When choosing a marketing consultant many people think about the industry in which the person they are looking to retain has experience – and are somehow comforted if their background or specialism is in their industry.
It strikes me that being an industry or sector-specialist is potentially limiting. Working across many industries means that your consultant can bring experience of what has worked for one client to another. Working in one industry this wouldn’t be ethical (to my mind) as it would be providing competitors with information.
What is important in choosing any marketing consultant, is to understand their approach. Are they looking at the industry – and being bound by the limits of that; or are they looking at your customer – and being inspired by the potential of your business.
It strikes me, that in the same way Business to Business and Business to Consumer are now Business to Individual, industry specialisms are a limiting factor in pushing the potential of a campaign or business. The focus should be entirely on the customer and how to reach and motive them. In the next few years I forsee that there will be shift away from sector specialisms into consumer-centric marketing: the specialism that will transform your business.