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| 2 minutes read

Turning Heads: converting disinterest into passive interest into active interest, over time

When Geoff walked into a Mercedes showroom to buy a new car, at that point every other manufacturer had failed. But what was it that led him to make that important decision? What was the catalyst?

It’s not easy to know for sure, but the truth is it probably started about a year beforehand, when his current car went in for a routine service that was going to cost him 5 times more than what he was expecting (lots of unbudgeted & expensive ‘work’). What did he do? Nothing. He begrudgingly paid the invoice and carried on as normal. But subliminally, at that point in time, an important seed had been sowed. He didn’t know it, but that seed was called ‘we really need to have a plan for replacing the car’.

Life carried on, and a conversation was had in the pub about cars. Someone says ‘Hey Geoff, I’ve just got a new Mercedes and its fantastic. Incredible mpg, affordable servicing... it's great’.

Seed #2 has been sown. Again, what does he do with this new information? Not much, although this time he starts to make a few online searches into the prices of approved used Mercedes and the trade-in value of his current car - This direct action now gets the attention of the Mercedes programmatic ad team, and Geoff begins to be served ‘Mercedes’ run of site ads while browsing the web.

He continues to do nothing. He sees Lewis Hamilton on TV on the podium wearing a Mercedes cap. He does nothing. He gets invited to a Mercedes sales event through social media; He doesn’t go (Geoff thinks ‘what’s the point, we can’t afford to replace the car right now’). But then, completely out of the blue, he receives a financial windfall. The company he works for is being bought out and all long-standing employees with a share option in the business are set to receive a financial bonus.

Boom - At this point everything comes together; All of the ads he’s seen, the conversations he’s been privy to, the whole ‘experience’ delivers him into the Mercedes showroom, not to ask, ‘Should I buy one?’ but to have an informed discussion about which model to buy? Estate or saloon? Metallic or non-metallic paint? What’s the servicing package? In short, he’s buying one!  

Now, let’s put all of this into a recruitment context. Our world of talent. Let’s think about the ‘Hard-to-fill roles’. ‘Skills shortages. ‘DE&I’. And, let’s think about all of the people that we want to get to come and work for us, but who are currently happily working somewhere else, with absolutely no thought of changing jobs. They are committed, they are hard-working and they are dedicated to their incumbent employer.

That is until they get overlooked for a promotion … and that is the point when they subliminally start to become ‘activated’ just like Geoff did when his car went in for a service.

Having a long-tailed, brand-led attraction plan for these scenarios is a consumer marketing concept that we should all be exploiting in the employer brand space. Passive audience targeting and buying audiences is a key shift in the way we are moving forward with our clients. It’s something that we will be discussing in detail at our ‘Employer branding webinar’ on 13 September, 2023 and we would very much like you to join us – So please click here to register and hear what our panel of experts have to say on ‘winning the war for talent’.  

Vangie Sison, Head of Employer Brand Advisory, Americas 
Richard Clough, Media Strategy Manager 


ams, candidate attraction, diversity equity inclusion, employer brand, rpo, talent acquisition