TalentWave is a high-growth company, thanks in part to the rapid growth of the gig economy and the ever-increasing number of independent contractors (1099 workers) in the U.S. workforce. Until recently, the company’s VP of Marketing was the sole marketing employee, but TalentWave has been able to keep up with its rapid growth by using a flexible and reliable external resource in Lumen Marketing. By augmenting their team with an experienced external resource, TalentWave has been able to remain nimble and satisfy peaks in marketing demand while weathering unexpected storms, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
DRAWING ON A SHARED HISTORY
Kristen Schiffner is TalentWave’s VP of Marketing. When Schiffner came on as a new hire, Lumen Marketing had already been working with the company for a few years, and Schiffner was able to seamlessly leverage that existing agency relationship. “Lumen was a life saver for me as I jumped on board at the company,” Schiffner says. “They know the brand inside and out and even helped develop some of the early brand standards. They know the history of the company. When I was tasked with relaunching the marketing program, Lisa and her team helped me bridge the gap and act as guardians of the brand.”
Now, Schiffner thinks of Lumen Marketing as an extension of her team, calling them a “jack of all trades.” In any given week, work with TalentWave might include writing and updating copy for the website, drafting creative for new marketing campaigns or sales collateral, or posting events or recorded webinars for the company. Lumen also executes all of TalentWave’s email marketing campaigns and assists with special projects such as conferences and other events.
“Lumen Marketing is the common thread through any creative we do for events, from the deck that our CEO presents, to the booth artwork and giveaways, to the post-event follow up,” Schiffner says.
PIVOTING DURING A PANDEMIC
Lumen’s events expertise came in handy in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many conferences to switch to a virtual format. That included Contingent Workforce Strategies (CWS) Summit, an annual conference for contingent workforce management professionals. “We typically have a big presence there, since it’s an important marketing and sales event for us,” Schiffner says.
Lumen had already partnered with TalentWave on the event in 2017, 2018 and 2019, helping bring a new level of creativity and consistency to the brand’s conference presence.
“Since Lumen has joined our marketing efforts for this conference, we are getting more appointments year over year, and more face-to-face meetings with decision makers,” Schiffner says. “It’s also helped to create broader brand awareness there about who we are.”
So, when COVID hit, Schiffner turned to the agency to help TalentWave pivot to the virtual platform.
“Lumen jumped in and helped us make the most of the event,” Schiffner says. “They not only helped us figure out the mechanics of navigating the new technology, but also helped convert our assets into a digital library and helped me come up with a great campaign around the event theme that included the digital booth, the deck for the speaker spotlight presentation, social media creative, and email marketing before and after the conference. Basically, every digital touchpoint we had, Lumen was involved in some shape or form.”
Lumen also helped TalentWave keep spirits high during the pandemic with a weekly morale-boosting newsletter called The Weekly Levity. (Think: fun facts, inspiring stories, cute animal videos, seasonal recipes, and quarantine memes galore.) Schiffner writes the content, and Lumen Marketing creates and sends the email itself. Although they initially launched the email as an internal newsletter for TalentWave employees, they quickly decided to share it with their wider audience of more than 2,000 contract workers across the U.S. “It’s been an important part of our contractor satisfaction during the pandemic,” Schiffner says, adding that the newsletter has generated positive comments on the company’s quarterly contractor surveys.
FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE
Lumen has also been assisting TalentWave with another major organizational change: transitioning off of their old CRM and marketing automation platforms and onto HubSpot. Lisa Moore and her team at Lumen Marketing helped source and vet potential new vendors and offered guidance when it came to identifying which existing assets to migrate to the new platform, including content, templates, workflows, contacts, etc.
“I think Lisa’s expertise in HubSpot is going to be instrumental in helping us with our adoption of the tool and how we leverage it as a business,” Schiffner says.
Schiffner says this typifies Lumen’s initiative in bringing new ideas to the table. “One of the things I like about Lumen is because they’re working with other clients, they are always learning things that they can apply to us — creative marketing concepts, new techniques, or new tools. We get to take advantage of lessons learned with other clients,” she says.
While there are undoubtedly other agencies and designers around Denver that knock on TalentWave’s door each day, Schiffner doesn’t entertain the idea of ending the partnership. “We can always count on Lumen Marketing,” she says. “I have such trust and respect for how much they have done for us and how well they know our brand. I know Lisa genuinely cares about it; we don’t feel like we’re just another client.”
ABOUT LUMEN MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Lumen Marketing & Communications specializes in inbound and account-based marketing, WordPress websites, branding, and creative for B2B and B2C businesses. Our strategy-first marketing programs help clients generate demand, attract better leads, engage more effectively, and increase qualified sales opportunities that lead to measurable revenue.
Whether you need to augment your existing team on a single project, or a completely turnkey, outsourced marketing solution, Lumen Marketing can help. Our Denver-based team serves clients in a diverse set of industries, including: startups, high-growth companies, technology, software (SaaS), resorts and attractions, banking, finance, real estate, professional services, HR and talent management, and more.