WeWork: To attract the best talent, you have to offer the best environment

Since its launch here in 2016, WeWork now has over 10,000 Australian members in 12 locations, Brisbane being the most recent one, with more on the way

Having some time out to work on whatever they choose not only helps boost productivity on other days, but also keeps the team happier.
Having some time out to work on whatever they choose not only helps boost productivity on other days, but also keeps the team happier.

With the death of the old 9-5 working day, and as more Australian companies look to implement innovative and flexible working arrangements to attract and retain the best talent, WeWork is expanding locally, and bringing with it a unique, ‘hands on’ marketing strategy.

Since its launch in 2016, WeWork has grown to over 10,000 Australian members in 12 locations, Brisbane being the most recent one, with more on the way.

WeWork puts its growth down to offering some of the most innovative collaborative spaces to clients, and is so confident in these spaces, its marketing strategy is focused on driving people in to experience them for themselves.

Along with coffee, meals, fruit, beer, communal spaces, baby rooms and the ability to bring pets to work, WeWork offers special chairs to monitor mood, bike storage, showers, standing desks and more. On top of this, the global and regional marketing teams work together to blend creative with data-driven marketing to execute campaigns that drive brand awareness to get people in the doors to grow its community.

The company works in the same buildings as members and shares the same events and spaces, meaning marketing to members is a daily, ‘lived’ activity, leading to a better understanding of what clients want so marketing messages may further be honed, WeWork Australia general manager, Balder Tol, said.

The marketing team then uses paid media to introduce the brand to new people, leveraging video and virtual reality to help potential customers experience a WeWork site, even before its doors are open. In addition, full-funnel performance marketing campaigns are running across all channels, with a focus on providing relevant content that takes people on a journey from awareness to action.

While video is proving the most effective content feature, a layered and ever-shifting channel mix is harnessed depending on whether the WeWork team is optimising for efficiency or growth. To help, the marketers are using a multi-touch attribution (MTA) partner to gain granularity around scenario planning.

Of course, different channels and campaigns are measured differently, depending on goals and intended outcomes. However, success is measured by the number of new member engagements, whether it be via brand campaigns driving engagement and awareness or performance campaigns tracked on ROI. And as enterprise companies now make up almost 30 per cent of members, the marketing mix is being tweaked to suit.

Tol told CMO as the world of work continues to evolve and the future of work has, in some ways, never been more uncertain, it’s important for businesses of all scales to create an environment that is inclusive, flexible and, above all, human; curating opportunities designed to bring people together every day.

“Our global footprint and diverse membership base gives us a unique insight into how the behaviour of businesses and their employees is evolving. It’s clear the way people work is undergoing a fundamental shift," he said. "Companies across industries are asking themselves 'what’s next?' as they encounter a changing workforce. Today’s employees are more flexible and mobile, and want to work in environments that allow them to thrive personally and professionally.

“In order to keep pace with the future of work, continue to attract and retain the best talent and to encourage an engaged workforce, organisations need to offer a range of services to improve the employee experience. From healthy food and beverage options, to wellness facilities, to learning and self-improvement options."

By way of example, Tol noted We Company bought New York City’s Flatiron Coding academy in 2017. "This was both a play to get access to engineers fresh off their course but also a recognition of the importance that to make our platform stickier, and to differentiate ourselves, the ability to offer educational courses that allowed members to upskill and provide opportunities for growth was a very attractive play," he explained. 

“We see connectivity, collaboration and providing a platform for interaction is becoming more important as the nature of work is changing.

“There’s also a lot we can learn from more mature markets, such as New York and London, where we’ve taken on new initiatives to provide even more value for our members, like the coding school and the development of new business lines such as WeLive, WeGrow and Rise by We.”

Tol said understanding members and tailoring messages accordingly has been key to its rapid growth.

“By understanding and respecting our members, we can cut through the clutter with genuine communication that inspires and motivates. It also helps us understand how best to engage with new potential members. When we know our members and can understand how they think, we can better tailor our message to future members and let them know how WeWork can help them as they grow too,” he said.

“One constant is using high-quality content to introduce people to the WeWork brand and relying on some of the impactful initiatives the company is driving globally to continue to disseminate the message.

“The diversification of our channels, both on and offline, means we have the tools to deliver the best member experience. Integrating communication, process, and campaigns with the unique culture found at WeWork ensures our people, and in turn, our members, are nurtured."

He said the agile nature of its model is also appealing to Australians, who are naturally quick to adapt. 
Looking further, Tol said the world of work is changing.

"I don’t think people can deny that. Today’s workforce is increasingly mobile and more flexible. At the same time, what employees want from their employers and work environment is shifting," he said. "They’re choosing to work in environments that allow them to be inspired, thrive personally as well as professionally and feel part of something greater than themselves.

“The workplace of the future will be designed to focus on employee engagement, creativity, and collaboration – and breaking down the walls and silos that inhibit innovation.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu  

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