Indeed CMO Paul D’Arcy: ‘Our job as marketers is to shape an experience’ | M&M Global

Indeed CMO Paul D’Arcy: ‘Our job as marketers is to shape an experience’ is the most-visited jobs website in the world. M&M Global spoke to the site’s top marketer about building a lasting global brand.

Paul D Arcy is probably one of the biggest brands you have never (or barely) heard of.

The US-based jobs website is the largest of its kind in the world, attracting around 200 million monthly unique visitors, putting it ahead of rivals like Monster and Glassdoor. It operates in 60 markets, and is available in 28 languages.

The job of making Indeed famous falls to Paul D’Arcy, the company’s senior vice president of marketing. Former Apple and Dell marketer D’Arcy joined the brand three years ago and has evolved a search and social-heavy marketing approach to incorporate a wider mix media channels in eight key markets.

The move is working, too, he claims, suggesting awareness of the 11 year-old business in the UK is up 16.5% since the start of 2016 alone.

Building the brand

According to D’Arcy, Indeed benefits from a more “positive” marketing strategy, in comparison to the more cynical, humour-driven approach of its competitors.

The greater visibility brought about by advertising on TV and OOH – its campaigns are created by Mullen in the US, with media handled by MediaCom – has helped it achieve the dual purpose of a “place in memory” for future occasions, and high visibility when jobseekers and employers are most active.

“We’re lucky that what we’re trying to do is something that’s important to people”

“As a company we’ve always had the philosophy that you really want to get the product right first, before building the brand,” says D’Arcy. “The product, especially as an internet company, is really the experience. We spent a lot of time getting that to be a product we were proud of.

“We’re lucky that what we’re trying to do is something that’s important to people. Probably after family and health, a career is the most important thing in people’s lives. Our message is the sort of thing where you could be on the London Underground, pull out your phone, download an app, and it’ll have a huge impact on your life,” he adds.

Piccadilly Circus-Indeed2

Campaign Lab

One of the issues with rapidly growing a brand across international borders is knowing how to tap into local market nuances.

To enhance its testing procedures, Indeed has opened a ‘Campaign Lab’ – based in Dublin and led by former O2 head of advertising Paul Dervan. The unit tasks “pods”, comprising project managers, creatives and designers, with the mass testing of ads in order to find the optimum format. Each pod, supported by agency and freelance staff, tests up to 30 campaigns a week.

“There has never been a larger selection of marketing channels for us to choose from, and everything performs differently in different markets. You can have an infinite permutation of creative approaches to channels and markets. The only way to get things right is to do a lot of testing,” says D’Arcy.

And it has already had an impact on Indeed’s media choices, with a refined Facebook campaign in Australia delivering a 30% increase in app downloads at the same cost, D’Arcy claims.

Content quality

Despite being based in Austin, Texas – the home of technology festival SXSW Interactive – D’Arcy is cautious about embracing all manner of new platforms and innovations.

“There are a set of tools that are important to us, but it’s not like we’re using new platforms every week or month – it is much more getting great at building, testing and measuring, seeing what works, and building scale around the world,” he says.

He is also cool on the programmatic revolution, given the relatively modest investments Indeed makes in online display advertising, and the challenge of specifying an audience against its mass-market ambitions (“We’re not a niche brand,” he points out.)

“There are a lot of organisations investing heavily in creating content to help them rank better in search”

And, although content does form a significant part of Indeed’s marketing strategy, notably through its ‘Hiring Lab’ job search insights team, D’Arcy says it must be done with the user in mind: “We do have strong feelings on [content]. For us, there are areas where content is incredibly important, but we try to make it as valuable to the audience we serve as possible.

“One thing that is a core principle for our marketing team is that the experience and not the message is the marketing, so when we’re doing content it really is designed to help people find a job or hire,” he says.

“Right now, there are a lot of organisations investing heavily in creating content to help them rank better in search, or just to given them more reach and visibility. But the quality of the content is often very low, and we feel that does a disservice to the audience.”


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