Why do recruitment companies send a Christmas card email?

  • By Thomas Bridge
  • 21 Dec, 2016

Every December, there are two certainties:

1. Ridiculous prices for everyday items.

For example, £165 for a Tom Ford candle. I kid you not. I love   A Single Man , and I am forever hoping that momentary blurred vision is in fact failing eyesight so that I might be allowed to buy a pair of his glasses. I can't wait to see his latest film (the name escapes me) but I draw the line at paying £165 for the rich scents of leather and oud. What even is oud? And most importantly, who does Stylist magazine think their audience is to afford such a luxury. Last time I checked, copies of Stylist were left on underground tube seats and buses, not chauffeur driven Rollers.

2. You receive a Christmas card email from a recruitment company.

Make that ten recruitment companies. I've been behind some of these for the last few years (belated apologies) and have sometimes wondered what the point is. This has been reinforced by a handful of unsubscribes or abusive replies asking why we have the time to send a christmas card email but one of our consultants didn't get back to them about a job they enquired about some time during the year.

In truth, I think most people just delete them as soon as they see Happy Christmas in the subject line or the tip of the tree in the image. Some won't see the tree at all as they're using Outlook and the images won't download until they add the company to the safe sender list (which they won't).

So what's the point?

Well, there are some good cards. For example, an Oxford-based recruitment company called Millar Cameron which has a strong African presence sends a Christmas email that describes their charitable donations and raises awareness about the cause. Hemming Robeson sent a nice looking one this year too.

This sadly is the exception rather than the norm. Most are bad, containing gaudy looking - sometimes flashing - christmas trees that probably resemble however the CEO of the company has his or her tree at home. I used to work at a recruitment firm which sent frozen salmon to key clients on Christmas day, which I always thought was a bit fire and brimstone.

I for one would much rather read about an Amazon Echo being gifted to a blind person at Christmas than be thanked for my non-existent 'support' during the year. I support Wycombe Wanderers FC and Liverpool, no one else.

There's a good saying that if you're not cynical then you're not paying attention, and those that subscribe to this viewpoint might also think that the whole Christmas card campaign was simply a data cleansing exercise. You might think that too, but I couldn't possibly comment.

Please do share any interesting e-xmas cards (if that's even the right name) that you've received - perhaps we can start an annual awards?

By Thomas Bridge 31 Jul, 2017
OK, so this advert is off the chart bonkers.

How this ever got past the planning stage is beyond us, and for that we love it.

It's voiced by the male Holly in Red Dwarf, which gives you an idea of the demographic being targeted.

Add to that air horns from a Creamfields festival, acid-induced bouncing animals, and it's right back there in the early 90s summers of love.

So young mums and dads who used to partay, are now reformed and require sugary drinks for their offspring.

Whether you like the product or not, the advert is like nothing else out there and for that we doff our cap.

Here is it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTOP6TOJwOI

By Thomas Bridge 31 Jul, 2017
It's difficult to know where to start with this advert.

As a general rule of thumb, singing babies is a big no no in any advertising campaign. The reason is that a digitally enhanced singing mouth super imposed onto a toddler's face is creepy, and looks much more like a horror film than a family ad.

The advert also features an hilariously sped up version of events where a car breaks down, and is back on the road within minutes. As anyone with a car will know, waiting for a breakdown service is a painful experience of lies and deceit whereby the van you're promised never shows up while you freeze your nuts off millimetres from an Indy 500 circuit. 

To add insult to injury, the dad in the ad pulls over for a flashing water light on his dashboard. Hands up who's pulled over and called the AA for a flashing water light? Thought not. When the cries of laughter from the AA phone operator had died down, we're sure they would tell you to drive home and take it to the garage like a normal person. Or just put some water in. 

A few more things:

  • The dad pulls into a layby on a motorway. Come again - a layby on a motorway? Hands up how many... - you know the drill. 
  • The AA man looks creepy. Dunno why, just does.
  • The car is unbadged. Why create a world where cars don't have brands. Mazda must be fuming that they're associated with this.
HOWEVER. This advert is currently winning loads of industry awards though, so what do we know.

