- Merkle provided exceptional value, combining their knowledge of ASML with their social/digital expertise to apply a cohesive messaging strategy across all channels. The end results speak for themselves.
ASML is an innovation leader and a growing global force in the semiconductor industry. Originally a Dutch high-tech company, founded in 1984, ASML has grown into an innovative world leader in the semiconductor industry, developing machines that can be used to produce microchips.
During the initial outbreak of COVID-19, a wave of redundancies led to an enormous increase in the number of job-seekers in the USA. Nonetheless, there was still an urgent need for ASML to recruit qualified staff, as the technical industry has a worldwide shortage of good personnel. But how could they find the right people to fill their roles when thousands of people were job-hunting?
Low candidate awareness of ASML was a key concern; although ASML established a foothold in the United States as early as 1999 and has expanded its operations to San Jose and Wilton, ASML's reputation and brand recognition in the US was still lagging behind that of the Netherlands.
ASML asked us to help respond to the recruitment challenge for their factory in Wilton, Connecticut, just across the border from the COVID-19 ravaged state of New York. Our first challenge was to attract the right calibre of applicants from a sizeable pool of available talent; our second was to develop a campaign in the Netherlands which had to include video material captured in the US, all whilst negotiating strict coronavirus control measures.
ASML partnered with Merkle Nederland to develop a 360-degree campaign to effectively promote the relatively unknown ASML in the US. As the lead agency, we were responsible for the entire creative concept and design.
Our campaign was built around the campaign message "We're Hiring": a clear and hopeful message for many people in the region who were made redundant or threatened by job loss due to COVID-19.
Within the campaign, the primary goal was to create as much awareness as possible to put ASML on the map as an employer, after which relevant jobseekers were triggered across different channels to pull them through the funnel to consider ASML and then apply for a job. Not only were target groups with an interest in and knowledge of the various areas of expertise within ASML approached, ASML website and Facebook page interaction retargeting was also used for target groups in Wilton and the surrounding areas (Connecticut, New York and New Jersey).
Although offices closed their doors, work in the factories continued as usual. Strict hygiene measures were taken which made it possible to film on location. Using the script and storyline that we provided, a videographer produced COVID-secure footage on location in America.
The video images were not only converted into social assets, but also used for audio and video streaming, on billboard posters along motorways, as display banners and as images for the landing page. And with the pandemic-fueled growth of home delivery services, the campaign was also deployed on pizza boxes in the Wilton region.
To generate the necessary awareness in the first layer of the campaign, videos of different lengths were used on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Reddit. The awareness campaign was also shared via traditional channels, display ads and YouTube.
In the consideration and conversion layer, also known as the application layer, link previews, stories and carousels on social media were then used. Search advertising, display ads, YouTube and regional geofencing targeting were also used. Messages were personalised based on the characteristics of the audiences used. In the consideration phase, for example, specific link previews and stories were used with various messages that made the ASML campaign more relevant to specific candidates.
We drove the campaign strategy and implementation for social media, as well as the layout of the campaign page on the website for a smoother customer journey and the set-up of a real-time dashboard. In the dashboard, the performances of all channels came together as input to drive further optimisations.
Our collaborator, Valtech, was responsible for the media buying on the Google channels, and a US-based agency, A-squared, was responsible for the local purchase of media and geofencing within this project.
Results were highly impressive, delighting our client.
Social, display and video, focusing on awareness, yielded the following results:
Search was used to get people to consider ASML as a potential employer and eventually apply for a job. This lower funnel approach resulted in:
Traditional media also contributed to the objectives:
Location analysis of the applications received, showed that:
Finally, more than 1100 visits to the landing page were driven through targeted display, streaming video and streaming audio on local pages and platforms.
Our work put ASML on the map for the eastern United States and our full funnel approach drove a highly satisfactory number of applications for the skilled vacancies: a result of which both ASML and Merkle Nederland are very proud.