Until the recent tailback in the Suez Canal, shipping probably wasn’t on the minds of most people – especially young digital and tech talents looking for a top job. However, Maersk believes it offers a unique career path for new graduates. Because of this, Snapchat has tried to reach its target audience directly with a new employment story for an old brand. The good and bad results were unexpected.
Shipping on the world’s waterways suddenly caught everyone’s attention when the Suez Canal was clogged this week by a ship the size of a skyscraper. People quickly learned that 10% of global imports go through this important entry point. You have also witnessed how delaying hundreds of freighters can create significant economic problems.
The strength and importance of the global supply chain and its maintenance are a daily concern for the Danish shipping giant AP Moller – Maersk. It was also the focus of a Snapchat-centric talent surge that debuted in November.
While the choice of venue is surprising, the content and results are also surprising – which were both good and, in one case, bad.
The heart of the campaign is Maersk’s music video “Together, all the way – a hymn”, which contains rap texts about “data, blockchain, chip and code” as well as choreographed dancing with shipping boxes.
It’s definitely not your typical business-to-business brand talent recruiting video, but Maersk decided to embrace the “all the way” mantra when it launched its most radical talent campaign to date.
Sam Poulter, Head of Corporate Branding at Maersk, says, “The same rules apply whether you work at Snap or in legacy media. If it’s useful, relevant, and attracts attention and can grab attention that people want to interact with, then you’ve succeeded. You are asking someone to interact for those precious three seconds, five seconds, and hopefully a minute and a half of the day. It can’t be dusty news. “
Attract talent from Google and Facebook
Maersk, which is responsible for 20% of all global shipments, is in direct competition with the world’s Googles and Facebooks when it comes to attracting talent. It has to fill a variety of roles in four key markets: in its hometown of Copenhagen, in the US, in the UK and in India. In India in particular, hundreds of job vacancies will be posted in the next 12 to 24 months.
To address the problem head on, the company has partnered with Havas UK to sell the dream of what it is like to work at Maersk. It debuted its two-pronged “all the way” campaign on Snapchat while testing Facebook / Instagram and LinkedIn at the same time. Due to its success, it is also dipping its toes in the waters of TikTok and Reddit.
The first pen shows his energetic music video “Anthem”. Colorful and bold, it is less about ocean freight than about “the obligation to connect the world in such a way that everyone has the opportunity and ability to act, grow and prosper”.
In the second wave of video content, actual employees discuss themselves and their activities. By mid-March, the results on Snapchat included:
431,000 video views.
1.9% click rate.
The average cost per swipe-up is around 83 cents.
India is the hero market with 176,300 clicks.
94% of the content reached talents under 35 years of age.
“In the first few weeks of tracking, it was clear that Snapchat was working,” says Poulter, who had viewed Snapchat as a platform years ago but hadn’t found the right time. Today he says: “The evidence stories of employees who talk about what they are working on and why they love to work here have a positive impact both organically and through the paid social environment.”
A considered approach to a new channel
The Snapchat campaign “All the way” was started in four phases: In phase one, snippets of teasers from the music video “Anthem” were published in November. Phase two saw four Snap ads from the video that ran up through the holidays. The third phase in January and February focused on trivia and employee stories. The fourth phase, which runs this month, looks more deeply into employee experience and job roles at Maersk.
The content was paired with parameters that matched the branded film, including travel lovers, culture, tech and gadgets, entrepreneurs, and even “party people”.
The aim was to raise awareness of these new talent pools – including the party people – and to change the perception of those who already know Maersk but may have an outdated view of the brand. Diversity, sustainability and digitization were among the most important pillars. “It got us on the radar and got people thinking about Maersk as a place where they can actually thrive.”
The content directs people to Maersk’s careers page and a full microsite that features employee stories.
Such a considered approach is essential, says Jillian Ryan, principal analyst at eMarketer. She warns that Snapchat is easy to access, but it’s also easy to mess with. “HR will look at that and say, ‘Oh, this is the place we can play. However, you shouldn’t attempt to use Snapchat for recruiting purposes and recruiting brand awareness unless you have a fully baked strategy. “
“It’s not just somewhere you go and experiment,” says Ryan. “You really need to know exactly which cohort you want to reach and what you want to reach it with. What is your employer brand story that you would like to publish? You need to have the resources to create this content over the long term and build the flywheel. “
Unexpected setback in Maersk’s backyard
One place Maersk didn’t invest dollars in was Twitter. But there the shipping giant got a lot of attention, albeit the type he didn’t want. In his hometown of Copenhagen, the new direction and tone drew the ire of some local branding experts.
“In your opinion, this was too far from our core brand,” says Poulter. “We are a 100 year old company and a national icon. So in our home market there was a bit of learning that went from 0 to 100. We didn’t know there would be such strong feelings. But it can’t just be about showing our blue ships that everyone loves. It was a storm in a teacup for three weeks on Twitter. “
He says the global response so far has been extremely positive, with a positive rating of 87%. Best of all, says Poulter, the campaign helped cast roles by staying true to its values.
EMarketer’s Ryan is unsurprised by the campaign’s success, saying this is just the latest example of how fast B2B marketing has evolved. “It’s a sometimes misguided notion that B2B always stands behind consumer-centric brands. The pandemic has shown how agile and nimble B2B companies can be. “
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