Are You Telling HR Buyers What They Want to Know?
It’s no secret (more like our credo) that as marketers we put a client’s best foot forward (and use a proverbial wings and a halo approach) to reach a target audience. However, that won’t guarantee qualified leads without a bigger plan in place; or a series of sequential tactics that tells the buyers exactly what they want to hear.
Today’s HR buyers are inundated by brands hyping similar capabilities. So much so, that many solution providers are greeted with a not this again eye-roll before even making the introductions. But the buyers aren’t to blame for the lack of interest. It’s the greater majority of vendors that have yet to reinvent themselves or develop a message that will resonate.
Marketers spend countless hours ingesting behavior-driven data, trend analysis, and enough granular research that we can probably tell you the preferred pets of a specific target market. But, what many marketers don’t do, is actually listen to what the buyers themselves have to say. (I mean why would you, they’re only the people you are trying to reach right!)
In an effort to better understand this market, we took an unorthodox approach to finding out what exactly they need to hear from us. We opted to ditch the data and actually ask them, point blank, “how do you research vendors and create a short list? What content expedites the decision-making process? What works for you, and what doesn’t?”
This crazy “old-school” notion of simply raising our hand to ask a question ended up providing more insight in 30 minutes, than the 30 hours we would have lost pouring over demographics and statistics.
As a marketing agency dedicated to understanding the HR buyer, we chose to host a panel of HCM executives, buyers who continue to take part in the evaluation process for companies, to learn what motivates them to recommend one vendor over the next. Given that so few vendors are successful at positioning themselves favorably in front of decision makers, it was not surprising that their answers had little to do with the touting of an innovative solution. But rather, our experts had a strong desire to learn more about service, support, and reliability.
In a nutshell, our panel explained that many vendors seem to have a difficult time pinpointing their key differentiators. Therefore, the same message is being promoted as nauseam and becoming white noise in a room chock full of competitors.
HR buyers need more than just a laundry list of standard features, optional accessories, and complementary bells and whistles. They want to know who you are as a company and potential partner vendor. They want to hear how you’ve helped others in their situation, and specifically recognizable names in the HR industry. And most of all, how your products and services will fit in to the long-term objectives of their company.
Not all of this information will be in the form of a PDF datasheet either. Panel members discussed the need to review case studies, view online demos, learn about brands from industry influencers, and the benefits of continued communication through automated nurture streams.
As panel members discussed a variety of channels they’ve all used to research and discover new providers, the one thing they all had in common was the committee-based evaluation period. With multiple decision-makers involved in the process, best practices must include tailored messages that resonate with the individual stakeholders to move vendors through the vetting phases.
To learn more about what HR buyers want to know from vendors and marketers, view our 30- minute panel presentation online, Marketing to HR Buyers. Learn effective techniques used to reach this market, messages that made our experts stop and think, and typical decision makers in the buying process. View this on-demand webinar to hear first-hand what HR buyers want you to be telling them.