Job seekers seem to be taking a spray and pray approach. They’ll fling their resume at anything that moves – and that’s it. They carpet bomb their prospect list and hope someone calls them back with an interview. Job seekers are still stuck in the bad old days of marketing. What should they do differently? Adopt account-based marketing (ABM). In this part of our series, we’ll look at the framework for finding the right job with ABM.
Before we can discuss the execution of ABM tactics, we must understand the strategy. ABM is built on the basics of marketing, like the 4Ps. If it’s been a while and you haven’t read Marketing White Belt, this is a quick refresher:
Let’s examine the first P: product. When we are job hunting, we are the product for sale. We are marketing ourselves, our capabilities, our skills. The key mistake marketers make when first starting ABM practices is to assume every customer wants the same thing. Here’s the product, now buy it! That’s a sure way to turn off all but the most generic businesses – and a generic business is a generic employer. A generic employer treats its employees as replaceable commodities instead of valued specialties.
ABM best practices require us to customize not only how we communicate but the product itself to best fit the customers we want. Consider the average word processing software package like Microsoft Word. We use perhaps 10% of its features. However, customers use wildly different 10% portions of the product; the way a lawyer uses Word differs from how a scientist uses Word. If we were to market the most common features, we would risk not addressing the needs of each customer type. ABM best practices force us to focus on emphasizing what each individual customer type needs.
Consider your own career now. What skills do you have? What’s on your resume or LinkedIn profile? Consider what kind of employer you want want to work for. Which of your skills map to what that particular employer needs?
Once we know what we have – and don’t have – we can improve the product, improve ourselves. Suppose our ideal employer’s marketing talks frequently about analytics and analysis skills. Would we have a better chance of landing a job if we were a Google Analytics Certified Professional? Probably. Suppose our ideal employer’s marketing or product line is obviously driven by process, by quality improvement methods. Would we have a better chance of landing the job if we were a Lean Six Sigma certified project manager? Probably.
Here’s an exercise to try. Examine your LinkedIn profile’s skills section:
Start categorizing the different skills you’ve received endorsements for into groups, so that you can understand how to present your “features” to your ideal employer. Let’s take my skills list and start categorizing:
If I knew my ideal employer wanted a strategic marketer, I’d emphasize skills, experiences, and ideas highlighted in the red topics above.
If I knew my ideal employer wanted a strong social media marketer, I’d emphasize skills, experiences, and ideas highlighted in the yellow topics.
If I knew my ideal employer wanted a strong thought leader and speaker/brand representative, I’d emphasize skills, experiences, and ideas highlighted in the green topics.
If I knew my ideal employer wanted a marketer with development skills, I’d emphasize skills, experiences, and ideas highlighted in the blue topics.
One size doesn’t fit all companies and employers. ABM tells us to focus our product on what our ideal customer needs and wants.
Next, we’ll look at the second P: pricing.
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