Coralie Fernando

Adding marketing value during a pandemic



Coralie Fernando


Head of Marketing and Communications

Coralie started her career in Australia as a recruiter in Sydney before moving to Melbourne and joining a brand agency as an account manager. Both herself and the owner of the agency could see the links between recruitment account managers and account management in alternative sectors. Since she has moved back to the UK.


Recruitment in Australia for her company was extremely KPI focused and it was really sales-driven, whereas her agency now in the UK is much more about relationship formation. This can also show the transition of time from working 15 years ago in recruitment to now has pivoted much more towards relationships.


The Summary

The most important selling technique for Coralie is to think who is reading it and produce copy from this. Are your audience drawn to that heading, is that going to make your audience want to read more or click through? If it doesn’t change it.


At both events and in writing we have to be cautious to use simple terms and the correct wording for our market. Using client and candidate outside of the recruitment industry can cause confusion.


Previously freelancing and working with Tiger on an outsourcing basis led to a full-time position with them. Tiger has seen great growth over the year and the success has led to an expansion of the marketing team and a content editor position. Which within recruitment seems luxurious and lucky.


SEO is a massive part of what they do and the main driver of new clients as well as promotional activity producing leads. So her measurement of ROI is based on both.


As a recruitment marketer, you are both B2B and B2C across different sectors and locations. For strategy, it is about prioritising based on the objectives for the year and making sure each of the audiences is targeted and addressed.


Prioritisation in any business is extremely important, especially in light of the new working from home or living at work where there is a choice between being done for the evening and letting the to-do-list run onto the next day. Sometimes it can feel there is no escape from work.


For the marketing team being able to physically see consultants and management makes such a difference to how well we do our jobs. As managing a team whilst at home has its challenges. Not just for team morale but to keep human reaction to minimise loneliness.


Coralie’s content strategy linked to their SEO strategy which luckily was understood by her CEO. The SEO journey they went on to start initially was very different to how it is now. Back then it was about keywords, whereas now they take a streamlined approach looking at pillar techniques and producing higher quality content.


Pillar clustering is using a long-form piece of content and then clustering topics out of that. For example, a pillar piece of diversity would include what it is, why we need it etc., then within that, you can point to different chapters around more specific topics such as women in leadership or the gender pay gap. That then tells Google that the pillar piece is the mother and the clusters are the children.


Coralie’s experience in recruitment helps her to understand the consultant’s needs. Particularly in the form of consultants getting in touch with a client about the marketing efforts. In the last 6 months, they can’t pick up the phone and sell, it has to be about adding value and helping their clients do their jobs better. They have been working hard to go above and beyond through the consultants and management team.


The key to the relationship between sales and marketing is actually talking to the sales team about what they want, and getting content ideas from them. One of the big ones this year for them is the topic of diversity and inclusion.


The sales team started to see the results of the marketing efforts in the responses from clients and are getting bought into how they can assist. That relationship is often the most difficult to form but once it is, it’s the most rewarding.


You often found in previous years that consultants had a disconnect with marketing and its often down to them not seeing how marketing is adding value. But now it is embedded into processes and the communication internally are great so they know what’s happening and coming up with marketing efforts. This has helped to get buy-in and feedback.


Everyone thinks they are a marketer and everyone also underestimates what it takes to do good marketing. Good marketing is underappreciated and is incredibly hard work. 


It was a shame to see marketing hit first by the pandemic and the true colours of those companies were seen. Alternatively, we’ve seen some companies invest in marketing and those are the ones who are on their way upwards out of the pandemic not struggling.


COVID caused many companies pipelines to change as, without the budget, sales conversations were forced to be delayed.


The lesson from the pandemic for Coralie is a hybrid working option. Having the option for your team to work from home and come into the office to collaborate and have interactions is the best of both worlds.


A piece of advice for a marketing starter is to be a sponge and not worry if things don’t immediately make sense and things will fall into place.


Advice for a marketer seeking a new role, Coralie would be receptive for people sending their CV direct to the person whose team you would be on. Tell them what you admired of their recent marketing efforts and even if they are not hiring now, your email is one they would come back to in the future.



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