But You Don’t Know My Industry! A Case for hiring a Marketing company NOT in your niche.

When hiring a marketing company, your first inclination might be to choose a group who has your industry down pat. You may be concerned about hiring a marketing firm that doesn’t know the “ins” and “outs” of your specific field. Of course, there are some benefits to hiring the same company that worked for your competition. They already have the mindset. They have strategic and tactical experience. They can get you moving quicker. But you may find that there are just as many (if not more!) benefits to hiring a company new to your industry. Let’s take a look at a few supporting factors.

It’s about the Method—not the industry.

Marketing is about methodology. There is a systematic way that marketers approach and carry out their work. Good marketers start with information, or data. This information includes understanding customer needs, what the competition is doing, and the latest obstacles facing the client. Now, apply this knowledge to the new marketing company’s work portfolio. Really dig into the work they have done and ask yourself these questions:

§  Is the work insightful?

§  Does the company use a solid system?

§  Has the work achieved results?

No matter the industry, the marketers’ methodology should shine through the work they have completed and tell you if they are capable of achieving success.

Innovation-minded companies look across verticals, not simply deep into a niche.

One of the cons you might find with using a marketing company that has “been there and done that” is that they may rely on a formula or approach when working within the same industry repeatedly. Utilizing a marketer outside of your industry allows for innovative and fresh thinking. The last thing you want is to be on a conveyor belt, moving through your marketing in a predictable way. Enjoy the discovery and thoughtful creativity that help make your marketing programs all your own.

Providing a unique perspective.

It is powerful to have insider knowledge. It is also powerful to have the ability and the curiosity to ask the questions and look in the places where it may seem obvious and overlooked. Marketing companies who work within other industries may have seen similar trends that affect your industry and can offer easily transferable strategies. Bringing new insights and perspectives to the table is a direct way to usher in innovative thinking to your company. New marketing companies can ask the questions that challenge your thinking—in a good way!

§  Why has it always been done that way?

§  Have you ever thought of a product sold like this?

§  How can we be better than the rest?

§  What is the customer asking for that no one delivers?

Don’t be the universal paradigm. This is not the time for “me too!”

Any marketer worth their salt will tell you that being like the other guys is never a good idea. In these tough economic times, that lesson is more important than ever. Look for the marketing company that doesn’t subscribe to the status quo. Be ever watchful of falling into a well-worn path; choose your own route. Why is this so important? Think about the positive media attention your company could attract when you do something different. They won’t take interest in your company if there isn’t something new and innovative to talk about. Stand out and show the exciting things your company is undertaking!

While knowing your industry inside and out may be an attractive characteristic of a marketing company, there is more to the equation if you want results. Pay more attention to what your customer is saying.  What does your customer need that you aren’t providing and how can you be the one to provide it? Choose a marketing company with the strategic capabilities to answer these questions, no matter their experience within your specific industry, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.