Let’s walk through a situation you may know very well. 

You just finished assembling your Request for Proposal (RFP). It includes the goals you’d like to achieve, the scope and timeline, qualifications, and other details you think are important to ascertain. 

Now it’s time to disperse your RFP to agencies that you’ve researched and identified as potential partners for your organization.  

You feel good about your agency list, and you’re ready to reach out to them. 

Let’s pause here. This is the step where we see the most faults. 

Typically marketing executives choose to identify potential agencies solely on the experience they have within their own category. 

There are many issues with this approach, so I’ll outline three key reasons why you should consider an agency with diverse industry experience beyond your own.

1. You gain marketing knowledge first and foremost. 

Whenever you’re seeking the consultation of a marketing and communications firm, you expect just that – marketing and communications experience.  

You and your team are the experts in your category, and we’re the experts in ours. We can never (and will never) completely duplicate the experience and expertise you bring to the table for your organization and industry. Similarly, you’re reaching out to marketing agencies to bring an equal level of marketing knowledge to the table.  

So, don’t miss out on partnering with a qualified marketing agency for the sole fact that they don’t have as much category experience as you’d like – they’re experts in marketing and that’s the benefit of partnering with them! 

2. Diverse industry experience enables the cross-pollination of ideas and insights. 

It’s very easy to get caught up in your own industry – the trends, best practices, and insights are what you live and breathe all day long.  

But there’s a lot of overlap between these trends, best practices, and insights that are applicable in other industries as well. That’s because today’s consumer leverages multiple devices and expects a seamless, omnichannel experience to learn more, build a decision, or make a purchase. And since consumers have constantly changing needs, expectations, and interests, organizations in every industry need to adapt. For example, a high school senior applying to a college expects a smooth application process, just like a new patient visiting a hospital expects a seamless check-in process.  

By understanding today’s consumer, we’re able to adapt a meaningful experience to them by leveraging insights and ideas that can be shared across a variety of industries.  

3. You prioritize partnering with people, not the portfolio. 

We believe that collaboration with the agency team should be the priority when selecting a marketing partner. It’s simply a bonus if the agency holds years of experience in your category as well.  

Focusing on who you’re going to partner with is key because, with their guidance, you’re going to expand your own marketing knowledge, build impactful messaging, campaigns, and creative to target your audiences, and ultimately, move your bottom line. And we know that it’s critical to achieve each of those milestones with a team of people that you enjoy collaborating with every single day.  

So, keep your focus on the people behind the agency logo, rather than the portfolio next to the logo, to reap the benefits. 

We don’t just believe it’s important to partner with a marketing agency with diverse industry experience, we encourage it. You’ll gain marketing knowledge (above just industry knowledge), learn and apply insights and successes from other categories, and partner with the people who care about your goals like they’re their own. It’s the perfect blend for a worthwhile partnership.