Lisa Smith-Strother

“I’ve found that whether I’m marketing a financial product to an affluent segment or attracting a niche skill set to an employer brand, the marketing basics, approach, and strategies are very similar.”

That’s SocialMedia.org member Lisa Smith-Strother, the new Global Head of Employer Branding at Ericsson.

And although she’s been with Ericsson for less than a year, she has nearly 20 years experience in strategic marketing, ethnic marketing, and market segmentation for brands like American Express, PNC, and Wells Fargo. Lisa says that history in product marketing has prepared her to lead employer branding.

For example, she explains that the analytics and cross segmentation strategies they were using in the 90’s on the financial services side is just now making it to employer branding. The campaign performance metrics, analytics, and KPIs that were so important in financial marketing are now also a part of many companies’ recruitment strategies.

Before joining Ericsson, Lisa was the Director and Global Head of Employer Branding at AstraZeneca.

“My challenge was learning the matrix organization, which is a different format, as well as learning about the information communication and technology field. The pace is much faster at Ericsson than in the pharmaceutical space, mostly because of the regulations and rules in the pharma arena,” she says.

She says another way the market moves faster is with the constant tech innovation and evolution.

“My daily job starts with meetings with talent acquisition leads or team members to set our global employer brand strategy,” Lisa explains.

From there, they determine what team members will lead certain projects, as well as talk with various suppliers, corporate communications, and diversity and social responsibility teams to get on the same page.

“It’s a lot of stakeholder management and reviewing our social and digital strategy to ensure we’re on pace.”

Lisa’s team of three handles employer brand messages via social and digital, university relations, events, employee referrals, job search performance, campaign metrics, and employer brand training. They also support and integrate diversity inclusion and corporate social responsibility.

To do the job well, Lisa says you have to stay flexible and adaptable.

You also have to be solution-oriented and flexible as it relates to budget. You’ll often have to find solutions that are low-cost or no-cost.”

One way Lisa stays ahead is through employer branding groups, advertising and recruitment marketing blogs, and listening to various podcasts like TechCrunch’s Keen On, PNR’s This Old Marketing, The Marketing Nation by Marketo, and Content Marketing Institute’s The Pivot. She’s also an advocate for taking free college courses online in subjects like analytics, marketing, and strategy.

Some books she keeps on hand: The Next Big Thing, by William Higham, Simon Barrow’s The Employer Brand, Hugh Davies’ Employer Branding, and The Brand Gap, by Marty Neumeier.

Better targeting and improved monitoring platforms are on her wish list.

Lisa says that like the direct marketing approach to targeting demographics, the ability to merge a person’s social profiles into one platform would make targeting more accurate and easier.

“Now that we have multiple social networks, it would be wonderful if we could somehow consolidate all of that information within one tool for better profiles of our target audiences so we can adjust the message appropriately.”

Lisa has been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2014. Connect with her out on LinkedIn here.


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