Marketing: It’s Not Just For Getting New Customers

media relations, PR, Beloit College Mindset list


When businesses think about marketing, it’s typically and understandably in the context of attracting business. People who will pay you money. But marketing your business to potential employees — those you will pay money — can be just as important. And yet, so many employers overlook the importance of such marketing. As Wes Gay writes for Forbes, “Businesses are familiar with investing in consumer marketing, yet rarely consider investing in marketing for new employees. This is especially important for companies looking to recruit top millennial talent, as reaching the millennial generation can be challenging for older companies.”


With that in mind, we thought we’d provide some tips on how to market yourself to potential employees. The process is very much the same as any form of marketing. Here’s what you need to know.

Know Who You Want to Be: Your “Employer Brand”

The first step in auditing and evaluating your employer brand is to identify your company’s desired brand attributes — e.g. what do you wish to be known as, or thought of as, when it comes to your company as an employer? We generally recommend that firms come up with a list of 5-7 attributes, achieve consensus on those attributes from the leadership team and then assess their audience’s current perceptions of those attributes.

From an employer brand standpoint, companies have a great opportunity gain insight from their existing employees. What we recommend is that they list the attributes and ask employees to rate the extent to which they agree these attributes represent the current employee brand reality on a scale of 1-10 (a 10-point scale provides a finer delineation than a 3- or 5-point scale).

The results of this exercise represent your employer brand as defined by employees. It’s a very simple and cost-effective means of gaining some very valuable insights. Any gaps in how you wish to be perceived, and how you are perceived, by employees indicate areas of opportunity for focus and improvement.

Remember that Everyone in Your Organization is a Brand Ambassador

In terms of who “owns” the brand-building process it is everyone! HR can, and should, certainly take the lead in helping to assess, manage and strengthen the brand but, in reality, those who manage employees directly — e.g. supervisors and managers — have the most impact on how well the brand is realized. It’s true that even within organizations that are known as “best employers” there may be pockets of dissatisfaction driven by poor management and supervision. Consequently, one very important thing for HR to do is to ensure that managers and supervisors understand their role in strengthening the employer brand and have the tools and knowledge necessary to do so.

Measure Results

The success of branding efforts can be difficult to ascertain, but it’s important to take this step. Measuring the success of a revamped employer brand should be done using the same process as outlined above. Once you’ve done your initial evaluation of your current brand and identified gaps, spend some time – typically 12 to 18 months – working to close those gaps. The specific steps and actions will, of course, depend on the specific gaps. At the end of this period, another assessment should be done to determine if progress has been made, to re-identify gaps, and to start the planning and brand management process again. It’s a cyclical, iterative process that needs to be managed over time.

Employment is a two-way street. And as younger generations of potential employees take an increasingly critical look at their potential employers, it’s more important than ever for employers to put their best foot forward when attempting to attract the best talent.

Marketing isn’t just about getting (and keeping) new customers. It’s about getting (and keeping) great employees as well!


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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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