Short on time? Here’s the Bottom Line!
Please note that this article was written prior to Local Na8ion’s re-launch and as such the content may not be relevant for today’s audience of local marketers. Disclaimer: Although I am not affiliated in any way with Spot Runner I am a long time friend with one of their current executives (although my interest in Spot Runner predates my friend’s employment with them).
Recruiting and finding great talent for your company is a global issue. It’s also a local issue. People want to work close to home when at all possible. These days, they want to work FROM home if at all possible. While local advertisers have started to take advantage of local cable advertising using Spot Runner to reach their consumer markets (see our previous stories for more background here and here), the Spot Runner service has many other local applications as well. Finding talent is a one of the biggest challenges that businesses of all types face, be they national, regional or local. Want a low cost, out-of-the box way to reach passive job seekers within a 30-mile radius of your company headquarters? How does this sourcing list strike you?
p align=”left”>The Travel Channel
The Golf Channel
Which channels do you think your ideal candidates watch on TV at night? Now that Spot Runner has streamlined the purchase of local cable TV advertising and made the buy-in attractively low (think $500 not $5,000 or $50,000) maybe it’s time you found out.
Since its beta release earlier this year (read our EXCELER8ion post on Spot Runner beta here) Spot Runner has often been referred to as the adwords of TV advertising. Like Uncle Google (no blood relation), Spot Runner aims to make it easy for businesses to create, plan and execute an affordable media buy all from the comfort of their keyboard, albeit on cable TV instead of a search engine. TV advertising has never been a serious option for small local businesses (Spot Runner’s initial customer target base) because the production costs and pricing were either too complicated, out of financial reach, or both. Sound familiar? I could have just described the relationship between recruitment marketing and Television. In fact, if you replace much of what has been written about Spot Runner and replace ‘local’ or ‘small business’ with ‘recruitment’ you begin to see the opportunity.
“People think about mass market, but with local TV you can target practically the neighborhood level,” said Spot Runner co-founder David Waxman. According to the article TV ads on the cheap for small biz published on CNN Money.
Hmmm, reach people with specific interests in a targeted geographic location with the proven emotional impact of Television. You know, passive job seekers do watch TV! Why Television you ask? Here’s a quote from co-founder Nick Grouf that sums it up pretty well.
socalTECH: Why the TV space — when it seems like everyone seems to be moving toward the Internet for local search?
Nick Grouf: “Television is the most powerful advertising medium in the world. The average American spends half of their leisure time watching TV – twice as much time as listening to the radio and almost four times as much as reading the newspaper. Television also has the ability to capture people’s attention more strongly than any other advertising vehicle. TV has an aura of importance that enhances an advertiser’s image and prestige. By offering a dynamic message that incorporates sight and sound, motion and emotion, TV advertising has the ability to generate trust and excitement better than any other medium.”
I contacted Spot Runner and asked them about their views on recruitment marketing and they connected the dots with local Television advertising pretty easily.
“TV advertising is a proven, effective way for companies to brand themselves, and using it to attract new talent is an innovative application of the medium. With Spot Runner’s self-serve platform, companies can go to spotrunner.com and choose – from thousands of templates – an ad that reflects their brand, and customize it with a voiceover that fits their recruiting message. Then, they can easily create a media plan targeted towards their core employee demographic. If an organization with multiple campuses is looking to hire just in the Phoenix area, for example, they can utilize Spot Runner to launch a smart, cost-effective campaign in Phoenix. With just a couple clicks of the mouse, the ad can be up in just two-to-four weeks. Spot Runner’s intuitive website makes it possible for a marketer with no intimate knowledge of the local Phoenix media market to launch a smart TV advertising campaign,” said Keith Wiley, Spot Runner Corporate Communications.
Spot Runner just inked a deal with mega ad agency JWT. The combination is largely aimed at giving JWT’s national advertisers a tool to let franchisees and local dealers leverage their own national brand at a local level with appropriate customization and targeting. Just as national advertisers can leverage Spot Runner’s platform for national advertisers, so too can recruitment marketers. Perhaps Spot Runner will work with JWT’s recruiting arm in the future? In the mean time, don’t forget the example of Arm and Hammer’s Baking Soda product. It was released in 1846 but it wasn’t until 1972 that people began using it to keep their food fresh in their refrigerator. Products have more than one use. Even though Arm and Hammer introduced multi-use interactive spinning wheels to illustrate the number of uses for baking soda it wasn’t until the refrigerator use that Arm and Hammer baking soda sales really took off. It’s no irony that the famous surge in their baking powder sales were directly linked to single-use TV spots featuring the fridge example – leveraging the mass-market penetration that TV is certainly most famous for.
Products and tools get used by people in highly creative ways when they see an application for one of their business or personal problems, even if they have to do some translating or work-arounds to bring it all together. Necessity, the mother of invention. While, there’s no greater challenge in business today than finding great talent I believe recruitment marketers and HR teams alike could benefit from stepping outside their comfort zone when it comes to finding the best people. Is it a lack of imagination? Have we been lulled into one-dimensional thinking by recruiting focused sales pitches telling us how special and unique our little world is? When did we loose our ability to put 2+2 together for ourselves? Well, I don’t think we all have but it’s amazingly easy to take the safe and well-traveled route isn’t it?
If we mimic the example offered by Spot Runner and JWT it’s not hard to see how you could leverage your national or employer branding and hopefully, some existing TV creative to build your own recruitment TV spots. Voila, you can finally leverage the power of Television to build your recruitment brand or even with more of a direct response angle for a major hiring spree. Or, go with an independent film vibe and have employees interview each other about why they love working at your company and pick the best ones to air in your commercials. Make a contest out of it like companies are doing with consumer generated advertising content on the web. Oh, and while you’re at it, use the finished product in your web advertising and employee orientation package. It’s all out there – even the home run.