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Recruitment Campaign sees Applications Skyrocket with New OHT Advertising


How RSM Marketing used Programmatic Advertising to triple the number of applicants compared to Traditional Advertising.


Services: Digital Marketing Strategy | Copywriting | Programmatic Advertising | Social Media Advertising | Digital Advertising

Programmatic Advertising is robotically buying digital advertising space, using machine learning and data to help guide the bidding amount and ad placements. At RSM, we use our Omni-Hyper Targeting (OHT) platform to programmatically target as many qualified leads to provide our clients the top results for their campaign while optimizing their budget. Our recent success shows the power of our programmatic OHT platform by increasing the number of applications submitted through a year-long recruitment campaign compared to the traditional marketing methods used in the years prior. 


As a family-owned business for over six decades, our client is an established leader in agriculture and heavy equipment, servicing major construction sites, excavation companies, farms, and other commercial development agencies across multiple states with almost 20 store locations. In order to service all their equipment and be ready for the next job, they need a continuous stream of new, qualified candidates applying for job openings in maintenance. 

Prior to coming to RSM, they worked with other marketing firms without garnering the results needed. Their campaign efforts relied heavily on traditional media strategies and tactics: they ran on billboards around their stores and submitted print ads in newspapers and industry publications to get in front of interested applicants. Candidates applied, but it was always a shallow pool, and the qualified ones seemed few and far between. These past firms left our client with their main problem unresolved: not enough qualified candidates submitting an application. 

Our client is searching for highly qualified candidates to fill general technician and parts roles within their business, and they were seeing how the traditional route of advertising wasn’t getting the job done like they needed. With a background in digital marketing and knowing its effectiveness to reach their audience at the right time, their business shifted from traditional media and partnered with RSM to start a programmatic digital advertising campaign for their recruitment efforts.  


With past providers, strategy was lacking: there are two different, but related, sides to the business and our client needed a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to capture enough applicants for both sides, while focusing on the needs of each individual location. “There was a little bit of trial and error,” said Marnie Slater, Marketing Manager at RSM Marketing. “We started with conversations about geofencing each of their locations, each with its own budget. We quickly noticed that wasn’t the most effective or most manageable way to go about this.” 

The initial run of the summer hiring campaign was primarily on social media with Facebook as the leading platform, and Instagram and Snapchat being secondary. We also set up a Google Ads campaign with a fraction of their budget. 

With a budgetary focus on individual store needs, the initial strategy was segmented and did not allow for a full campaign optimization through machine learning. “It seemed like we were changing our approach almost weekly, depending on what location needed something,” said Slater. “It was becoming detrimental to the campaign’s overall success.”

After the campaign’s initial flight, our digital specialists wanted the reach and conversions to grow in order to greatly exceed expectations set forth by the client. To do this, the team decided on switching from a social-focused advertising on various platforms to expanding our efforts into programmatic advertising.  

“We wanted to keep the campaign going on this trajectory, and exceed their goal of yearly applicants in a manageable, efficient way for their budget and resources,” said Slater. “We had a great starting point now, and we all agreed that programmatic was an additional way forward.”


Utilizing programmatic advertising required a slight change in strategy for an overall better result. “We couldn’t keep everything so segmented and still be as successful as we wanted to be,” said Slater. 

Using our OHT programmatic advertising platform, we broadened the target audience based on demographics, interest, intent, and proximity, rather than proximity only. We helped our client identify common behaviors with their site visitors, patterns within search queries and interest, and began serving their ads across multiple platforms. 

“A huge win for this client was how sustainable and effective OHT was right off the bat.” Slater and the client were able to visualize the results captured from the social campaign and compare them to the increased applicants, CTR, and overall reach of the OHT campaign. “We didn’t need to go to their individual location campaigns to make adjustments nearly as often, and it paid off in the long run!”

The switch to OHT, rather than advertising almost exclusively on social, expanded our search parameters to help increase reach and frequency, all of which concluded with more conversions or, in this case, applicants. 


At the end of the year, we wanted to review the total number of applicants with our client to determine if the campaign was a true success compared to their past traditional media campaigns, and it was! Compared to 2019 applicants, there was a 155% increase in submitted, qualified applications due largely in part to digital and programmatic advertising. They also paid less per applicant than they did with past traditional tactics. 


Starting in June 2020 to the end of the year, through a mixed media effort using OHT programmatic, social advertising and Google Ads, the client saw: 

  • 6,397,511 total impressions
  • 48,360 total clicks
  • 3.40% average CTR
  • 6,381 Conversions – Submitted Applications
  • 155% increase in qualified applicants compared to 2019

“A big reason why we see so much success with our clients, especially in digital marketing, is through our values as a company,” says Ashley Robinson, Director of Client Services. “We don’t just accept the results and move on, we ask ourselves why they’re going this way, how can we improve for our clients, and then get right into the action.” 

Before partnering with RSM Marketing, our client was spending over $50,000 every year on traditional and print advertising for recruitment efforts while sacrificing results. After reviewing the results, our client chose to expand our digital efforts into other aspects of their business, starting with a new campaign revolving around sales. 

“We’re not just a vendor you talk to once,” says Robinson. “We truly partner with you to align our marketing goals with your overall business goals to get the results you’re expecting.” 

Alex Peters is the Senior Omni Channel Media Specialist at RSM Marketing. Over the last 4 years, Alex has stayed committed to providing our clients return through all channels, expanding audiences and increasing engagement by analyzing data and providing direction based on historical and industry trends. In his free time, Alex is driven by aesthetics, whether it's horology, mid-century architecture, or clothes. You can also catch him at Lambeau Field and Wrigley Field regularly.

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