Want Results? Hire a Marketing Expert

Here’s why you should work with a creative marketing agency that knows your industry inside and out

The title above sounds obvious, right? Of course, you want to work with those who know what they are doing and have done it successfully over and over. There are many fine creative marketing agencies who could help you reach your goals, from giant Madison Avenue shops to tiny boutiques and everything in between. I often speak with prospects and clients who have considered choosing one of the legacy giants with decades of history, sprawling departments, and a portfolio that includes everything from banks to dog food. While that type of partnership works for some businesses, I firmly believe that just about every brand in any industry is better served by an agency with deep experience in the particulars of their field. It’s not an agency’s size, age, or address that matters. It’s their expertise.

I developed my belief in the power of the expert in my agency’s infancy, an approach that has been validated again and again through the years. Right away, it was clear how working with specialists was seen from the client’s point of view. Specialty agencies provide their clients the confidence, the focus, and the results that come from having vast experience with everything in their clients’ purview. You can’t overestimate the value of accumulated knowledge acquired through years of exploring every facet of a specific field of endeavor. Even though huge agencies can have teams that are familiar with specific areas of commerce, they can’t possibly have the broad and deep knowledge of every industry that comes with working in that industry every day. 

When looking for creative and marketing support from an outside resource, you have lots of options. If you define exactly what you truly, madly, deeply need—separate from the comfort of an iconic, legacy agency—I believe you’ll make a more appropriate and better-informed choice. Here is what I advise brands to consider when choosing an agency to get the most from their creative and marketing teams. Keep this checklist nearby as you interview, and look for creative agencies, marketing agencies, or any outside resources who: 

  • Know your industry inside and out. 
  • Follow all the industry news, looking broadly and deeply at industry trends. 
  • Identify and understand your competitors.
  • Attend and participate in industry events. 
  • Serve on panels and as speakers at those events.
  • Work closely with data-gathering services and use the top-tier digital marketing tools available.
  • Contribute articles to industry publications.
  • Sponsor and produce webinars and IRL seminars. 
  • Network and continually make connections within, across, around, and throughout every part of your industry.

All of this gathered expertise will help to give you and your team both a macro and a micro view of your industry and your place within it. When it comes to knowledge about your business, more is more. 

All of this gathered expertise will help to give you and your team both a macro and a micro view of your industry and your place within it. When it comes to knowledge about your business, more is more. 

Think of it this way: No one hesitates to seek out a specialist vs. a generalist when it comes to your health. If you need surgery on your big toe, you choose a foot surgeon who has performed your big toe operation hundreds of times, not the general surgeon who operates on knees, backs, elbows…and everything. A no-brainer, right?  

I get—sort of—the attraction of a global legacy agency with a sprawling roster of major brands marketing familiar products that we can probably all find in our homes. The assumption is that if they have built such a vast business, they must be doing it right. This is not crazy thinking, and I have tremendous respect for the giants of Madison Avenue. Yet, a marketing behemoth who isn’t an expert in your industry doesn’t have enough intimate knowledge of your target and the minutiae of your category. And it is those details that matter to your consumer. There’s no reason you can’t get everything you want for your brand—advertising and marketing expertise AND category expertise—if you do your homework in the agency search process.

Want every advantage in crafting your marketing campaign, whatever field you’re in? Want to make sure you’ve explored every corner of your industry? Want to work with those who have an all-inclusive view of your industry’s trends and thinking? Hire an expert.

Jodi Katz is the host of the long-running podcast, “Where Brains Meet Beauty.” She has been a respected voice in the beauty and wellness industry for over 20 years, 15 of them as founder and creative director of Base Beauty Creative Agency (NYC).