Here's the ad:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNVO-0aE7tw

By Thomas Bridge 31 Jul, 2017

MMA is delighted to announce that Phil Nyatanga has joined our small but perfectly formed team here at MMA!

Phil will be working alongside Head of Content Eduard Chilcos and Head of Marketing Chelsea Battle in the MMA marketing department, working with various clients at this exciting time in the business' growth. 

Recently graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a 2:1 in Business and Marketing management, Phil will assist with all client needs and offer a fresh perspective and new solutions to problems, putting the theoretical side of marketing into practice. 

After spending 12 months client-side as a marketing support executive at Microsoft, the thrilling and diverse nature of agency work at MMA is what prompted the change and enticed Phil most. 

Outside of work, sports (Football and F1) are amongst Phil’s other passions, whether it’s playing, watching or just keeping active. 

Music is also another major interest of his, especially RnB and Hip Hop!  To this end, Phil's dad named him after Phil Collins, and named his brother Collins. 

Email: phil@magdalenmarketing.com
Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/phil-nyatanga-547289104/


By Thomas Bridge 31 Jul, 2017

MMA are delighted and excited to announce we have a new member joining our team! 

She's called Rhiannon Davies and has just started with us after completing her Masters degree in Branding and Advertising at Nottingham Trent University. 

Rhiannon grew up in the small seaside town, Weymouth, which is part of the stunning Jurassic Coastline. She has a great sporting background and has competed in National swimming and Biathlon events back in her glory sporting days!

Rhiannon chose to switch country life for a taste of the city and attended University in Nottingham, where she also gained a BA (Hons) degree in Fashion Management. After completing her degree she decided to step away from the fashion industry and chose to do her Masters without specialising in a specific sector. 

Having studied marketing in a variety of different sectors over her four years at university she is excited to take on her new role as a Marketing Executive for us and get cracking!

Email: rhiannon@magdalenmarketing.com
Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhiannon-davies-1ba659b9/

By Thomas Bridge 05 May, 2017
Do you love babycham? Do you have a passion for fashion? Or do you just wanna get hella drunk? Then join us to celebrate our one year anniversary - with a special guest performance from Ed's closest confidant, Kanye West*

MMA welcomes all friends and family to an old fashioned piss up. Join us for some food, drinks and riveting conversation from some of recruitment marketing's finest and brightest.

People coming from afar are more than welcome to stay for the weekend, do it all again on Saturday night, feel suicidal on Sunday night etc.

*Kanye West will not be in attendance.

If you'd like to attend, please email events@magdalenmarketing.com so we can send and add you to a diary invite.

All the team at MMA


By Thomas Bridge 24 Apr, 2017

As part of Teresa May’s snap general election, each party has come out with their own unique selling points; hard brexit for the Tories, no brexit for the Lib Dems, no Trident for Labour (or at least for Jeremy Corbyn) and a three day weekend, every weekend, for the Greens - perhaps playing a game of top trumps against Labour’s four extra bank holidays.

Obviously, the first question everyone has in their mind when they hear this is; what does it mean for recruitment?

The possibilities are endless, but one potential outcome could mean that employees actually require higher salaries to afford the 50% increase in weekend time, whilst at the same time companies have less money due to a 20% reduction in output. One thing that wouldn’t happen in this scenario is extra money for finding new employees, and nor would the same rates of payment to recruitment companies be justifiable for a less productive workforce.

As well as salaries, holidays and maternity pay might similarly be affected, with companies which currently offer generous packages over the minimum legal threshold pulling back on excessive obligations in order to plug the gap in productivity. This in turn might actually make people want to leave, thereby setting off a chain of recruitment requirements. But it’s unlikely there would be many places left offering 30+ days / 12 months full pay in our post-apocalyptic, zombie-strewn world of a three day weekend.

In order to maintain productivity (against other countries who didn’t get seduced by the same siren on the rocks), companies might require employees to work late, as presumably our weekly limit on hours would still be the same. Most people already work late anyway, so do they now work even later? Similarly, many of us dip into our emails at the weekend, so now we have the added necessary inconvenience of having three days rather than two interrupted by having to check in with emails morning, noon and night.

