By John Sumser
Influence comes in a variety of shapes and forms. In some cases, it’s nearly causal – an analyst recommends a product and a customer buys it. In others, it’s contextual – an event manager picks the slate of speakers that drives industry buzz for the next 30 days. In still others, it’s creative – thinkers and researchers develop the language used to discuss the industry. In still others, it’s community – conflict and dialog about the issues of the day shaping industry wide perception.
A tiny but influential group are the clarifiers.
Kevin Grossman, CEO of HR Marketer, performs this function tirelessly. As the information manager for the industry’s communications channel, he sorts, filters and compiles the database of opportunity and connection.
It’s not easy to know who’s who in the HR-Recruitment Industry. There are 7,000,000 companies in the United States alone. Each one of them buys products and services from the 80,000 vendors.
In addition to the broad functional areas of the industry covered last time, there are an enormous range of communications channels. Online communities, professional associations, regional networks, newsletters, email lists, blogs, magazines, marketing companies, marketing departments, financial industry analysts, PR firms, podcasters, online radio shows and event management companies all vie for the attention of the marketplace.
Making sense of it all is a challenge for practitioners, companies, marketeers and the analysts who try to figure it put for a living.
Simply knowing the schedules and opportunities is a big enough problem for more than one company to tackle. There are thousands of meetings in search of speakers, tons of periodicals desiring content, a horde of journalists in need of someone to interview and a throng of marketers wanting to help fill the voids.
Creating a marketplace where vendors and content outlets intersect is the heart of the business at HRMarketer. The agile, nearly virtual company, based in Santa Cruz, CA, exists to introduce the various sides of the transactions to each other. The headquarters operation is a block and a half from the beach. It’s crowded when the entire staff shows up.
CEO Kevin Grossman guides the operation as it methodically increases its influence and presence. HRMarketer’s 700 customers are usually marketing departments trying to stay on top of rapidly changing press connections and industry events. They use HRMarketer’s database of events, editorial calendars, contacts and opportunities to plan and refine their marketing spend.
Grossman is a mild-mannered Kris Kristofferson lookalike. His personality seems to permeate the company. Modest and sincere, Grossman plies his trade with clarity authenticity; this is somewhat unusual in marketing circles.
Fifteen years ago, if you wanted to make a big impact in the industry, you needed a really big marketing budget. Without a single company supplying the information that HRMarketer provides, every company had to figure it out for themselves. In the process of building the database, HRMarketer has rationalized the industry and made the market accessible to smaller vendors.
By lowering a fundamental barrier to entry, HRMarketer enriches the marketplace. Companies that couldn’t afford to be heard can now build an audience. Keeping the firms focus on information, Grossman is increasingly the industry’s prime advocate for DIY (Do It Yourself) Marketing.
He’s presided over a slew of new products, from search optimized Press Releases to the latest Search Engine Optimization toolkit. Each new tool gives marketers the information necessary to reach out and discover their customers. Quietly and methodically, Grossman is reshaping the HR-Recruitment industry.
cialis purchase -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial;”>His blog is a great source of insight for vendors and practitioners alike. Grossman is an active member of twitter as @KevinWGrossman. He’s experimenting with a broad range of social networking tools in his attempt to deliver value to his customers.
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