Marketing should underpin your bid for retainers



Scrolling through LinkedIn, I came across a great post from Jon Brooks which read,

If you want to win retainers, don't focus on asking for the retainer. Apple doesn't ask people to queue outside their shops when they launch a new phone. They make people want the new phone, and the queues follow. Focus on making your clients *want* to work with you, and the retainer will follow.


It got me thinking about the role effective marketing can play in your bid to win more retainers.

Picture this, you’ve pitched for a retainer because you know you can deliver.

The problem is, the client might not know this.

Yes, you’ve sold them on your experience and expertise, you’ve told them you have a strong network of suitable candidates and you’ve gone in with a competitive price. However, so has your competitor.

So, can the battle already be won before you’ve entered the (virtual) boardroom?


This is where the marketing comes in...


It’s important to focus on the impact marketing has in helping recruiters to sell without selling and win better business.

Of course, there’s no substitute for a job well done and customer experience should be valued above all else by recruiters.

However, where marketing can be a game changer is in its application alongside the recruitment process and should be a recruiter’s best friend. When used as more than just an afterthought or a ‘nice to have’, it’s an effective tool that drives your business forward and amplifies the work of the recruitment team.

Thankfully, with a bit of attention and know-how, it’s fairly simple to do...

Know your brand

One key element to winning clients over in the first place is by having a clear vision and understanding what your brand stands for.

Start by asking yourself a few questions:

· What makes you unique and great?

· What are the advantages of working with you?

· What value can you add throughout the hiring process?

· Do you demonstrate a level of service that’s above and beyond your competition?

· Is it in keeping with the expectations of a retained partnership?

Then ask yourself whether you’re doing everything in your power to communicate this as effectively as possible in the market.

Is it clearly communicated on your website? Do you shout about it on social media? What collateral are you sharing? And are your consultants playing their part in showcasing the full ‘you’?

Being vocal about what sets you apart from your competition in a way that ties into your overall brand message will make you your clients sit up and take notice.

Add genuine value

Yes, the purpose of winning the retainer is, of course, to help your client grow their team, but what more can you do to add value to their whole experience with you and at what point does this value-add start?

Are you sharing relevant, engaging content with them that indicates you’ve got your finger on the pulse of your core industries, specialisms and the talent market?

Drawing on a targeted marketing and content strategy to position you front of mind is a crucial way of getting strong trust and buy in from your clients.

Equally, are you sharing insights, research or reports with them? The significance of sharing your market knowledge and understanding of the candidate market with your clients should not be overlooked. If you don’t, your clients won’t know where your expertise lies.

If a prospective client stopped to read a piece of content on your website or an informative LinkedIn update from one of your team, then there’s a better chance they’ll read the pitch email or answer your call.

Demonstrating why you’d be an effective recruitment partner will go a long way to securing retained business and having a marketing strategy that underpins this will be key.



What's next?

If you're looking to get help with your marketing activity, Nineteen Marketing can assist you with cost-effective, strategy-led recruitment marketing that’s designed with your end goal in mind.

Speak to us today about how we can give you the tools and guidance to put in place a marketing strategy that works for you.