And what about people who don’t work in offices - a bus driver or restaurant worker for example - how does it affect them?

No matter how much I love a three or even four day weekend, I think whichever way you look at it it would be a mess. Good job it’s not going to happen really.

What do you think?


By Thomas Bridge 06 Feb, 2017

When Softweb Resourcing decided upon a full brand refresh, they soon realised they required a new website, new logo, new branding, brand guidelines and entirely new copy written for their new online identity in keeping with their new proposition.

After speaking with another MMA client; Hensen Associates, Softweb approached Magdalen Marketing to write all wording for their new website.

After an initial hour-long call to discuss the brief, and analysis of the both the brand guidelines and mock ups of the new website, MMA created c500 words of initial text for the new homepage. Taking just an hour to complete, with another for amends, the first page of work demonstrated MMA’s copywriting ability for the recruitment sector and gave Softweb a low risk example of what working together would be like.

With Softweb happy that the the text matched their new identity, MMA was hired for the full project of writing text for every single page on the website, such as About, Clients and Candidates, as well as all text for links and boxes, and introductory text for more functional pages such as Jobs and Contact.

Despite being instructed in November 2016, the new website was not ready until February 2017, which gave both sides almost three months to diligently create text for each page - with not a word out of place, superfluous or under-utilised, and every line singing.

With Softweb placing purely software engineers and website developers with technology clients of all sizes across the UK, the key to success was walking the fine line between over technical vocabulary, warm language that appealed to prospective candidates and more formal language desired by potential clients.

The result? A beautifully written website, in keeping with the brand refresh and new site:

http://www.softwebresourcing.com/

Says Adeel Nadeem, Managing Director of Software Resourcing:

“When we were looking for firms to deliver this crucial project, a recommendation from another non-competing recruitment company was obviously highly regarded, so it made sense to at least run the project by MMA. Our initial hour long call was free, as was the work on all the branding and website mockups. We then we were able to do small part of the project (the homepage) which mitigated risk - another reason we went with MMA. We were delighted with those initial results so then felt entirely comfortable commissioning the whole site.

“What stood out for me was that because MMA only work in recruitment, we didn’t have to explain at all how it worked. If anything, because MMA work with numerous clients in the sector, they were able to bring wider best practice to Softweb and educate us - and not just on copywriting. For example: how to structure the website, how to market jobs, the candidate registration customer journey and so on.

“The work was turned around quickly each time we started a new page, and was of the highest quality. MMA totally nailed the brief and were always on hand to discuss both copywriting and wider recruitment marketing ideas for free - evening at night and across weekends. We really valued having that third party to run ideas by for the duration of the project, as we did their flexibility at the start and the way we shared documents online so we could log in at any time to see progress.

“We were so delighted in fact that we’re now using MMA to do our wider marketing across content creation, website management, social media, database management, direct email marketing of candidates / updates and monthly company email newsletters. Because they wrote the site, there’s no one better!”
By Thomas Bridge 21 Dec, 2016

Every December, there are two certainties:

1. Ridiculous prices for everyday items.

For example, £165 for a Tom Ford candle. I kid you not. I love   A Single Man , and I am forever hoping that momentary blurred vision is in fact failing eyesight so that I might be allowed to buy a pair of his glasses. I can't wait to see his latest film (the name escapes me) but I draw the line at paying £165 for the rich scents of leather and oud. What even is oud? And most importantly, who does Stylist magazine think their audience is to afford such a luxury. Last time I checked, copies of Stylist were left on underground tube seats and buses, not chauffeur driven Rollers.

2. You receive a Christmas card email from a recruitment company.

Make that ten recruitment companies. I've been behind some of these for the last few years (belated apologies) and have sometimes wondered what the point is. This has been reinforced by a handful of unsubscribes or abusive replies asking why we have the time to send a christmas card email but one of our consultants didn't get back to them about a job they enquired about some time during the year.

In truth, I think most people just delete them as soon as they see Happy Christmas in the subject line or the tip of the tree in the image. Some won't see the tree at all as they're using Outlook and the images won't download until they add the company to the safe sender list (which they won't).

