Dimension 6 – Understanding Industries

As mentioned in the 7 Pillars book, it is important for all marketers (especially young marketers) to gain experience in a range of industries. While the 7 Pillars system best practices are generally agnostic, there are certainly things that can be learned only from working in specific industries. If you are just starting out, it can be beneficial to work at an agency or company that allows you to experience a number of different industries.

In my career, I have been fortunate enough to work in many different industries, from finance and travel to nonprofits and technology. In this time, I have also been fortunate enough to find a few that keep me inspired and pushing myself. While you may not always get to choose which clients or industries are assigned to you, you can always work hard to learn everything you can about your clients’ industries. You may very well start out with little interest in an industry that ends up becoming one of your favorites.

Health and Wellness
I began my career working in-house at a rapidly growing company in the health and wellness industry. This position was where I honed my digital marketing skills and received a lot of on-the-ground training. At the same time, I learned much about the mindsets and motivations of people who are looking to change their lives. These lessons have stayed with me and benefited me not only with other health and wellness clients, but with every project I work on.

The last few years have seen me spend an enormous amount of time working with a few large retail clients in the home goods and housewares sub-industry. Again, there are many aspects that are similar to other industries. However, it is important to dive deep into a category like retail to learn what the competition is doing, understand the terminology and history of the industry, and brainstorm new ways to connect with consumers.

I also think it is important to set professional goals for new industries with which you would like to work. For me, industries like sports, entertainment (music and movies), and high-tech are all areas that I want to explore and get even more involved with.

As you progress through your career and work on many different projects, try to learn everything you can about marketing disciplines, as well as consumer mindsets. While skills like SEO, design or copywriting transfer well across industries, the emotions that motivate people to buy your product or service may vary greatly. Remaining focused on the people your product is servicing will help you be successful no matter what you do.