When it comes to a new pitch or project/campaign brief, it is normally a prerequisite that a marketing agency must provide relevant industry experience and work done for similar companies in the same sector.
However, working with an ‘expert marketing agency’ in your sector can bring both positives and negatives. Here I look at both sides of the argument from my point of view.
‘No industry experience, but displays incredible willingness to learn’
Sometimes, you need an outsider when selecting a marketing agency. To kick your brand on to the next level, you may meet agencies who have the industry experience but offer little in terms of exciting, forward-thinking creativity. You require thinking from outside of your sector to galvanise your brand and give you something new; a real spark. With the marketing mix evolving across more channels, with generally more competition in your market, you need a team that takes you past the norm.
If a team can support you in getting the right exposure and helping you stand out from competitors while providing a first class service, they’ve done their job, haven’t they? It can be transferable across sectors; e-commerce to construction and technology to travel. I would say it’s so important to always find new ways of doing things and following best practice. Don’t rest on your laurels. Real in-depth industry knowledge can be the safe option, whereas multiple sector knowledge brings a well-rounded marketing team.
But let’s look at the value of the industry expert marketing agency before coming to a conclusion. There is clearly an amount of knowledge that is unrivalled. They would know your product or service deeply. They will also have most likely been through peaks and troughs within the market. Documented plenty of learns.
It may take them longer to get up to speed with your market and maybe you don’t feel you have the time. But what if they had the potential to do more once they were at that point? What if they could demonstrate real value and clear processes?
Ultimately, I would suggest that your chosen marketing agency or team has a mixture of both. The right blend can be powerful – an internal collaborative approach that provokes deep thought, discussion and controversial points. A fresh perspective on top of expertise should do the trick, but you’ll know in your own instincts what is right and what you’re looking for.