Coming Soon — One:Me Marketing

bigstock-I-like-me-32089523I hear from clients a lot asking me “What’s next?” How can we get better at reaching the right person at the right time? How should we optimize our messaging to appeal to passive candidates? Millennials?” Before we talk in depth about the one:me, individualized, personalized market that’s next, first understand where we were and where we are to get a better sense of where we will be.

For a very long time, in the marketing world, we have lived, very comfortably in the one-to-many marketing space.

One-to-many marketing is broadcast messages. It is one-size-fits-all. It is traditional advertising. We all watched a lot of one-to-many ads on Super Bowl Sunday! We once had newspaper ads. These ads reach a large number of active job seekers. We broadcasted our opportunities in the paper and hoped people would send their resume. Then, we had the Internet, and online we could broadcast to a much larger audience with some passive seekers mixed in. But, still hoping someone would respond to our ad. This style, one-to-many marketing, will continue to be around for many years because we can expect a certain result from the activity.

Over time, and because of technology, things began to change. We started plugging databases into our HR departments and collecting resumes digitally. We even started to source people from proprietary databases.

This was the start to one-to-one marketing in talent acquisition. We would learn more about our candidates and could begin to personalize messages with our technology. We allowed them to tell us a little bit about themselves and we could market to them in a one-to-one way. We could send them a job alert, or a direct email. The communication is more tailored to the audience and it efficiently reaches the target audience with more precision. One-to-one is delivering good results and will continue to be a powerful tool.

You have probably heard your marketing team or your agency tell you that marketing is a perfect storm of right message to the right person and the right time. And they are absolutely spot on. The equation is very clear: get the ideal job in front of the right candidate when they are open to change. In one-to-many and one-to-one, you can get pretty close to the right audience with the right message. The timing is the missing element.

With the advent of big data and social media, two very powerful engines, we are on the cusp of a new era of marketing. I call it “one-to-me” (one:me) marketing. As we learn more about candidate behavior in the cloud, we will be able to tailor opportunities specifically for people at the right moment.

One: me marketing will help us pinpoint that time in which a candidate is ready to make change, or ready for new challenges. We could even use predictive modeling to look at cultural fit as well as career path aspirations. In addition, we might be able to use this information to retain more employees. For example, if you could know an A-player is unhappy based on their activities in the cloud at the onset and could change their situation, you could save your company the time and money. With one: me marketing, your marketing dollars will be able to work harder and go farther because the age-old marketing equation will be normalized and far more predictable through cloud data and algorithms.

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Take this example. Sharon has never applied to your company before. She has followed your company in social media. But she’s a lurker. She is, however, an active participant in many groups that are applicable to your company in social media. She has a large Twitter following and is an expert in her field. Let’s say Sharon starts to share some unhappy news about her role and starts updating her profile and getting new connections. The smartest companies will capture and aggregate this information and find a place for Sharon in their company in real time. And if Sharon’s company “gets it” they will beat the other companies to the punch and solve the challenges she is facing to retain her.

I look at this evolution of marketing going from: “HELP WANTED” to “Hi Joe, here’s a job that might match your qualifications” to “Joe, sounds like things might not be ideal at your current job, have you considered this role with our company that fits your goals and aspirations?”

One: me. It is the future. And it is right around the corner.


image from bigstock

Since 1995, Tracey has been developing digital solutions. Currently the owner of PSC, Inc., she continues to be dedicated to bringing cutting edge, thoughtful and measurable solutions in the talent acquisition space. With more than 15 years in digital, Tracey not only brings vision, but the tools and strategies to execute against complex next generation concepts. She has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands to develop and devise cutting-edge recruitment marketing practices.


20 Comments on “Coming Soon — One:Me Marketing

  1. Your article is spot on; in a way, we are trying to recapture the 1:1 relationships that existed prior to the Internet and its impact on recruiting. I am curious, have you given any thoughts on how to deliver this experience at scale?

  2. Thanks Marvin! I am constantly thinking about how this scales. How you aggregate all of the data that is currently available, but not tied together, is the elephant in the room. Once it is aggregated, then, through predictive models, profiles would bubble up to the surface of the database (or talent community) for recruiters to reach out nimbly. I think we will get to One:Me once we can get all this data aggregated. But, to your point, we need to be sure that the model is scalable. Love the question, keep em coming!

  3. Thanks Tracey. Companies are starting to develop tools to track early web activity, and since these will probably target “the Fabulous 5%” who are already getting slammed, there may be some push-back similar to the anecdotal stories of people taking down their LI profiles due to being contacted by too many recruiters.

    Furthermore, most companies say they want to develop pipelines (I think it’s a very good idea, myself) but are unwilling/unable to commit the time, money, resources to do it, even though there are now companies that will very-affordably set up and run the pipeline generation activity.


