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Fresh Blood: Look Outside the Industry for Marketing Geniuses

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It makes sense that vendors would want to hire sales and product staff from within the industry, but I’m a firm believer that when it comes to marketing positions, vendors need to start hiring from outside our industry—immediately.

Marketing is a specialized skill set. Either you understand how to market a product or you don’t. Understanding the technology helps to a degree, but companies aren’t selling technology, they are selling services. No offense to the marketers in our industry, but we need some fresh blood, people who know how to market a service or product and bring a different perspective to the industry. Even I recently hired a marketing specialist to help me rethink and reimagine my brand. A good marketing person knows how to tell a story and transform a product or service into something compelling, even if they don’t know how to encode a piece of video.

As an industry, we are all using far too many high-level and generic words like “speed,” “quality,” “performance,” “scale,” etc., with no real meaning behind them. Good marketing involves knowing how to price, package, and promote a product or service and do it in a way that resonates with the customer. Those with good marketing skills know how to transcend verticals and markets while delivering a clear message. And the really good marketers can make companies and brands more valuable and relevant.

As I have seen firsthand from the marketing person I am working with, great marketers are remarkable observers. They love to watch people’s behaviors and can quickly tell what people like, what resonates with them, and what creates the experience the client is looking for. A good marketing person is also extremely curious. Skillful marketers always have more questions to ask and never run out of ways to think about how a person or business might react to a name, a brand, a service, or a feeling. In short, really good marketing folks are geniuses because they aren’t afraid to try something new, to disrupt the market, to change how people think.

A good marketing person doesn’t work 9 to 5. They spend a lot of personal hours watching people, questioning the norm, researching, looking at data, and advancing their skills. They tend to read everything they can and absorb information like sponges, retaining it for later. They are great planners, but even better doers. Marketing professionals live in the trenches, because it’s where they get their energy from, and they don’t use buzzwords or quotes from books. They have the hands-on experience, and are always thinking, coming up with new ideas, and trying something new. They also love their communities, are aware of their surroundings, and love challenges. What’s more, I’ve found, they never start a conversation with a list of their achievements. They are most interested in their clients’ challenges and how they can solve them.

I also have found that really good marketers are quite humble, don’t come with egos, and are not seeking glory. They take great pride in their work, and they love to see a campaign or branding exercise be successful. Great marketers believe in accountability, are not afraid of data and reporting, and have tangible methodologies to determine their clients’ ROI.

When it comes to marketing products and services in the online video industry, it’s time for our field to be disrupted. We need change. We need to evolve. We all need a fresh perspective—even me. It does not matter how long you have been in the space; in fact, I think the longer you have been in the industry, the more you need a fresh marketing approach. Right now I am having someone look at what I do, critique it, change it, and find ways to make it even more relevant and make it transcend verticals— which is the only way for any business or brand to grow. And that is the true value of a marketing genius—growing a company. If you are interested in branding, marketing, and packaging help, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll put you in contact with the marketing genius I am using.

[This article appears in the October 2017 issue of Streaming Media Magazine as "Look Outside for Marketing Geniuses."]

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