‘War, transphobia, discrimination’: Indeed.com CMO on the issues marketers must address
Indeed.com’s chief marketing officer Jessica Jensen is feeling overwhelmed by the number of societal issues that marketers should tackle. She speaks after it drops its latest ad discussing trans etiquette in the workplace.
Speaking as the head of marketing at the job site, Jensen says: “The feeling that as a socially conscious business, the number of political and social issues we could or should respond to in a given week is exploding, and it’s just complicated – what do you engage with and what do you not?"
She adds: “I know so many CMOs who are thinking about war, transphobia and discrimination against women and the pay gap – it’s an endlessly expanding mountain of troubling issues to address."
Her comments came ahead of Indeed.com rolling out its ‘A New Beginning’ campaign, which went live in the UK on Monday (June 13). The 30-second spot featured a transgender candidate nervously prepping for a job interview, to have their nerves calmed by an employer asking for their pronouns.
Indeed.com said that for a large number of people within the LGBTQ+ community, an important aspect of a person’s uniqueness and identity are the pronouns they use to tell the world who they are. However, it claimed the workplace has not yet embraced pronouns and gender identity. “We wanted to use this spot to get people within the world of work who don’t understand the importance of gender pronouns to see that pronouns are core to a person’s identity and should be celebrated,” Indeed.com wrote.
The work follows Indeed.com’s partnership with Mika for Pride 2021, which focused on promoting empathy in the workplace.
The A New Beginning campaign is part of Jensen’s strategy to put candidates facing employment barriers at the center of its marketing. “We [Indeed.com] are trying to be a social driver of people to expand their access to jobs, but a social driver for businesses and organizations to be more inclusive and ultimately run their businesses more effectively,” Jensen says. “We help all people get jobs, but we specifically help people that face barriers get jobs.”
Indeed is also looking to help women strike better deals with their employers and break down ethnic stereotypes in the hiring process. The type of marketing activities ranges from below-the-line ads to paid partnerships with the likes of Stylist magazine to host ‘women in the workplace’ events.
Away from brand purpose, Jensen tells The Drum that Indeed’s marketing needs to be super reactive and able to shift its messaging to meet the fluctuation of industries and the economic conditions of a particular territory.
Steering a job site through the greatest change in employment is no easy feat. Jensen quickly learned to adapt her marketing plans to “eb and flow” in line with new health regulations and changing attitudes of workers. “We were moving money around between industry segments and businesses where we saw trends emerging,” she says – for example, investing in health work and disinvesting in hospitality. More recently Indeed.com has ramped up spend where there are warehouse and haulage shortages.
Elsewhere, Jensen shared her media strategy, saying she still primarily relies on TV, radio, SEO and social. She jokes, “and don’t knock direct mail, it still works and it’s the unsung hero of the business marketing world.”
Keen to iron out her TikTok strategy, Indeed.com currently uses the platform to distribute a mix of cultural commentary, namely around empathy and diversity, and then practical tips on interview techniques. Jensen says Indeed.com “needs to reach young people who have been displaced by the pandemic.” This has led the business to also explore a gaming partnership with Twitch and become the official sponsor of Channel 4’s E4 network. “Some of our marketing has been quite earnest and pulling on the heartstrings, but the projects we are doing on Twitch, TikTok and with E4 are more fun and creative,” she adds.
“For the foreseeable future we are fortunate that there is more labor demand than supply, and with aging populations that will continue for a while,” she says.