradigm shift. Especially when you consider the wide number of massive online networks and free advertising tools that make performing psychographic research much easier.
But ultimately, whether you target based on demographics or psychographics, marketers must still focus on the messages that they are broadcasting to their target audiences.
And that’s where brand comes in. : )
October 1, 2012
I’ve showed you some pretty big mistakes in the past, but this one is a doozy. It breaks so many commonsense social media rules that it almost seems like an urban legend. But it really happened, to an NFL franchise — which proves it can happen to anyone.
Kansas City Chiefs
· 643,000 likes on Facebook
· 101,500 followers on Twitter
· 3,381 +1’s on Google Plus
Travis Wright, a social media manager and self-described “eternal smart ass”, tweeted the following about his beloved Kansas City Chiefs:
Crude? Yes. Rude? Sure. But this is football, and every team, from the Super Bowl champion Giants down to the…well, the Chiefs, has experienced vitriol like this. But rarely do teams actually respond.
The ProblemThe Chiefs responded. Wright got this direct message on Twitter and took a screenshot with his phone:
Then, for good measure, the Chiefs blocked Wright’s Twitter profile, so that their tweets would no longer show up in his feed. A very odd thing to do to someone the franchise called a “fan.” Wright shared their insulting message with his 125,000 followers (which is more than the Chiefs have) and posted it on Reddit. The incident quickly went viral.
Wright’s tweet was retweeted dozens of times, while his Reddit post drew 500 comments and 1,200 upvotes, bringing it to the front page.
The next day, the Chiefs apologized:
The Chiefs botched this about as badly as possible. Here’s a step by step guide to ensure you don’t make the same mistake.
– Don’t Insult Anyone Publicly
I probably don’t have to say this, but you should never tell a fan, customer, employee, job-seeker, or donor to “get a clue.” That was first down.
– Don’t Insult Anyone Privately
I suppose the person running the Chiefs account thought it was safer to send something mean as a direct message, so no other followers would see it. But just about every device can take screenshots, so that strategy only delayed Wright’s retaliation for about 30 seconds. Second down.
When you block someone on Twitter, you prevent them from seeing your tweets. It’s such a silly punishment that it looks juvenile. And it’s ineffective, because your “victim” can just visit your public Twitter profile. And because the Chiefs didn’t unblock Wright when they issued the apology, he didn’t see it in his feed. That brings up third and long.
– Don’t Use The First Person Singular
That is, if you weren’t using it in the first place. Whoever runs the Chiefs’ Twitter (and that person[s?] has never been revealed) usually refers to the team as “we” or as “the Chiefs.” But the apology said “I apologize,” which conjures the image of one single guy at a computer. It also separated the Twitter manager from the organization; why weren’t the Chiefs the ones apologizing? “We’re sorry” looks a lot better than “I’m sorry” – especially since we don’t even know who the “I” is. Fourth down and time to punt.
– If You’re Going to Respond, Actually Respond
Lost in the profanity was that Wright was bringing up a valid point about how the Chiefs’ owner spends money on players. But the response was that Wright didn’t have his facts straight and should “get a clue.” So what are the facts? Why didn’t the Chiefs point Wright to the correct information? If you’re going to respond to such an angry post – and you don’t have to – at least take the conversation somewhere constructive. All the Chiefs did was make a fan mad. That’s horrible customer service. So I guess you could say the punt was blocked and returned for a touchdown.
This whole firestorm took place within 24 hours and involved only three tweets. But the damage done to the Chiefs’ brand will last a long time. This is another reason to let a trained communications, marketing, or HR professional run your social media profiles. If you don’t have one, we’d be happy to help.