Bagels and holes. Hugs and kisses. Tom and Jerry.
It appears there’s a new force in the world of powerful twosomes - a yin and yang so perfect, you’ll be surprised you’ve not thought of it already.
The pair in question is human resources and marketing. Both departments tend to be siloed - with marketing doing one thing and HR another - when, really, the two together are a match made in heaven.
Think about it: the marketing department is in one room - heads together for a spectacular new campaign to tell customers about the A* services your business offers. In another room are the HR staff, interviewing a fresh graduate - eager to learn but never heard of the brand until the job ad popped up in his search.
The seductive new advertisement goes out - resulting in a phone call from a wealthy new client. Instead of A* treatment, her first point of contact is the well-meaning but clueless newbie. What does this mean for your business?
If your brand positioning fails to live up to the real experience, customers will flee.
It’s this interaction between your employees and potential customers which is most influential in shaping your business for success. That’s exactly why collaboration between HR and marketing will prove to be worth its weight in gold
What can marketing teach HR?
Brand positioning. No one knows more about the brand itself than your marketing staff. They know what your competitors are up to (and more importantly, how you can be one step ahead of them) - and what sets your company apart in the marketplace. It’s crucial for HR to understand this and support your brand with the perfect workforce.
Audience segmentation. How often do you see the same messages spouted around the web, despite the fact recruiters are looking for such a diverse set of roles? Tailoring a message to a specific audience is a requisite for any marketer. If they can teach HR how to apply this knowledge to their recruitment practice, brilliant adverts will attract only the finest candidates who are just right for the job.
Embracing technology. This isn’t to say HR professionals are all still working within the realms of Internet Explorer, devising ads in Microsoft Paint - everyone is pretty up-to-date with new-fangled technology today. However, the marketing guys are really on the button when it comes to the latest trends - winning and keeping customers on social media, for example.
What can HR teach marketing?
Creating a people-focused culture. The way a business treats its people speaks volumes to customers. Marketers are often dealing with tangible products and brand communication - where emotion is crucial to engage audiences. With a better understanding of employee behaviours, beliefs and challenges - your brand personality will shine a whole lot brighter.
Taking advantage of clusters. According to IT recruitment agency, AMSOURCE Technology, employment hotspots aren’t always in the usual place. Looking outside of London can prove valuable for recruiters, and thinking niche can be hugely beneficial for marketers. Everyone is not your audience: targeting specific demographics is highly effective advertising - the success of Buzzfeed’s niche viral campaigns says it all.
One business, one team. Marketing forces may be surprised how much they can learn about the business from talking to the employees. That one member of staff who’s been with the company since the 90s? She may well have a gorgeous nugget of information that could easily form an emotionally-evocative call-to-action.
Sometimes, the most unlikely team-ups are the most efficient. From clinical research meeting arts, to maths meeting history, if you’re looking for ultimate innovation in the workplace, pulling two strong teams together in a close-working relationship can bring about beautiful results.
Have the staff in your HR and marketing departments forgotten what each other look like? Arrange a catch-up, determine what each workforce is up to, how your brand is currently positioned in the market (from either side) and how the teams can feed off each other’s specialist knowledge.