Are changes in the HR space evolving the way products and services will be bought and sold forever?
We’re recognising significant changes in how buyers research, select and procure B2B services and none-more so than around HR services where roles, responsibilities, priorities and challenges have changed completely in comparison to pre-covid times.
HR as a problem solver
Following the pandemic, the importance of the HR function within organisations has been elevated. Hybrid working coupled with an increase in redundancy, furlough (or equivalent) or redeployment, has demanded a more agile approach using an increasing number of cloud platforms to support disparate workforces.
It has never been a more challenging time to work, and for many organisations, the employee experience impacts retention, motivation and productivity, as well as providing mental health and well-being support in ways never seen before.
HR as business defining
HR has transitioned from being a support or advisory function, to being core and the primary driver of an organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness.
New roles such as Chief People Officer and Vice President of Talent are becoming commonplace, with many now having a seat at the boardroom table.
It means that all existing assumptions about HR leaders must be challenged.
Why are we writing about this?
The Velo team contains
- Researchers who have been writing reports into the HR sector for the last 5 years;
- Campaign managers responsible for lead generation campaigns for HR software platforms;
- Customer experience specialists producing content to support users and encourage adoption of SaaS HR Software services (payroll, benefits, shift management and more) and
- Editors who have interviewed and written over 25 customer case studies for HR platforms.
We’ve pooled our observations and have come to some conclusions that we hope will help anyone working with or as a HR professional.
1. HR is more than a ‘sector’, it’s a community with its own language, etiquette and for many people, it’s a way of life. You can’t treat it like other professional services professions, nor are the services similar to any other B2B services.
2. Embedding HR support into an organisation requires adoption and behaviour change, and that needs to come through in your marcomms approach. Dynamic but clear messaging that talks on an emotional level is a must. The days of features/benefits are behind us. HR Leaders are responsible for people and their careers. Their world is important and you must reflect that.
3. People are tired of change and have short attention spans. They want HR services that solve problems, that are easy to implement and fast to pay back.
4. They expect credibility and evidence, so want you to offer them a solution they can understand and get behind. Evidence,success stories, demonstrable KPIs such as savings, employee satisfaction or time to implement have all increased in importance. Proving your claims with points of reference that are familiar and similar are now more important than ever.
5. At the heart though, there needs to be strong storytelling. Creating a clear, simple, meaningful, resonant message is the biggest challenge. It will also become your greatest asset. Owning a space and a point of difference, means your communications can be anchored with consistency and have a larger impact over time.
As a result, we think every professional service and technology company targeting HR leaders needs to be thinking about:
- A marketing approach that has a clear flow into purchase aligned to your sales team.Clear messaging, consistently applied across all services.
- A brand story that shows how the product solves recognisable user problems and perhaps even takes them on a journey of transformation – starting with the product’s ‘why’ and showing where it fits into a user’s day-to-day existence.
- A visual identity crafted with employee experience at the heart and a detailed and distinctive tone of voice.
- Simple, accessible language conveyed with credibility and points of reference.
- Campaigns using a variety of approaches including paid social, ABM, lead nurturing, content marketing and inbound promotion.
Is your marketing content truly customer centric?
Or are you positioning as a sales led organisation?
There is no right and wrong but if you want to be customer centric, your positioning and communication needs to be configured in a more creative way.
If you’re a professional services business looking for support and case studies click here.
If you’re a technology business, click here.