Continu, a Dutch recruitment agency that specializes in placing engineering professionals, was facing challenges attracting qualified candidates and improving their placement rate. To reach their aggressive goals – a 20% increase in applications and a 20% increase in successful placements – they knew they needed to enhance their recruitment strategy and better leverage digital channels to attract and engage the right candidates. However, they lacked a comprehensive approach to effectively reach their target audience and achieve their desired results.
To address these challenges, Continu partnered with customer data platform BlueConic and digital agency Adwise to launch a multi-channel, programmatic advertising campaign to maximize their recruitment potential. Key elements of the campaign included:
Building a Single Customer View for Business Activation
Historically, Continu relied on third-party data for targeting and personalization, particularly in paid media channels. But with privacy regulations becoming more widespread and third-party cookies quickly coming to an end, Continu knew it would need to make the inevitable shift to first-party data.
Using BlueConic, the company was able to capture privacy compliant first-party data from a variety of its systems, sources, and channels. This included data from Continu’s websites, which leverage BlueConic’s first-party hostnames feature to ensure web browsers like Firefox and iOS, which limit third-party tracking, appropriately recognized their web content, scripts, and data as first party.
This data was then unified into BlueConic profiles, which update in real time and capture the volume and variety of customer data necessary to support the company’s campaign strategies and messaging variation across segments and customer lifecycle stages.
Creating Advanced Segments to Improve Targeting
To boost the number of applications, Continu knew they would need to heighten their brand awareness, increase search demand, and better align their content with the information needs of their target audience. This, in turn, would enable the target audience to make more informed decisions when submitting a job application and ultimately, increase the percentage of job placements.
Using BlueConic’s built-in segmentation and activation capabilities, Adwise and Continu were able to leverage the data stored in the customer profiles to build advanced audience segments based on key attributes, including job title, job function, and job interests, and instantly activate those segments across channels to drive more qualified search traffic and increase application and placement percentage.
For example, BlueConic segments based on seven job function groups were created and sent via a BlueConic Connection to DV360, which utilized dynamic ads to display customized content to these specific segments. This targeted approach resulted in a 44.44% decrease in CPA when more professionals visited the landing page after seeing the ad. Once a professional was on a landing page, Continu used BlueConic Dialogues to collect additional interest data and direct them to relevant articles based on those needs.
To ensure visibility at later stages of the conversion funnel, search and performance Max ads were deployed via Google Ads and displayed based on keywords matching the current job vacancies (a script automatically adjusted location targeting in case there were no more vacancies in the region). Finally, dynamic remarketing ads were utilized in Google Ads and Meta to reactivate visitors who had viewed vacancies, encouraging them to apply.
Optimizing Cross-Channel Budget Allocations
Once in market, an API connection was used to enable smarter cross-channel budget allocation between the “see” and “do” phases of the campaign. For instance, when search traffic in Google Display Network was low (impressions were lower than the previous day and the total impressions dropped by more than 10%), budget was shifted to branding in DV360, thereby increasing search demand. This resulted in a 21% growth in branded impressions, which in turn generated more applications. In Google Ads, a script was used to optimize budget allocation, leading to a 7% decrease in cost per application.
BlueConic enabled us to enrich channels with additional data and apply personalization to the right target group at the right time. Furthermore, data has obtained a powerful and central position through BlueConic to extract maximum potential from the channels."Data Specialist, Adwise
By leveraging BlueConic to centralize and activate their first-party data, Continu and Adwise were able to build high-quality, 360-degree customer profiles, create targeted segments, and push those segments to the appropriate channels to match job listings and users. By programmatically purchasing ads, they could display the right ad content to the target audience through dynamic ads, while also smartly bidding to achieve the desired results.
Furthermore, they enriched their data by pushing offline data housed in Salesforce to Google Analytics. By connecting offline data with online profiles, Continu and Adwise gained insights into the entire application process, enabling them to analyze and optimize the entire customer journey for even greater success.
Ultimately, the campaign generated a 21% increase in brand impressions, a 44% decrease in view-through CPA, and earned the company a 2023 VIA Programmatic Award for Most Effective Campaign.Download now