Risky business – some keys to success in intelligent marketing campaigns

One of our clients has just launched a great new marketing campaign based on RCR’s Scout-Blitz-Siege methodology .  GQ Employment Law is a boutique employment law firm working mostly with City-based employers, and their positioning is built around being ‘different’.

This means they work more like in-house lawyers, offering practical advice not just opinions; they offer a range of flexible pricing models, not just charging by the hour; and they work hard to understand each client’s appetite for risk and the psychology of the parties involved in a dispute.

To highlight the importance of the risk profile in HR and legal decision-making, they’ve just launched the GQ HR Risk Indicator – the UK’s first online indicator that enables companies to understand their attitudes to risk across four different areas of HR, and to compare results for individual managers across teams. It’s free to take, by the way, so find out your own risk profile here.

While it’s early days for the campaign it’s worth highlighting a few key success factors:

  1. Be clear about ‘why’ you are doing a campaign.  In GQ’s case, we spent quite some time together at the outset focussing on their objectives which are:
    • Raise awareness of the importance of the risk appetite in HR decision making
    • Differentiate GQ in a crowded marketplace as a law firm that sees things ‘differently’
    • Create messages and materials that can be used for business development
    • Develop offers, such as workshops built around the indicator, that can be used to enhance client relationships
  2. Develop some unique IP.  The Risk Indicator is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK which means it stands out, as well as reflecting GQ’s positioning of seeing things differently and not through a narrow legalistic framework.  It was relatively simple for GQ and RCR to create the short questionnaire, with some help from GQ’s online agency Barnes Graham to create the web version, and over time it will generate data from respondents which we can use to drive future marketing activity.  Together with GQ we have also developed some supporting collateral, such as a Prezi online slideshow, and an interpretive article, all of which are available online.
  3. Invest time in planning.  During the Scout phase, we helped GQ develop an integrated communications plan which meant that on the launch date all of the initial phase of Blitz activities fell smoothly into place, following pre-launch awareness raising through the firm’s newsletter, tweets and events:
    • On the day, the indicator and materials went live on the website (having been thoroughly tested)
    • New banner posted on the GQ home page highlighting the launch
    • Mailing to GQ’s contact list to make them aware of the launch
    • Press release issued under embargo the previous day to target media and analysts, and followed up by GQ’s PR agency, Mattison Public Relations
    • Social media campaign using Twitter and LinkedIn rolled out on the launch date
    • Telemarketing team were thoroughly briefed in advance to give them another ‘talking point’ with prospects
  4. Keep up the momentum.  Over the following weeks, we’ve helped GQ to keep up the profile of the Risk Indicator campaign by:
    • Highlighting press coverage such as this article from Global Recruiter, with links from the website and social media
    • Ongoing programme of Tweets and LinkedIn status updates coordinated through HootSuite
    • Article in GQ’s monthly newsletter on the launch and reactions to it
  5. Monitor results and plan for the next phase.   Taking account of our initial objectives, some of the indicators that we’ve been monitoring include:
    • Open and click-through rates on emails
    • Number of survey respondents
    • Numbers of re-tweets and shares
    • Press coverage
    • Website traffic

Over time, we will also be monitoring awareness levels via a client survey and tracking take-up of the workshop offer among the client base.

Looking ahead, the next Siege phase of the campaign will include:

  • Segmenting the results from the survey respondents to identify interesting trends and drive further marketing activity
  • Further mailings
  • Developing bylined articles for target media on the Indicator and the results
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Using the Risk Indicator as another ‘proof point’ of GQ’s genuine difference from its competitors

It’s early days for this campaign so we won’t be able to evaluate the results in a meaningful way for a while, but so far it’s been extremely encouraging, generating some great anecdotal feedback and ‘conversation starters’ with clients and prospects.   From GQ’s point of view, this campaign has required an investment of time, but the cash costs have been low, demonstrating that great marketing is as much about creativity, intelligence and good planning, as it is about ‘flashing the cash’.

Jon Gilligan, one of the GQ partners, sums up the firm’s feelings so far: “We believe in doing things differently and in trying to help our clients in ways that are meaningful to their businesses, not just about pushing our view of legal issues.  The Risk Indicator is designed to do that and, while we can’t point to results such as increase in sales from this campaign as yet, we can say that it’s succeeding in getting us noticed and talked about in all the right ways.”