By Jacob Warwick
B2B Content Marketing and Communications Strategist | SaaS | Marketing Tech PR
A version of this post originally appeared on Marketing Insider Group.
Whether naturally empathetic and gifted in communication or fostered through years of experience, or a perhaps combination of both, it’s safe to say that there are talented marketing professionals available in every industry, across every vertical, and at every stage on the org chart.
With today’s marketing landscape as diverse, distributed, and competitive as ever, when hiring and vetting marketing candidates, it’s important for organizations to identify key traits that separate the average marketer from an all-star performer.
While one can argue that industry experience and tactical know-how play an important role in a marketers core competencies, these traits can be learned over time and honed for your specific needs. What’s often more important when hiring a marketing professional is their relevant connections within your industry.
Learn how marketers that concentrate on building strong ties in their industry can create big wins and long term marketing opportunities for their employers.
Industry Relationships Build Co-Branding and Marketing Opportunity
Whether your marketing priorities include developing an engaged blogging and social community or touring the country at all of the best industry events—or hell, all of the above and more, there is only so much a single marketing hire can accomplish on their own.
In scenarios where your organization is launching or managing multiple marketing channels, recurring programs, or testing to find the best balance between brand awareness and real customer revenue, having a professional with connections throughout the marketing industry can pay huge dividends.
Even simple introductions to the correct resources to inform your marketing efforts can save your company months of misaligned efforts or thousands in poorly managed budget.
For marketing tech platform Uberflip, building industry relationships is fundamental to the success of their organization.
“Collaboration with our peers is essential. We see ourselves as part of a greater engagement economy that we participate in as partners with (other marketing) platforms like Marketo, to build a better customer experience.
These collaborative relationships naturally extend to how we do our marketing, where there’s often very little point in strategically “going it alone”—whether it’s for events, sponsorships, webinars, content production and so on. We have a shared target audience and pooling our resources with our industry peers just makes sense.” – Randy Frisch, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of UberFlip.
When assessing marketing talent, LinkedIn can quickly become your best friend.
Start by scouring a candidate’s profile. In addition to skills competency, you will want to identify the following:
Past experience working with a competitor or employees of a competitor.
Recommendations or endorsements from relevant industry professionals.
Written content relevant to your core marketing needs.
Connections with potential customers, business partners, or targeted co-branding opportunities.
Past projects or conferences with select industry professionals.
Marketers with deep roots in your target industry can help you connect with the right people and amplify your marketing efforts.
Use Industry Relationships to Accelerate Marketing Traction—From the Individual to Organizational Success
Launching a startup or breaking into an industry can be an overwhelming challenge because the organization has yet to develop brand awareness—and relationship building can take months to reach fruition.
For copywriter Aaron Orendorff, a single relationship gave him the break he needed to take the content marketing community by storm.
“My first two major guest posts, (at MarketingProfs and Copyblogger) both originated in one-on-one relationships. I was less than a year into content marketing and had no business writing for publications of that size. With Copyblogger in particular, it all came down to a genuine friendship I’d cultivated with Demian Farnworth (Former Chief Content Writer at Rainmaker Digital) and a single question his editor asked in an email string that Demian accidentally sent to me: “Is he a good dude who deserves a chance?”
Since then, every major win has been fueled by relationships. My two biggest wins last year happened to be the biggest posts on Unbounce and Content Marketing Institute. They were essentially mega round ups with direct and original contributions from over 60 different influencers in online marketing. Their names, insights, and especially co-promotion made those article the huge successes they were.”
Orendorff isn’t alone in this industry success—his sentiments were echoed by fellow influential marketer Rebekah Radice—who carried here relationships to grow marketing efforts as the CMO of PostPlanner.
“Relationships have been the key to my business success. Building them was never tactical, but more a way to support and promote others; however, from those efforts sprang camaraderie, community, and a natural desire to learn more about marketing. As I studied their tactics, strategy, and processes, I was able to run it through my own business filter and evaluate the effectiveness.”
For ClearVoice community manager Meagan DeMenna, strong industry ties have empowered her to increase expectations of herself and her departements regards on quality.
“Building relationships with other marketers has helped me create higher quality products. I believe that relationships with experts help raise the quality bar for both people in the relationship. We’re able to challenge each other by bouncing ideas off one another, ask questions beyond what’s face value, and talk about topics deeper than originally imagined. Building these relationships holds me to a higher standard and accountability.”
DeMenna’s colleague, VP of Demand Generation, Ethan DeYoung, may have summarized the importance of relationships best. “Like brands, human connections have the ability to transcend all eras and change.”
Have you hired a full time marketer or consultant based on the industry relationships that they had built? What have you learned through your industry connections? What marketing wins have you seen by concentrating on industry relationships? Put your answers and any feedback in the comments section below.