TheLadders.com Wants Executive Job Seekers to Start Climbing

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High-end executive job search site TheLadders.com breaks a direct response television campaign next month on national cable and satellite to attract qualified job seekers to its service.


The Jan. 10-30 test follows a radio effort that ran Nov. 29-Dec. 11 in Dallas and New York. It will support special promotions on the site, including a two-week free trial to TheLadders.com's premium service of a newsletter costing $25 a month.


"The goal of the campaign is to generate awareness and increase job-seeker registration," said Alexandre Douzet, co-founder and vice president of operations at TheLadders.com, New York. "The more people in this market who know about us, the faster we'll continue to grow, adding more and more jobs along the way. Simultaneously, our goal is to keep customer acquisition costs within the predetermined limits that we've set."


The marketing comes soon after TheLadders.com secured $7.25 million from Boston venture capital firm Matrix Partners. Inter/Media Advertising, Encino, CA, is the ad agency on the account.


Radio and TV ads urge listeners and viewers to visit the site at www.theladders.com or call a toll-free number. Respondents get a two-week trial to TheLadders.com's paid newsletter listing jobs and tips. The tagline is simple: "TheLadders.com, because you deserve to make more money."


The ads target men and women ages 30-55 with annual incomes exceeding $75,000. The target is skewed male. The audience is either employed and looking to move or unemployed and actively seeking new work.


This is the first offline advertising for TheLadders.com, a competitor to higher-end firms like ExecuNet.com, 6FigureJobs.com and Dow Jones & Co.'s CareerJournal.com. Other more generic competitors are Monster and Yahoo's HotJobs. Monster, the world's largest jobs site, is well known for advertising during the Super Bowl broadcast. TheLadders.com is not running ads in that broadcast.


TheLadders.com has spent its first 18 months running paid searches with Google and Yahoo's Overture, as well as affiliate marketing and online ads on portals like MSN. Offline marketing is part of the company's integrated strategy to reach job seekers at multiple points in their lives through various channels.


"While online marketing is a great way to reach the active job seeker, offline advertising will allow us to maximize our reach and capture a higher level of mind share among a wider scope of potential customers," Douzet said. "We're aiming to reach the people we haven't touched. A central aim of our offline marketing strategy is to reach the less-proactive job seeker who has either not heard of us or not yet taken the plunge into a more serious job search."


More than 200,000 people receive TheLadders.com's e-mail newsletters, both paid and unpaid. The mix of paid and unpaid subscribers is not disclosed. The site also posts 3,500 job listings weekly, access to which is free as well as paid.


Cutting through the clutter of job listings is a key goal of TheLadders.com. The service divided the $100,000-plus market -- the high-end niche it serves -- into four industry segments. Each segment has its own Web site, online newsletter and customer service blog.


In particular, sales professionals can visit www.salesladder.com, those in marketing visit www.mktgladder.com and finance executives use www.financeladder.com. Those in the human resources, legal and operations field can visit www.upladder.com. Also, a separate sub-site for recruiters is at www.recruitladder.com.


TheLadders.com charges job seekers a subscription fee instead of employers to list job openings. This upends the conventional model with jobs sites.


"As a result of this revenue flip, the applicant pool is prescreened, keeping unqualified job seekers out of the mix," Douzet said. "And because TheLadders.com is not beholden to employers to advertise their open positions, the company can select and post more available positions than any other high-end job board."


Mickey Alam Khan covers agency newds for DM News.com. To keep up with the latest agency news subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter DM News Daily by visiting http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/newslettersub.cgi


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