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A question I hear a lot when talking to people and organizations who are interested in working with Starburst is “we’re looking for an agency with experience in our industry — do you have that?”

If you want to be the same as everyone else, we strongly recommend this strategy. But breakthrough ideas don’t come from people who’ve walked the same path over and over again.

In fact, one of the reasons creative agencies still exist today is because of their diversity of thinking. Being an outsider to an industry has a huge advantage. As an outsider, you’re forced to ask questions — questions an industry vet might not think to ask because they’re constrained by typical ‘best practices,’ cookie cutter solutions and/or the dreaded mental rut.

The difficulty that comes from working with agencies in the same industry as yours is their inability to look at your problem separately from your product.

Why does this matter? Because problems are not industry specific.  If you’re a home renovation contractor who needs to generate leads and increase conversions, your problem isn’t about your products or services — it’s about how you’re marketing them. Similarly, if you’re a national bank trying to rebrand, you need an agency with extensive branding experience, not banking experience.

Smart marketing works across all categories: government, banks, furniture stores, manufacturing companies, restaurants and more.

When we’re given the opportunity to do work for a new industry, we’re challenged by circumstance to learn everything we possibly can about it. We don’t make assumptions based on what we’ve done before because every company is different. Instead, we apply what we’ve learned in other industries with similar problems. The more industries we’ve worked in, the stronger and more knowledgeable about varied marketing problems we become.

Marketers often forget that there is a basic understanding of human behaviour at the foundation of our business. It’s flawed to assume that because Agency X sold a similar product to yours they can achieve the same result selling it the second time around.

When you hire an agency with too much experience in your industry, you run the risk of looking like everybody else, and to us, that’s simply not effective advertising.