  4. Thank you Keith. You raise a big challenge that will face One:Me. A key component of success for one:me (and any marketing for that matter) is to be sure we are answering “What’s in it for me?” from the candidate stand point. We must be mindful of being sure that if we are collecting and aggregating this data that we are aiming to deliver real value to the candidate vs. spam. The value will be delivered to the candidate when we are able to deliver the right message to the ideal candidate at the perfect moment in time.

    In terms of companies who are unwilling to invest, I believe that like any big paradigm shift, it will take time and risk-takers to prove out the value. In my experience, if you can prove time and money could be saved, and there is a tangible return on investment, budgets can loosen.

    Thanks for the comment. Love the dialog!

  5. You’re very welcome, Tracy. We’re getting close to getting a “Digital Dossier” where you have “Big Data” combined with sophisticated analytics to figure out all sorts of wonderful things about someone, whether they want you to or not, and because it’s based on public data, there’s not a thing they can do about it… Want to try it now? Here’s my “big data” (Google search). Now, someone needs to do analytics on it, like figuring my interests and probable income from my address and other bits of info….However, if you need to fill a position not soon but NOW, you won’t have the luxury of seeing which middle school students win jr. coding competitions so you start sending nice messages and invitations for when they will be ready in 10 years to work for you.In other words, unless you commit to “the long game” this sort of thing may not be for you.

    Also, I think technical advances in recruiting are like economic bubbles- by the time the likes of me hear about ’em and get involved, it’s too late….


    Keith “Was That a ‘Pop’ I Heard?” Halperin

  6. Thanks Keith. The information already gathered on every individual in the US (let alone the world) is staggering. The stuff published online is a lot, add that to the credit card data as well as the social networks and you can build a very nice digital dossier.

    I like what you are saying about the long tail aspect here as well, in terms of seeing who won the coding competition. That is where pipelining, brand building and communication models come in. What I am writing about here is being applied by the worlds biggest brands in the consume space to move them through the sales funnel faster and more frequently. If we can apply some of those principles to recruitment, we can also make the candidate funnel more efficient.

  7. Much of the info needed on an individual to create that 1:1 is in their digital footprint that they leave behind on social sites. It takes the minds and eyes of the sourcer and recruiter to put it together and form a personal message to better connect with them. This ts easier said then done since many sourcers and recruiters are either strapped for time or limited by their networks.We took the approach to aggregate this info and put it in one place so the dossier is in effect created.

  8. You’re very welcome, Tracey. The thing about making the candidate funnel more efficient: if we did that, huge numbers of recruiting staff would be unemployed! We thrive on the inefficiency and irrationality of the recruiting marketplace- if hiring companies were better, clearer, and more knowledgeable in their hiring thoughts and efforts, what would all those agencies filled with newbie recruiters who run ads and get candidates off Monster, CB, and DICE do for business?



  9. @Loren – thanks!
    @NameGen – 1:1 lends itself to a personal message, but One:me is more complex in terms of data aggregation on the timing. In my version of the future, sourcers and recruiters would have a different role in the relationship. They would be looking out for the timing of the triggering event of the passive and moving quickly to close that deal.
    @Keith – Like any cultural shift, people and companies will have to evolve or perish.

  10. @ Tracey: You and I might think that way, but those who’ve made a healthy living off the ignorance of their clients (and their clients’ clients) may not…



  11. Tracey, great article. Thanks so much for being on the leading edge of recruiting and pipeline development. In a way, this is taking the best talents and skills of “best in class recruiters” – namely, the ability to build a relevant, real time and effective talent community – and automating it, rendering the recruiting process “hyper-real time”. Our firm is a big believer in what we call Perpetual Recruiting, allowing us to build this bench of talent on behalf of our clients, guaranteeing that when the time is right for the A-players to consider a move, they are already on our radar screen and we receive the first call. At the end of the day, whether it’s automated using Big Data, or manual using old-school recruiting, it’s all about effective communication.
    Ken Schmitt
    President/Founder, TurningPoint Executive Search

  12. Thanks Ken. Great feedback. I agree with building a pipeline and being real time in all recruiting efforts, the automation piece will drive people to be more efficient. I can see this becoming more and more automated with richer profiles on the “bench”.

  13. @ Tracey. Thank you.
    @ Ken: What you describe makes a great deal of sense. At the same time, how many SMB (or even)LB have someone/something devoted to building candidate pipelines?



  14. @Keith. Thanks so much and you are exactly right, not enough companies – of any size for that matter – focus enough time on forward looking talent planning. Most start off and stay in the reactive “I need to backfill this position” mentality. It’s up to our industry to help change that in hopes of becoming more proactive and truly strategic.

  15. @ Ken. You’re very welcome, and very correct. As a contract recruiter, I see many companies ramping up with CRs when things go well and quickly laying them off as things slow down instead of keeping the CRs busy building pipelines and solving important recruiting problems (like cleaning up clogged ATSs band improving hiring procedures) that can’t be addressed in the boom times. It as if every time the fishing season ends for tuna, salmon, or crab, the leaders of the fishing industry decided to scuttle the entire fishing fleet instead of having the ships work on maintenance, repair, etc.


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