When it comes to helping a client spread the word about their growing company and hiring needs, Trilix brings the full-court press.
Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc. is a world-class, family-owned manufacturer and marketer of tillage, seed, and hay- and grain-handling equipment along with pull-type sprayers, fertilizer applicators and agricultural dual-, triple- and specialty wheel products. The company has manufacturing locations in Shell Rock, Iowa; Delphos, Ohio; and Kalida, Ohio. Unverferth has been a client of Trilix for many years.
During that time, the majority of their work with the agency has been within creative services and the paid media arena to promote the company's brand awareness and products. In fall 2022, Unverferth leadership approached Trilix with a “good” problem — their products were in such high demand, orders outpaced capacity and they needed to launch a recruitment campaign, in coordination with news about their 75,000-square-foot plant expansion at the Shell Rock facility. We knew the right approach would take coordination from all facets of the agency.
By bringing together many of our departments, this effort really brought out the agency’s best work while being the most efficient solution for the client.Alex Rich, senior account manager at Trilix
“We love being able to help our clients solve their problems while telling the story of the good work they’re doing,” said Alex Rich, senior account manager. “In this case, Unverferth needed our assistance to put the call out for qualified workers in their plants, specifically in Shell Rock, Iowa. By bringing together many of our departments, this effort really brought out the agency’s best work while being the most efficient solution for the client.”
Media director Travis Ziemke said one of the challenges with the recruitment campaign was the rural area they were targeting. Shell Rock is in northeast Iowa and has an estimated population of 2,000. Finding experienced welders, painters, robotic operators, machine operators and general assemblers called on the media team to be diverse in their efforts and nimble in their response.
“Given the location and the niche level of jobs, we approached this campaign with more traditional media in mind,” Travis said. “We went heavier on print publications and also did a lot of (local) radio ads. We paired that with digital channels as well, such as display ads, paid search, retargeting, creative sequencing and YouTube videos ads.”
There were times during the campaign where, based on client feedback and needs, we shifted the focus and dollars to really hone in on specific job positions. It comes down to having that open, trusted communication.Matt Durant, media specialist at Trilix
Travis, along with media specialist Matt Durant, said keeping in close contact with the client was key to getting the real-time feel of their efforts.
“We look at the analytics from our ads constantly, but one of the best things we can do is talk to the client and understand what they’re seeing from an application perspective,” said Matt. “There were times during the campaign where, based on client feedback and needs, we shifted the focus and dollars to really hone in on specific job positions. It comes down to having that open, trusted communication.”
In addition to using paid media, earned media and press to attracted attention to the Shell Rock plant expansion and need for workers. Earned media efforts were a new tactic for which Unverferth was willing to have Trilix take the lead, leaning on the agency’s strong statewide media relationships.
A consistent, coordinated message keeps the key points clear and easy to understand.Laura Sprague, senior communications specialist at Trilix
“After learning about the client’s goals, we researched the media outlets and reporters in that area of the state who would be interested in economic development,” said Laura Sprague, senior communications specialist. “We paired our news release with available assets for media to use, as well as suggested social media posts for the Unverferth team to use. A consistent, coordinated message keeps the key points clear and easy to understand.”
Trilix planned for two releases — one focusing on the plant expansion and the second, on an Unverferth hiring fair. Both targeted regional media, with the second release expanding to area chambers of commerce, trade schools and economic development groups.
“With Unverferth, we had such good news to share and saw a positive response from both media outlets and on social media,” Laura said. “Having video and drone photo assets from our team also helped bring the media pitch and posts to life.”
One of the things both the paid and earned media teams relied on was a solid website and job application where interested people could go for more information or to submit their resume. Unverferth's leaders created a streamlined 30-second job application that now lives on their website.
“Whether someone is visiting the site on their phone or at a [desktop] computer, we want it to be an easy, hassle-free experience to apply for a job,” Alex said. “Once we were able to get the application created and housed on their site, Unverferth leaders saw a rapid uptick in the number of people applying for jobs. It just goes to show that small adjustments can make a big difference in terms of results.”
We feel like the coordinated efforts from the Trilix teams really showed off our quality job offerings, exciting growth and our commitment to producing a solid product.Andy Unverferth, marketing manager at Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Following the December hiring fair in Shell Rock where the line of applicants was “out the door,” Unverferth officials are now focused on training their new hires, all while continuing to keep an eye on needed positions and finishing up their plant expansion.
“We’re going back to more of an equal focus between our Ohio and Iowa locations,” said Andy Unverferth, marketing manager. “We feel like the coordinated efforts from the Trilix teams really showed off our quality job offerings, exciting growth and our commitment to producing a solid product. It’s been fun to watch our story grow over the years and see how Trilix can expand our reach to new audiences.”