Reed.co.uk is working with Weve to target geolocated ads to people in its 2015 marketing push that will also see it run native ads in partnership with Buzzfeed.
The recruiter is kicking off the year with forays into uncharted marketing channels as it looks to continue the disruptive thread it started in 2012 with the launch of its TV ad featuring the loud and brash Captain Reed superhero character.
Geo-targeted messages are being pushed to customers of the UK's three biggest mobile phone operators which are all part of the Weve joint venture - EE, Vodafone and O2 - as they walk through various locations across London such as travel terminals. Messages are tweaked based on location and audience segmentation that will see different versions of the creative served to people on the move.
Speaking at The Drum's Digital Convergence conference in London today (25 February), Mark Rhodes, marketing director at Reed.co.uk, said the contextual ads would "surprise" and "delight" but possibly "annoy" people - an extension of the reaction its ads have drawn from people, he added
"So far it is working really well in terms of having an above average click-through rate," Rhodes said. "[Campaigns like this] speak to that point about how you bridge the gap between brand and direct response. One of the things we've been doing with our outdoor campaigns was to specially target major transport hubs because we know that there is a certain mindset people are in when travelling to and from work in terms of how they feel about their jobs."
The recruitment specialist has also roped in Buzzfeed to broaden its reach. Articles are being developed in partnership with the editorial team covering work and careers of specific audiences. One article currently running for example, lists the "most amazing jobs that aren't your jobs right now", Rhodes added.
Social media will continue to have a role in Reed.co.uk's expanding media plan albeit less so than it has previously. "Social media doesn't really work for us as a direct response mechanism," admitted Rhodes.
"Job seeking is an inherently private business so we see the medium as just a way for us to build our brand, engage with individuals and personalise our tone of voice. Some of this is campaign based and some of it is more news jacking activity."
Despite the business pushing to reach younger audiences, it has not discounted older job seekers but Rhodes admitted this will be a challenge.
He added: "That audience is important to us. With a business like ours we want to see those with more desirable talents in terms of our clients. I think with that audience we're quite lucky at the moment because the 45 plus demographic has grown up knowing the Reed name. In the UK it's associated with jobs and recruitment. We don't want to be complacent but we're doing quite well appealing to that demographic already.
"TV is one way of appealing to that audience. But the question is about creative and whether it is necessarily going to appeal to an older audience; not necessarily. There's lots of stuff that we do in terms of hygiene factors of our campaigns, such as paid search and retargeting - retargeting is an excellence way for us to link slight elements of the campaign with proactive details of what people are searching on. That works fantastically well [in reaching older job seekers]."
The investments form part of a wider campaign in 2015 that sees the Captain Reed brand character return as lifestyle guru playfully pledging to solve peoples' job woes.