Paul D’Arcy has a similar job than his customers’: he has to stand out in a crowded field. As senior VP marketing of Indeed, he’s charged with boosting the profile of the recruiting site in a market cluttered with 40,000 job-search sites in the U.S. alone.
That fragmentation has created an opportunity for Indeed, which now has more than 200 million unique visitors monthly around the world—60 countries and 28 languages—and accounts for more than half of the hires in the U.S. that come from online listings, according to third-party data. Creating messages for that many different segments is a challenge, says D’Arcy, but Indeed has built a series of organizations to adapt to local audiences around the world, create and deliver quality thought-leadership content and do it all at the speed of the job market.
Indeed’s latest global campaign, “Resume” broke recently in the U.S. and has been adapted for markets worldwide. The new spots were created in-house with agency DCX Growth Accelerator and are part of a larger campaign including out of home and online video.
D’Arcy spoke to Velocitize about marketing’s place in product development, how to build a global team and why you won’t find resume-writing advice on Indeed’s site.
You’ve said before that great marketing starts with great product. Does marketing have to become involved in the product functions?
This is something that we’ve thought a lot about. We’ve built a big organization of what we call “growth marketers.”
Those marketers have very specialized skills. They tend to be really good at online digital marketing, running and analyzing A/B tests and then doing the content for the site, but then they bridge back to all the marketing capabilities that we provide. We have those embedded marketers in all of our product sites around the world, completely connected to the product teams.
You opened a “campaign lab” overseas in Ireland. Can you explain what that does?
What we do is continuously test different experiments, testing different messages and different vehicles. We started that as a group that just did tests; a group would be a creative director, a designer and a project manager and that trio would be able to bring an ad to market and run the test.
Based on the success of that, we actually took all our core and brand advertising work and it is now led by that team. All the advertising that we do around the world goes through those sort of processes, where we are extensively testing, trying different things and are doing rapid-velocity development of different advertising ideas and concepts to put things in the market.
So how do you balance that centralization with the agility to tailor for local markets?
It’s a challenging thing. There are some markets where we do very different things that are locally developed, but that our central team plays a role in managing. For example, our campaigns in Japan and India are very different than the work we have anywhere else in the world. They are very different markets with very different needs. They’re culturally different, but also different when it comes to the world of work and the space we’re in.
Our current ad though, the “Resume” ad, we designed to run in multiple markets around the world. It’s customized and reassembled for different markets based on local issues that we see in different markets and with voiceovers that are appropriate. We have designed it from the beginning to be locally relevant in a lot of different places.
You also have a research unit called The Hiring Lab. What is its relevance to your marketing?
We’re a jobs site, so a lot of what we do is help people hire and help people find jobs. As part of that, when we think about how to fulfill our mission, which is to help people get jobs and to have a bigger voice in the world, a key part of this is having a voice in the global labor conversation.
We’ve built this amazing team of labor economists and writers that do research on the labor market in all the countries where we operate and that is picked up in media around the world. It gives us a voice in helping fulfill our mission around the world.
A lot of that content is focused on the recruiter, HR and business-leader side, as well as a subset of job seekers. They’re not creating content on how to write a resume, or tips and tricks for finding a job, or things like that. It’s more academic, labor-related research.
So you have two different audiences.
Three, actually: We have recruiters, we have job seekers and small businesses often hire directly. It’s often the person who runs the business—the owner or the CEO—that hires directly because they don’t have recruiters there. That’s an important third audience for us.
Most small business hiring in the U.S. and in many other countries now happens on Indeed. They manage all their hiring and their communications with candidates, all on Indeed’s platform.
We’ve built a set of tools for anyone who doesn’t have an applicant tracking system—the software that companies use to hire. They can come directly on Indeed and manage their entire hiring process.
You’ve also made statements that are a bit cool on tools like programmatic and content marketing. Why is that?
Content is very important to us. The Hiring Lab is very critical content strategy, for example. But I think there’s this trend towards the mass production of content for content’s sake, as opposed to the audience’s sake, that is not doing companies or marketers any service. The number of organizations that have a content calendar that has National Donut Day, for example, and are putting out a social post around that schedule, plus every permutation of that, is not making the world a better place.
The tough thing about content is it almost always requires a lot of localization—not just translation, but really local creation—to be good. It’s one of those things that is very hard to scale and keep up to date. We try to do a much more narrow set of content that we can bring to audiences around the world and manage really well; that has been our strategy around that.
We’ve seen a lot of organizations proliferate mediocre content. That doesn’t strengthen their brand.