Survey Says: The Most Overrated Marketing Tactics Are …


Marketing Insights for Staffing Agencies and Recruiting Firms

I was really looking forward to date night because Janice found a new “highly rated” restaurant that was the buzz of the town. It took us 3 weeks to get reservations, and I had to promise not to wear my black and white Converse sneakers.

How many times have you been disappointed when your expectations of “highly rated” don’t correspond to reality? High prices, a mediocre meal, a room so noisy I wish I had a pair of earplugs, and it turns out that I could have worn my new kicks and nobody would have noticed.

Except Janice. Turns out that discretion truly is the better part of valor.

State of Inbound Marketing 2016

It’s hard to be discrete when you see survey results that shout out for action.

Recently, HubSpot published its State of Inbound Marketing 2016 report that presented results from a survey of 4500 non-HubSpot customers with marketing backgrounds, coming from B2B, B2C, small and mid-sized businesses. Lot of interesting data and insights, but the one that jumped out to me was about what survey respondents considered to be the most overrated tactics.

If you’re involved in marketing or business development for a staffing agency or recruiting firm, you know to a certainty that your best leads are going to come from referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.

But for firms looking to grow aggressively, or put themselves in a superior competitive position, these marketing tactics may not be enough to help you reach your goals. You’ll need to consider other tactics to complement your 1:1 marketing efforts, and it’s likely that they’ll come with a price tag.

Overrated Marketing Tactics

I’m not sure what “overrated” means, but I think I can take a pretty good guess: overrated refers to tactics that don’t deliver on their premises and promises, and that don’t deliver upon the return on investment that was expected.

Here’s what they found:


You can click here to get a copy of the report from HubSpot.

Anybody Can Make a Boring Pie or Bar Chart ….

But I was looking for a way to make a dramatic impression and a point at the same time.

The data display kind of looks like a jackhammer, right? There’s a metaphor here, I believe.

A jackhammer doesn’t bust concrete with the handle; it gets the job done at the sharp, pointy end. Here, the pointy end are tactics like sales enablement (aligning marketing and sales) and marketing automation (lead scoring, nurturing, workflows, CRM) that aren’t overrated because they work. In other words, these tactics are delivering on their premise, promise, and at an expected ROI.

The lesson here for an owner, partner, or C-suiter in a staffing agency or recruiting firm is pretty straightforward: marketing requires a weave of different strategies and tactics anchored by networking, referrals, and word of mouth. But once you get into the territory of having to spend budget, it’s a good idea to create that weave from the tip to the handle, and pay attention to what marketers across a lot of different types of businesses in different types of industries are saying about overrated tactics.

6 Months to Live

Inbound Marketing for Staffing and Recruiting

Maybe Janice and I are the only ones thinking that the hot new restaurant was overrated, and I give them 6 months to live if they don’t live up to expectations. That’s probably a lot longer lifespan than mine if I had worn my black n’ whites out to a very expensive meal.

I should be able to put my fancy footwear on display for our next date night, however.

It’s my turn to choose and it turns out that the Tractor Pull is coming back to town.


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