We often discuss, the methodology to find a new job mirrors the sales and marketing process corporations utilize to bring a new product or service to market. Competitive analysis, targeting, positioning, differentiation, messaging, value proposition, marketing collateral, channels, advertising mediums, presentation, the Internet etc… all factor into a well conceived job search campaign. If you have not organized a well conceived marketing plan for yourself, you are at a competitive disadvantage to the other individuals you are competing with to secure your next position. Let’s take a quick look at the auto industry and see how it approaches just a few of their marketing and positioning challenges.
- Every automobile manufacturer positions their cars in categories. Trucks, SUV’s, sedans, luxury sedans, sports cars, mini vans, value/economy etc… They spend tremendous time, deciding which type of vehicle to manufacture, what the competition will be, how they will differentiate and then how they will communicate their advantages. Do you know which job search category you are targeting and how you are different?
- The auto industry spends millions of dollars trying to decide which message will lead to the most sales. Should they focus on safety, fuel economy, luxury, prestige, performance, value? They know they cannot position to be every one of these attributes, so they focus on a primary and a secondary benefit and that is what they spend all their time, money and energy on advertising. Are you clear on your primary and secondary benefit? You cannot properly represent yourself as the best solution for every category.
- The auto industry offers tremendous flexibility to facilitate a sale. The purchase of a vehicle is a big ticket item. They will sell you used cars, cars with more features and cars with less features. They will take your cash, take your trade in, loan you money or even lease you a vehicle for a set period of time. Aren’t you a big ticket item? Are you being flexible in your approach to be hired? Flexibility may mean a lesser position than your last one, a lesser job title, different compensation, greater travel, longer commutes, relocation etc… Have you considered “leasing yourself” through a contract assignment?
- Do you realize how many different ways the auto industry tries to convince you to buy their vehicles? Newspapers, inserts, magazines, television, post cards, Internet ads, Websites, contests, letters, email campaigns, billboards, balloons…you get the idea. They exhaust every possible medium they can because they want to stay front of mind and make sure when you decide you need a car, you will think of them. Are you exhausting every logical job search marketing opportunity to stay front of mind with hiring managers?
- The auto industry faces a unique challenge selling a product that “depreciates in value” when you drive it off the lot. Due to the current economic and job crisis, the long-term unemployed face a similar challenge. Are your skills (or perceived skills) diminishing due to a prolonged job search? Have you considered corrective action to keep your skills fresh through continued education or volunteer work?
Clearly both the auto industry and the job search market are going through difficult times. Watch how the auto industry uses clever messaging and consistent marketing to win your trust and loyalty. Then apply their techniques to your career marketing campaigns.