Account-based marketing, or ABM, is the buzzword in the B2B marketing world right now, largely due to its efficacy in driving ROI. Simply put, ABM is a one-to-one approach of targeting specific accounts with the greatest potential to impact the bottom line through personalized content, compared to broader-reaching inbound marketing, which generates leads en masse.
To think about ABM in terms of recruiting (ABRM), let’s look at how a telecom company needing to staff 40 Account Executives over the next six months across three locations would approach their marketing plan.
In deploying a traditional inbound approach, this company would develop a media plan (PPC, SEM, paid postings, OOH, social ads, etc.) to target account executives across those three locations. Additionally, they may run a search for the job title “account executive” in their CRM/ATS and launch an email campaign to a lead list, and also ramp up on sales-centric content in their social lineup. All valid tactics that would result in a big pool of leads at the top of the funnel for their recruiting team.
In an ABRM model, this company would instead target efforts to a few key accounts, or pools, that are going to have the highest probability at converting further down the funnel. Marketing would leverage the recruiting team needing to fill these roles to determine which companies have talent with a high probability of converting from lead to hire and build a plan to only target those leads. They may leverage the same tactics as above, but with deeply narrowed targeting parameters.
Interested in trying out account-based recruitment marketing? Here are some quick-starters:
- Determine your key accounts through data. One quick route you can take is looking at your LinkedIn “gain and drain” report to determine which companies you are already gaining pockets of talent from. (I’m not 100% sure what this report is officially called, but it’s the one that shows the flow of talent in and out of your company, by company.) Another option would be to leverage your people analytics to identify if there are companies you consistently convert talent from and how that talent contributes to the performance of your organization.
- Reverse engineer your content strategy through Glassdoor reviews. Glassdoor can give recruitment marketers just as much insight into the opportunities of a company that it does candidates researching potential employers. When determining what content to build to market to your key accounts, visit those accounts’ Glassdoor pages, determine where they are falling short with employees and build content highlighting how your company can fill those gaps. No work/life balance at key account A? But the company you’re marketing offers flex hours and generous PTO? Turn that story into content and get it in front of key account A’s current and former employees as part of your ABRM plan.
- Leverage alumni to infiltrate key accounts. After you determine who your key accounts are, leverage people currently in your workforce who may have come from those accounts for intel. Seek to understand the talent availability – do they know anyone or any team that’s primed to make a move? What is that account’s bonus cycle, e.g., when would someone there be willing to make a move? What attracted them away from that account and to your company? This information can inform additional content but also firm up timelines around your plan.
- Measure and optimize. As with any campaign, it’s critical to determine the success of your ABRM efforts. Look at trends in your career site traffic, social followers and pipeline data to see if are you starting to see more leads coming from your key accounts, and if those leads are converting from apply to interview status and eventually hired.
Some people would call what I outlined here strategic poaching. And to them I would say: tomato, account-based recruitment marketing.
Holland Dombeck McCue is the former editor turned blogger here at Fistful of Talent. She plays in the employment branding and B2B marketing space and currently heads up Recruitment Marketing and Global Employment Branding for Delta Air Lines. So, it goes without saying that the opinions shared on FOT are hers and hers alone. She wishes it could go without saying, but hey, Legal runs a tight ship…