New online marketing campaign

The Internet is a giant blank marketing canvas for a brand like gradar to cut through the noise and find new ways to get prospective clients to sign up.

fail early, fail forward.

Online marketing has been our focus since day two of our journey. Day one saw additional efforts such as exhibiting on Europe’s biggest HR-fair or trying to place articles in HR-magazines. We had some pretty stupid and costly ideas for an organisation that is operating in a niche market such as we do with our job evaluation system and our reward management consulting services. We stopped most offline efforts in 2015 and subsequently focused on online marketing activities.

We never really hopped onto the start-up bandwagon during the years to follow with the only notable exception being our regular participation in the HR Innovation roadshow. On the one hand our key players either did not have the time due to working several jobs and raising a family or on the other hand just could not be bothered to shake hands and small talk in these rather self referential circles. The HR Innovation show has been rather irrelevant for us business wise but good fun nevertheless as a format to try out new presentations and approaches to tell the story of gradar. Truth be told, it’s more about meeting colleagues and friends than generating new leads.

online rulez

Luckily for us we have been around the internet since the dawn of the world wide web and are still tech-savvy enough to understand its full potential. That’s why we had built an early landing page for gradar on day zero, well before the product was live and began working on several Adwords campaigns early on. The campaign with Google is highly successful, the one on LinkedIn was quite expensive and did not really generate leads and the the one on Twitter was a complete failure. We are not falling for the sunk costs fallacy.

A great help has been our relationship with the amazing team of Duplexmedia, a Düsseldorf based media agency, that is amongst the most innovative and clever agencies out there. They not only helped us with the technical implementation of our websites but assisted with advice and counsel during the development of new ideas and initiatives.

Core of our online marketing efforts is the product page gradar.com. This website has been localised fully in Arabic (coming soon), Dutch, English, French, German and Spanish and hosts partial versions in Russian, Slovenian and Turkish language. Implementing the latter showed us that it is rather inconvenient to do a full translation of the website and to keep it up-to-date. Talking to Klaas, our SEO specialist & consultant from the Netherlands, we realised that it might be more efficient to set up dedicated landing pages for gradar in languages of interest for us.

As of today we are proud to be live with four landing pages in Dutch, English, German and Turkish:

All of our websites have in common a lot of organic content. Organic content refers to the pages of a website that are written and subsequently found primarily by users typing keywords into search engines like Google and … there used to be others … maybe Ask.com, Bing or Yahoo? We have been very successful in placing gradar.com and the associated landing pages on the first page of Google searches, all thanks to our approach to openly share information.

For a term like „Stellenbewertung“, which is job evaluation in German, we used to be on position 8 one year ago. Nowadays we are on position 2. The same is true for „Job Evaluation“ and Google search results in English. We used to be on position 100 something one year ago, today our website gradar.com is often shown as a result within the top ten. We are going to repeat this success within the Netherlands and Turkey soon thus minimising our costs for lead-acquisitions.

conclusion

We are an Internet-based company with a web-based product, serving clients all over the world. By the way, we use the word client instead of customer as we operate in a B2B setting and a client is someone who engages the services of a professional in order to seek advice. Since we are an Internet-based company our marketing will be too. It’s going to be a much more international effort than in the past since our partners do by now understand the benefit of being online and drawing in prospective clients through a website. Exceptions will be made for (e.g. educational) events that we are genuinely interested in or that might make us happy for reasons beyond generating new business.