At the start of 2020, like so many other brands, we found ourselves questioning who we are and why does it matter? After a year of reactive business decisions, it was time for the B2B market to pause and re-evaluate. We've seen an increase in recruitment enquiries over the last few months; brands looking for digital support to enhance their business growth. Some come to us looking for a website, and others want performance marketing that can drive results. But before this, it's our job to understand your brand's core and how it's portrayed externally.
Here at Venn, our framework is to consult, build and optimise. After 10+ years of experience within the recruitment industry, we've found that just a website, just SEO, or just PPC do not achieve the desired results unless we first consult. We get under the skin of your business, working with you to understand the values. Our aim is to create a brand perception for you online that truly resonates with the audience you are trying to attract.
You can do all the marketing in the world, but if your brand does not connect with your target audience, then why would they choose you?
"Branding is how you get your audience to come back for more. It's about engineering experiences and a perceived value they desire."
– Rhiannon Barnes Powell, Brand Strategist at Venn.
It's all about the why
As we discuss in our 2021 Recruitment Playbook, there are three essential questions brands should be asking themselves when taking on a digital strategy.
- Who are we?
- What do we do?
- Why does it matter?
That last one is where the truth lies. Simon Sinek's Golden Circle theory condenses the key to success down to three core questions. Whilst these questions are slightly different when discussing brand, the importance of knowing why you do what you do remains. What is your purpose? Why does your company exist? If you don't know the answer, then why would anyone else care?
When we consult with a new recruitment brand, we host workshops and discovery meetings to help get to the bottom of the question. It's often the case that members of the business struggle to find the answer.
The Venn framework
We find that the best results are achieved when we start the journey from within. Beginning with the brand, then moving on to destination, functionality and optimisation.
The brand is your customer's perception of you. The destination is the website, where they come to learn more, engage and convert. Converting & convincing describe how your audience is engaging with you, from the physical touchpoints that users face and to the content onsite that encourages conversion. And finally, communicating is the production of offsite content that continues to reflect your brand. Now you have a beautiful design that converts; how do you drive quality traffic to it?
Now it's not to say that if a client comes to us asking for SEO support, we will say no. It's simply that we will question your brand, audit your existing site and ensure that your investment will give you the desired results. Performance marketing alone can only do so much. If the brand and destination are not built to convert, there's nowhere for that traffic to go.
Let's look at Montreal Associates, for example. This brand was struggling with a disconnect between its external image and internal values. After originally coming to us for a new website, we quickly learned that to maximise their ROI, we first needed to help them understand who they were and why it mattered.
Ten years of business and industry growth had led to the branding and website being left behind. As they were operating in the tech sector, we needed to help pull their image into the 21st century. This would allow them to resonate on a personal level with their target audience. You can learn more about the MA re-brand journey here.
"Without the brand discovery, I wouldn't know the business as I do now, so I am very grateful. Our achievements would not be the same without this consultation phase."
– Kate Harding, Marketing Manager at Montreal Associates.
We've seen exponential growth in particular recruitment sectors over the past 12 months, despite the effects of the pandemic. Areas such as tech and healthcare are seeing a surge in demand, and brands were forced to act fast. Our aim is to help businesses grow effectively with digital. As your business evolves and grows, so does your brand.
What's unique about you?
In 2018 there were nearly 40,000 recruitment agencies in the UK alone, with a huge increase over the past few years. So, with this many options out there, why would they choose you over a competitor?
Brand is about adding value.
"It is your customer's perception of you. Branding is literally every decision your company makes and everything that happens behind the curtain that can't be seen. It is why you exist. It informs every output and decision you make."
– Rhiannon Barnes-Powell, Brand Strategist.
Often mistaken for design, your brand is about so much more than just a logo. For Montreal Associates, it was about positioning themselves in the tech sector. They didn't want to be seen as another recruiter; instead, they needed to sit with those they partner with.
"We didn't want to come across as typical recruitment and instead took a fresh approach and tried to fit in with 'our people' – the tech sector."
– Kate Harding, Marketing Manager at Montreal Associates.
A post-pandemic world, combined with the rapid changes in digital behaviour, has created an opportunity for brands to re-evaluate their values and messaging.
To support the recruitment industry and get you asking the right questions about your brand, we've created our 2021 Recruitment Playbook. Packed with insight from our team and tips on how to approach a digital strategy, this guide takes you through each step of our framework.