Monday, August 29, 2005

Ideas Abandoned

Have you ever been to a NASCAR race? Visited the Army's website? Played America's Army? Some how, some way given your name and number to an Army rep so you could climb a rockwall, get some ID tags made, or take a turn on the Beam Hit set up? If so you've given me your name and number.

Those activies, and many others, generated what we in my office called ADHQ leads. Basically it's a lead generated by the Army's advertisement campaign. I don't know about the rest of the country, but where I recruit an ADHQ lead is a step-up from useless. At a NASCAR event there are so many people who want to just check out the set-up. And they are cool. They're huge, there are pit crew simulators, Blackhawk simulators, Hum-Vee simulators. It's really impressive. It makes anyone want to check them out. The only cost? Your name and number and if you're under 18 a parental waiver.

All those names and numbers get fed into a giant computer and a couple days later they are fed to me the little recruiter. The problem with ADHQ leads is there are so damned many. Think about your sterotypical NASCAR fan. Think about 10,000 of them giving their name and number to see an M16 up close. Even when the system tosses out the people over/underage and totally lacking education we're still talking about hundreds and hndred of names. Names that are just dropped on my box. Names who had no interest in the Army beyond the fact that the Blackhawk simulator looked "neat".

It was a waste of time. The waste was compounded by the desire of USAREC to see some return on the fantastic sum of money spent on these advertising campaigns. So, we, as the recruiters had to call these mostly worthless names with the utmost urgency. I'm sure that someone at Ft. Knox was convinced that every name generated at such an event was a contract waiting to happen. In application they are less so.

A few months ago that mystical "somebody" at USAREC implemented an office called the Lead Refinement Center or LRC. The job of the LRC was to try and filter through all the leads generated by ADHQ. In all fairness the LRC did it's job. The leads it gave us were usually qualified and usually were amiable to an appointment. Now, did LRC leads lead to more contracts? I don't know. I know that I never got a contract from LRC, but I'm a horrible recruiter so my experience shouldn't be counted.

For some strange reason it seems that the LRC has been killed. I no longer get their leads and I'm getting ADHQ leads again. The announcement of the LRC was accompanied by emails from up-on-high and an cover story in the Recruiter Journal. A month later it's almost like they've silently been taken out back, shot, and buried. I'm curious why something which seemed to be productive has disappeared from my life. I don't like ADHQ. We have another NASCAR event coming to town soon and I don't want all that trash on my computer.

Do any of the better, smarter recruiters, or those more connected and attentive know what, if anything, has happened to the LRC? If it's been killed why? I mean, even if LRC leads don't lead to more contracts they save the recruiters time. And if I've got more time I might be able to actually find someone to join the Army (that is of course hypothetical at this time since I've been incapable of putting people into the Army for two months).


JACK ARMY said...

I was never impressed by ADHQ leads. They just aren't as interested as they might have been when they filled out the card or called the 1-800 number.

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