So what's the point?

Well, there are some good cards. For example, an Oxford-based recruitment company called Millar Cameron which has a strong African presence sends a Christmas email that describes their charitable donations and raises awareness about the cause. Hemming Robeson sent a nice looking one this year too.

This sadly is the exception rather than the norm. Most are bad, containing gaudy looking - sometimes flashing - christmas trees that probably resemble however the CEO of the company has his or her tree at home. I used to work at a recruitment firm which sent frozen salmon to key clients on Christmas day, which I always thought was a bit fire and brimstone.

I for one would much rather read about an Amazon Echo being gifted to a blind person at Christmas than be thanked for my non-existent 'support' during the year. I support Wycombe Wanderers FC and Liverpool, no one else.

There's a good saying that if you're not cynical then you're not paying attention, and those that subscribe to this viewpoint might also think that the whole Christmas card campaign was simply a data cleansing exercise. You might think that too, but I couldn't possibly comment.

Please do share any interesting e-xmas cards (if that's even the right name) that you've received - perhaps we can start an annual awards?

By Thomas Bridge 28 Nov, 2016


Magdalen Marketing Agency (MMA) is delighted to announce it has been awarded supplier status by Onrec, the UK’s leading recruitment publication.


Producing regular events, awards, conferences and magazines, Onrec is the Online Recruitment resource for HR Directors, Personnel Managers, Job Boards and Recruiters with information on the internet recruitment industry.


Says Thomas Bridge, founder of Magdalen Marketing:


“I’m delighted MMA have been awarded supplier status by Onrec so soon into our journey. When we were setting up at the start of 2016 we highlighted Onrec as one of the top five recruitment publications to gain supplier status with.


“It’s a fantastic achievement that after just a few months in business we’ve worked with over a dozen recruitment companies already - with many more retained clients in the pipeline for 2017.


“Official supplier status from such an important publication caps off what has already been a wonderful year as we reach the end of November.”


You can see our profile on the Onrec website by clicking the following link:


http://www.onrec.com/directory/recruiter-suppliers/magadalen-marketing-agency-mma
By Thomas Bridge 28 Oct, 2016

Behind the bluster, the off-script speech segments and any number of incidents ending in the word   -phobic , the team behind Donald Trump place all their trust firmly in data.

This week, Channel 4 News ran a story about Cambridge Analytica, a UK company paid $5million in September alone by the Trump campaign to support their data programme. The target is clear - and almost unbelievable - to have a record for every single voter in the US and their political preference.

The data is gleaned from such things as supermarket shopping, credit cards, magazine subscriptions and even TV preferences. This information is then accessed by activists on the street, who use a map via an app to knock on the doors of people who need a little persuasion.

The psychological profiling it generates even allows potential Republican voters to see different versions of the same pro-gun Facebook advert, based on things such as their age, gender and marital status.

Despite all this, the Republicans are playing catch up. The 2008 and 2012 Democrat wins have been largely put down to data - although Twitter has taken more of a front seat publicly. According to the Democrats campaign manager for both elections, they employed 12 data analysts in 2008 and 165 in 2012 - which gives you an idea of the upscaling.

The best example of how data affected the 2012 campaign was a concert featuring Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z. With reports showing that the location where it was to be held was already in the bag, the campaign moved the entire concert the weekend before polling day to a different area in Ohio where they were struggling.

You might find all this profiling worrying, and of course, it is. But if you use a database on a regular basis you’re probably doing it already with your potential “voters”. Perhaps it’s knowing what sports they like for client entertaining, or the name of their spouse and children. After every call you add notes to their record - and every email syncs automatically from outlook and your phone up to whatever database your company uses. Would the person in question be happy with absolutely everything that was on there?

One thing is true, if you’re not using data as much as you could do, chances are that a competing company is. This will allow them to send far more targeted communications to your existing clients, who in turn will - over time - feel like they know them better. Worth thinking about perhaps.

You can watch the segment by clicking the following link (it’s the 9th video):

http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up/display/playlistref/241016

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