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Know your vendors (and their tactics)

A 50,000-foot view of the Work Tech media landscape and possibilities

The internet is a vast, boundless, and fascinating (albeit sometimes scary) place. There’s an abundance of marketing opportunities out there, but let’s face it, most of us don’t have the budget flexibility to tap into all of the marketing placements the world wide web offers. Creating a thorough marketing overview is a great exercise to help you balance your forecasted budget with vendor selection. But how do you prioritize which channels you should be focusing your marketing efforts on? To help you with this process, we’ve put together this directory of the most common channels and tactics marketers use within the Work Tech Industry.

Know Your Endgame

Before jumping into channel selection, it’s crucial to align with your internal stakeholders around your business goals. Questions you might want to ask include: What are we looking to achieve? What percentage of the budget should be allocated for lead gen efforts vs. brand awareness? How will we measure the success of this campaign?

Once you have a clear understanding of your marketing goals, you will be able to prioritize media channels based on which combination of tactics will drive the most impactful results in your case.

Let’s Break It Down

With a ton of vendor and tactic combinations relevant to the Work Tech space, it can be difficult to sort out which ones are most closely aligned with helping achieve your business goals. To keep ourselves organized, The Starr Conspiracy likes to bucket media channels into three subcategories: foundational, industry, and review portals. This divvies them up based on the ways and formats the intended audience will interact with your content.

Foundational Vendors

Comprising both pay-per-click and pay-per-lead channels, the foundational group could also be referred to as our “always-on” channels. These programs will be running at all times to continuously generate leads and keep your logo in front of prospects anywhere they go online.

Work Tech Industry Vendors
These are trusted Work Tech industry publications that we know our target audience turns to on a regular basis for educational content and job-relevant news. Every industry channel can be further broken down into broader HR publications and niche-focused publications

Review Portals

Typically used for software and product comparisons, review portals are a great place to engage users who are actively searching for a solution. Comprising both pay-per-click and pay-per-lead tactics, review portals are often not scalable. Performance volume relies heavily on the type of product or services your business offers and the parameters within your target audience.

Depending on your marketing objective, target audience, and budget, you might be able to immediately identify which bucket or buckets will be most fruitful for achieving your goals.

Not All Vendors Are Created Equal

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty. We listed out the most common tactics within each corresponding channel bucket and identified where each channel-and-tactic combination will land on the marketing and sales funnel.

Foundational vendor tactics

  • Programmatic display and native ads
  • Programmatic retargeting display
  • SEM non-brand search
  • SEM brand and competitor search
  • Paid social boosted post
  • LinkedIn sponsored content
  • Broad market content syndication
  • BANT content syndication

Work Tech Industry Vendors

  • Newsletter native/banner placement
  • Dedicated email send
  • Webinar
  • Trade show/conference
  • Industry display/interstitial ad
  • Industry research report
  • Industry content syndication

Review portals

  • Pay-per-click
  • Pay-per-lead

The following visualization shows how the majority of paid media tactics will engage leads in the awareness stage of the funnel. This is where implementing a structured and segmented email nurture strategy will be crucial to successfully keep leads engaged with your brand as they progress through the consideration and decision stages of the sales funnel.

It’s also important to note that different concepts and creative formats will perform better on certain channels and with certain tactics. Because user behaviors and interests change depending on the channel they’re interacting with, your content will have greater impact and be more relevant if you meet the user in the mindset they’re in.

You Won’t Know Until You Try

Marketing is all about hypothesizing, testing, measuring, and repeating. That means you should build out a media plan with enough elasticity to allow you to test different channels, tactics, and creatives along the way. If not, you might find yourself chained to a media placement strategy with a long-term commitment that leaves your budget drained and your goals unmet. We recommend testing early and often to identify the right channel, tactic, and creative mix — the mix that delivers the best results. This method also empowers you to use performance data as your north star when optimizing or creating a new media plan.

Being that we’re creatures of habit, it can feel safe or at least comfortable to use the same mix of channels that you’ve your media plans have relied on year after year. But you could be missing out on some pretty big opportunities to engage your audience. Armed with a greater understanding of the way different channels, tactics, and creative combinations measure up to reach your marketing goals will open up a new world of possibilities for your media spend. Interested in diving deeper into channel selection? We’ve got loads to share. Hit us up.