I have a confession. I’m a NY Giants fan at heart. But as Creative Director for Haley Marketing, I’m surrounded by Bills fans. And if you’re a football fan anywhere in the U.S., you undoubtedly saw the recent news that the Bills signed controversial wide receiver TO (Terrell Owens) to a one year deal. While I’m not sure about the football smarts of that decision, no question is was a brilliant marketing move.

For the past decade, the Bills have been a conservative company in a small market. They’ve had no star power and mediocre (at best) results on the field. Yet one signing has changed everything. TO brings notoriety. He brings national attention. And in just his first week, he has brought a flood of merchandise purchases. While many consider TO a ticking time bomb in the locker room, by taking a risk in signing this player, the Bills have produced an instantaneous positive result at the box office.

And that brings me to your marketing. Are you taking a few risks

Too often I see staffing and recruiting companies trying to be too “professional”, too conservative, and too focused on what their competitors are doing. Or even worse in this economy, I see them doing nothing at all.

It’s time to push the envelope with your creative. It’s time to try a new approach. 
Do something shocking. Be daring. Be controversial. Find your own version of signing TO. The challenge in staffing is to make your firm stand out from the competition. When the core service you provide is very similar to your competitors, how you market may be your most important source of differentiation. 

Of course, given the realities of the current economy, most firms can’t afford big ticket purchases like the Bills did in signing TO. However, there are many low cost and no cost ways to reach your audience. Email. PR. Community events. Even drop offs can all be used in new ways to gain notoriety–and instant results–for your firm. 

The football world is thinking about the Buffalo Bills now. Take a lesson from them, and do something bold today to establish your brand and “stand out”against your competition. It’s another way to lead your firm through this economic slowdown.

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