Having been involved in digital marketing since 2009, I can say one thing with certainty- there’s no shortage of shiny new tools and platforms at our disposal. And the list of available options continues to grow each year.
How much has it grown, you might ask? Well, in 2014, just a little over six years ago, there were under 1,000 solutions. By April of 2020, there were well over 8,000; 1,936 in the category of Content and Experience alone.
Scott Brinker of Chiefmartec.com has created a beautiful infographic that shows just how large this ecosystem is.
When I transitioned from the world of talent acquisition and HR into digital marketing, one of the differences I quickly noticed between the two fields was around technology, specifically how quickly marketing technology is developed to meet new needs as the space evolves at lightspeed.
As I’ve become more interested in the topic of recruitment marketing over the past year, I’ve noticed that RecruitTech is growing, which is great to see. But, it still lags far behind the MarTech ecosystem.
Keep in mind, RecruitTech isn’t comprised of technology solely intended for recruitment marketing, so that realm is still very limited and small.
And that’s a good thing.
Marketing is Marketing
I see this as a good thing because, at its core, marketing is marketing. It doesn’t matter if you’re marketing software, automobiles, or the next step in someone’s career.
You’re offering a solution to a problem and are making change happen.
As a result, many MarTech solutions can be used for recruitment marketing. Why recreate the wheel if something already exists to solve your recruitment marketing problem?
I also understand there are fundamental differences between talent acquisition and the marketing of products and services, but how the marketing is done (or should be done) is mostly the same.
It may be surprising to know that many CRM’s are not very good at email marketing at scale.
Does this sound familiar?
As a result, numerous bolt-on services can perform these tasks better.
Regardless of whether we’re talking marketing or recruiting, it’s challenging to find a platform that’s good at everything you need it to do. That’s why there are over 8,000 MarTech solutions available.
Don’t Recreate the Wheel.
As I’ve interviewed and talked with people throughout the writing of my book, Think Differently: How Recruitment Marketing Gets You Noticed Above the Noise, I’ve realized that some people and teams are trying to “recreate the wheel” or duplicate something that already exists in the marketing world.
There may be some solutions on the market that work great and are specifically for recruitment marketing. However, email marketing is email marketing. To some degree, a CRM is a CRM.
The point I’m trying to make is if you’re building a recruitment marketing program, there’s probably an inexpensive MarTech tool or platform you can start with, eventually graduating to something more robust. If you’re not a large enterprise, it may never make sense to graduate to something else.
For example, you could quickly level up your talent communities by incorporating MailChimp, Emma, ConvertKit, or ActiveCampaign.
Want a CRM you can use as you nurture candidates? Why not use HubSpot or Zoho? They’re both free. Later, if you need something more robust, export your data between your old CRM and new solution.
Have you ever wanted to create landing pages but have a heck of a time getting the development resources needed to spin them up and down quickly?
You could quickly build them yourself, on-demand, with something like Unbounce or LeadPages.
The good news is if you’re wracking your brain, trying to figure out a better way of doing something, there’s probably a marketing solution that already exists.
“But it needs to work with my ATS.”
You may be thinking, “this is great, but I need these things to work with my ATS.” Guess what? You’re in luck – that is, if you have an ATS with an open API.
If you don’t, I would upgrade to something more modern and functional as soon as possible and make sure it has an open API. Greenhouse is an excellent example of an ATS with an open API.
Open APIs have been the driving force in the MarTech explosion. You can plug-and-play almost everything that’s developed.
Sometimes a pre-built, native API connection will exist. Salesforce has a plethora of pre-built API connections with many MarTech solutions. Greenhouse offers several native integrations with third-party tools such as Calendly, a scheduling solution, and numerous social media and job posting platforms.
Zapier is Your Secret Weapon
But what do you do if there isn’t a pre-built connection?
Zapier is your answer.
Zapier transfers information between two web applications through the open APIs that exist.
Do you want to build a next-level email marketing and candidate nurturing program and connect it to Greenhouse?
You can do that with Zapier by connecting any of the email marketing solutions I previously mentioned: MailChimp, Emma, ConvertKit, or ActiveCampaign.
You can connect HubSpot or Zoho CRM.
Remember those Unbounce or LeadPages landing pages I mentioned you could build? You can connect those to Greenhouse, too.
You can connect over 2,000 different apps or solutions to an ATS like Greenhouse through their open API.
Start Simple, Keep it Small, Then Evolve.
As you can see, the options you have at your disposal to next-level your recruitment marketing and tap into the vast MarTech ecosystem are massive.
Over the past six years of managing the digital marketing strategy for a B2B company, I’ve learned to start small, experiment, layer on, and then eventually grow to something more robust and all-encompassing (if it exists). Doing this allows you to have the workflows and processes to understand better what features you need in a solution before you upgrade.
As you begin to use different tools and platforms, you’ll start to push the edge of their capabilities, or you’ll end up using them in ways you had not initially intended.
It’s OK to evolve and move on to something else at that point. Sometimes you need to start small to be able to uncover what you don’t know.
Whatever you do, don’t spin your wheels and waste your time and resources recreating something that already exists. Think outside of the talent acquisition box and more like the marketer that you are. There are over 8,000 opportunities to create a better recruitment marketing tech stack.
Travis is the Director of Marketing for a Denver-based B2B company and a strategic marketing consultant, coach, and writer, focusing on recruitment and talent acquisition. He has written for the employer brand sites of Microsoft and Dunkin' Brands, contributes regularly to RecruitingDaily, and is the author of the book Think Differently: How Recruitment Marketing Gets You Noticed Above the Noise. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Travis at [email protected].
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