Account-Based Marketing: Everything You Need To Know From Clair Bush

Published on: 7 Apr 2017

Clair Bush

Barclay Jones are passionate about digital recruitment marketing, and working with marketers and recruitment leaders to improve brand, leads and talent attraction. They recently invited Clair Bush, International Marketing Director at Bullhorn onto their Recruitment Leaders Podcast Series to get her views on digital marketing and the recruitment industry. Check out some of their conversation below:

Tell us about your new role at Bullhorn and how it differs from your time at Broadbean. 

I’m relatively new to Bullhorn and I’m still settling in but I have to say, it’s possibly been the easiest transition of my career to date. Four years at Broadbean was the best job I’d had in the industry so far and I say that hand on heart. Not only are the people there phenomenal (there’s some seriously great people and great minds) but they have a fantastic culture and ethos which was one of the biggest points for me. I’m kind of career focused in that I don’t like to be boxed in, which definitely wasn’t the case at Broadbean. I spent a good four years there pushing the boundaries of what I knew and where we could take the brand. Bullhorn had been on my radar and I’d met a couple of people here over the years, but I really got to like and understand that their culture is very similar to what I had at Broadbean which was a massive tick.

The role itself came kind of left of field. Bullhorn had never had the role of ‘International Marketing Director’ before. International under Peter Linas has basically exploded. We went into the Netherlands a couple of years ago, we’re looking to go into Germany over the next 12-24 months and obviously expand further through mainland Europe. There’s the Australia offering as well so they thought it was about time to kind of unite all the business elements under a global brand and marketing strategy. They’ve got a phenomenal team over in the US, but as we all know, European marketing and particularly UK marketing doesn’t necessarily sit hand in hand with US marketing and US approaches. Bullhorn were very conscious that we had a local feel and that’s why I’m here!

What is ABM and why do you want to talk about it today?

ABM is the biggest buzzword around marketing at the moment. ‘Account based marketing’ has been around for years and years. 20 years ago, I remember thinking cold calling was the most horrific thing in the world. I’d just finished a degree which was based around relationship marketing and the principle is basically using the data that you have to your disposal to encourage a further and deeper connection. The idea is to use the information you’ve got to strike up a conversation with someone that you’re developing a relationship with. In a nutshell, it’s about using what you’ve got.

What practical tips do you have to offer on ABM and what it means?

The biggest thing for me is that ABM doesn’t just belong to marketing, it belongs to and should sit with the recruiters. It should sit with those relationship developers. It’s one role that all of them (resourcers, recruiters, marketers) should be able to do. It’s the basic principles of networking. ABM uses basic information and data and building up a picture of the prospect you’re trying to engage with. When you get to the point where you have a dialogue, you can use that information to build trust and develop that relationship further which hopefully then continues through to a close whether that’s a placement or a job you’re looking to bring on. It’s basically a tool to develop relationships.

Give me a scenario where this could work in practice?

Essentially everything starts with your database so it starts with your CRM. If you can get into your system and figure out who or what type of accounts have been your best yield accounts, then you start there. Where are you getting the most placements? Where do you get the most flow of jobs? If you’ve got that identified you’re on step one. Then what you do as a principle of marketing is you map out the market using the data you’ve got there. What you’re looking for is patterns. Look at high yield accounts where you’ve got enough data to be able to say you’re good at placing bodies into that particular type of organisation and then you use the tech to help map out the rest. You look at what you own now and what you’ve got as a prospect opportunity. You use the systems and the real advances in marketing to make that happen.

Do you have an opinion on the fact that the average recruitment marketeer in the UK potentially does not have a decent data set?

I feel like the biggest frustration is the CRM. When I last worked for an agency, the CRM was a recruiter’s tool and not a marketer’s tool. 20 years ago, when I first started working in marketing I was creating the CRM. It was the thing that meant marketing and sales were working together. I feel like we’ve come full circle at Bullhorn. We have a totally integrated approach and this, I think, is a model that should be replicated within the recruitment industry. The whole industry is one that should be moving at a rate of knots. It’s all about removing the barriers. I’m a massive simplification freak. I will move the barriers to business. It’s not about the egos, it’s about candidate experience. If you remove those barriers and if your business is aligned to have integrated sales and marketing teams then you’ll succeed a lot faster and the flow will become a lot easier. Your data becomes cleaner because everyone has a vested interest in it.

In your world, how can a marketeer become more integrated into the sales process? Tips?

 I think it’s all about understanding the recruiter’s role. For me, I pride myself on being able to talk to anybody. It’s all about cultural alignment at the beginning because the culture enables those relationships to develop. Marketing has a reputation as this ‘colouring-in department’ but that simply is not the case anymore! I can’t tell you the last time I had a lunch break when I was working in a recruitment agency, you just keep going all the time because resources are low. You’d be lucky if you could corner anybody for a bit of help. You’ve got such a breadth of role in terms of making the experience work, technology, making sure the website is up to speed and enabling the inbound activity that recruiters really need. Recruiters need to understand that marketing is more valuable than resourcing, it really is up there. It’s not just about finding the candidates it’s about finding the place for your business to go and thrive.


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