HRMarketer: Buyers’ Guide

On January 24, 2010, in John Sumser, Reviews, by John Sumser

The HRMarketers Buyers Guide

The HRMarketers Buyer's Guide

HRMarketer: Buyers’ Guide

Aptos, California is a small beach village, just south of the college town of Santa Cruz. Nestled in a tiny valley right on the water, Aptos would be a bad place to be in a Tsunami. The valley is about three blocks wide and seven deep. It opens like an inverted funnel onto a small patch of sand. There’s a coffee shop or two and not much else.

About the only business you can easily discern close to the beach is the tiny office of HRMarketer. The mostly virtual company occasionally hosts its entire team on site. There is still room to walk around when everyone is in the office. But not much. I love visiting them because they are wonderful folks and I usually get a walk on the beach when I’m there.

HRMarketer’s strength is its marketing management system. Vendors (who are the company’s primary customers) use the firm’s software to manage their marketing budgets. In a single unified tool, HRMarketer delivers press release distribution, editorial calendar management, trade show planning, budgeting and scheduling tools. Recently, the firm has begun to expand its offerings to include a online Directory of Human Resources Vendors, a community for HR professionals and a free paper based vendor phone book.

For the Human Resource Executive, HR Marketer offers one of the largest repositories of HR white papers and product information available anywhere online. You might wonder why a company that serves HR Marketers offers material for HR pros. There are two parts of the answer to that question. First, HR Marketer needs to be in touch with their customers’ markets in order to deliver useful advice. Second, by building out a ‘community’ of HR pros, the firm expands its direct reach to the customers’ customer base for marketing purposes.

As new media disruption continues apace, it gets harder to tell the difference between the marketing company and the market. In building a base of Human Resources Buyers, HR Marketer is able to get clearer intelligence on buyer behavior while simultaneously influencing it. It’s a business model that might not have been possible in the non-digital, pre Internet universe.

Recently, HR Marketer delivered its 2009 HR Buyer’s guide. The 17 page report summarizes the data HR Marketer collected from its HR Buyer community in the fall of 2009. It’s interesting to vendors and HR pros alike.

Here are some highlights:

  • HR buyers turn to the Internet first when beginning their search to identify vendors for HR products/services they are interested in purchasing. For the first time since we’ve done these reports, the Internet surpasses peers in our survey;
  • HR buyers value industry content (e.g., white papers) and other organic online sources of information as a primary source of product/service information much more than ever before – more than print or online media advertising;
  • Thirty-one percent of HR professionals report their company will hire 10-20 percent more staff in 2010;
  • Twenty-six percent of HR buyers plan on increasing their budgets for HR-related products and services in 2010;
  • As a group, HR buyers plan on increasing their budgets by 25 percent in 2010 for corporate social networking tools, employee wellness programs, management and leadership development initiatives, performance management systems, and other training and development programs;
  • Key “pain points” for HR in 2010 include assessments and selection, applicant tracking and talent management systems, coaching and mentoring, corporate social networking, I-9 compliance and E-Verify, employee self-service, and work-life programs;
  • HR buyer participation in social media and the consumption of social media- delivered content such as blogs, social networking sites, white papers, research reports, podcasts and webcasts continues to increase;

Of particular interest is the survey of online services in which Human Resource Executives participate. SHRM has the largest penetration of any organization (35% of those surveyed use SHRM Connect). The rest of the insider sites are ranked:

  • – 31%
  • Human Capital Institute- 14%
  • HRM Today – 11%
  • – 9%
  • – 8%
  • RecruiterEarth – 2%
  • KnowledgeFusion – 1%

If you are a Human Resource Executive or an aspiring professional, the HR Marketer Buyer’s Guide is a useful way to get a sense of what the rest of the industry is doing in 2010.

In future editions, we hope the HR Marketer team will give more visibility to market segmentation. While it is very interesting to see the aggregate data, most Human Resource Executives operate in very specific industries in companies of specific sizes. While it is interesting to know the pain points, it’s important to understand whether they are in large or small companies and whether they’re the same in mining as they are in entertainment. In it’s current form, the Buyer’s guide offers really valuable insight into the general market but is less useful in a specific case.

The future of software is data and services. HR Marketer is one of a few visionary SaaS (Software as a Service) providers who understand that software is useless without data. Their toolkit enables Vendors to optimize their marketing spend. The fantastic side benefit is that the data is available to practitioners who can use it for their own market intelligence.

Read previous post:
On The Go v2.04

On The Go v2.04 Watching the careers of HR Executives for clues Arne Boudewyn joined the Wells Fargo Family Dynamics...