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Ted Gilvar

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Title: Exec VP-chief global marketing officer
Company: Monster Worldwide
Years in current job: 2
Quote: “From a marketing standpoint, we had to change how we went about doing what we do. It wasn’t just about driving job-seekers and monetizing that, but by attracting employers and changing how people perceive us as a company.”

The nation’s slumping job market has helped push Monster Worldwide and its Monster.com employment site to top-of-mind. Helping keep Monster there has been Ted Gilvar, exec VP-chief global marketing officer.

“I’ve been in this job a little more than two years and walked straight into the tornado,” Gilvar said of the economic downturn. “When the world just wants to talk about joblessness, we’re the antidote.”

Monster virtually invented the online job board in the mid-1990s, but the combination of Gilvar and the recession did much to transform the company over the past few years. Monster has gained widespread exposure with 30-second spots during Super Bowl broadcasts in recent years, which Gilvar credits with raising the company’s profile among b-to-b decision-makers.

Social media in particular helped the Super Bowl effort this year. Gilvar seeded sample viral videos around the Internet of Monster’s game spot, “Fiddling Beaver,” which gained plenty of pregame buzz. The ad, which launched the company’s “Get a Monster Advantage” program, snared nearly 1 billion total impressions, about four times greater than its Super Bowl effort the year before.

But it hasn’t been easy sailing since then. Following the campaign launch, Gilvar’s budget was cut 40%. “We had to put our thinking caps on, to see what else we could do,” he said.

Aiding things significantly was Monster’s launch in January of a new semantic search technology, dubbed 6Sense, which the company lauds as a revolutionary and hyperprecise method of matching employers with
ideal job candidates.

“Over the past three years we spent $500 million on innovation and, for a $1.5 billion company, that’s tremendous,” Gilvar said. “At its core, 6Sense brought more certainty to the outcome for both jobseekers and our corporate customers, who are not just searching but matching what they’re looking for. What we tried to do was migrate from a job board to a job-matching engine.”

In support of the new technology, Gilvar rolled out a campaign in both print and online with the tagline “Don’t search. Match.”

“We’ve harnessed the power of the money we spend on the consumer side and connected it with the b-to-b side,” he said. He’s also used social media to “explode the power of the idea,” he said.

That came about largely via a job search the company conducted on behalf of the singer Alicia Keys. Last April, Gilvar’s social team got wind that Keys was looking for a blogger for her website. Monster immediately contacted Keys, offering its marketing might and the 6Sense search technology to source and winnow candidates.

The effort drew 8,500 blogger candidates in three weeks and received widespread publicity, in particular in the blogosphere, Gilvar said.

“It was a slam-dunk success,” Gilvar said. “It drove tremendous traffic to our site but also became the ultimate showcase to our b-to-b customers of the power of our technology.”

—C.H.

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