Let’s get physical

In his entertaining TED talk, Google’s Dan Cobley gives us some examples of what physics can teach us about marketing. The key points he makes are entirely applicable to graduate recruitment marketing, and we work with our clients to help them to understand these principles to engage their audience better.

Dan Cobley MD Google IAB Engage 2011

1. Newton’s Second Law

– The more massive a brand, the more force it takes to change its position:

We help employers with big, established brands to leverage existing awareness so that their graduate proposition is aligned to their more general corporate messages. Where there are deeply-held misperceptions about them, this can be a real challenge. Investment Banks, for example, often find it a real challenge to let students know about the diversity of their opportunities in non-traditional areas such as technology, which was the context of our multi-award-winning “Field of Sparks” campaign for J.P. Morgan.

For employers with less well-known student-facing brands on the other hand, there is an opportunity to carve out an attractive USP in the minds of students and really punch above their weight using imaginative but efficient approaches.

2. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

– The act of measurement changes what you’re measuring; similarly, asking people how to market them doesn’t give you an accurate answer:

Dan gives some great examples of how consumers don’t always give an accurate representation their behaviours when asked, and arguably this is even truer when you ask students how best to market careers to them. The reason for this is that there is usually far more education to be done in graduate marketing than in consumer-facing marketing; you are not only trying to sell a current opportunity, but to educate your audience about what it involves and what it might become in the future. We help employers to avoid these banana skins as they plan their campaigns.

3. The Scientific Method 

– You can continually strengthen a brand, but it only takes a moment for it totally to lose standing in the minds of your audience:

Some employers find that they are well-known on-campus, and then, as soon as they stop marketing, it takes years of work and a huge investment of money to recover the brand they once had. We help them to maintain the level of awareness they need year-in, year-out in ways that are innovative and sustainable but don’t require constant (expensive) reinvention of the wheel.

4. Entropy, the Second Law of Thermodynamics

– Brand messages will always be dispersed and get more chaotic:

Social networks, in particular online (but also on campus) are increasingly democratising forces, and it’s disconcerting but exciting for recruiters that their employer brand is in no way restricted to the messaging they dictate or the channels they choose for their advertising. Messages about employer brands are constantly unfolding on student forums, social networks, and of course in the discussions amongst students and their influencers on campuses everywhere. What is more, potential hires take the opinions of their peers far more seriously than any corporate messaging.

We help employers to ensure that influential students are better informed about them and make it more likely that they will spread positive messages about them. We also track the diversity of opinions being expressed about their brands online and off, and to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by new media channels.

If you’d like to find out more about any of our services, get in touch today.

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