It’s a common belief, and in my opinion, a common mistake: restricting your marketing hires to those only with relevant industry experience.
Over the course of my career, I’ve provided my services as a marketer to:
- Speaker wire
- Major League Baseball
- Motion pictures
- Computer magazines
- Online news
- A community website
- A music placement service
- A music discovery website
- Casual online video games
- Stock photography
- Outdoor retail goods
- Auto repair services
- Public storage units
- Online portal
- Smart phones
- Tax software
In not one of those cases did I have prior industry experience before taking on the marketing strategy and execution. And in not one of those cases did the company regret hiring me to do their marketing.
If you hire a solid, professional marketer, the first thing they’re going to do is learn the product or story they’re going to be marketing and the target(s) to whom they’ll be selling. This is the case whether they have prior industry knowledge or not.
Marketers without industry experience can often bring new ideas from other industries that can be applied with great success. And these ideas might differ from the usual marketing target audiences are used to seeing.
If you hire a solid marketer, they’re going to exceed expectations no matter what they’re selling. My record provides the data that proves it.
In every one of the instances listed above, my teams and I provided innovative, revenue-growing marketing solutions – often with awards for the work we did. We laid out intelligent and methodical strategies that identified where we could reach target audiences and created messaging specific to various behaviors they exhibited.
When companies limit themselves to marketers with industry experience, they’re overlooking a lot of great marketing talent and settling for someone who most likely will not bring any new ideas to the mix.
Innovation requires taking calculated risks. If you want to do innovative marketing, you might have to look beyond your own industry.