Marketing Experience or Industry Experience?

General Posted on: Mar 03, 2015 By: soapboxmarketing | 0 Comments

I was speaking to the head of marketing for a healthcare IT company that is looking to fill a senior marketing position. They’ve been sifting through resumes for more months than he can recall, and I could tell he’s getting frustrated. He needs to hire someone already.

Is there really a shortage of talented, experienced marketing people in the Washington DC Metro area? Not exactly. But the company wants to hire someone with healthcare industry experience. And not just healthcare industry experience, highly specialized healthcare industry experience. And it’s been tough because their industry niche is fairly new, and fairly small.

So as the search continues, the position lays waiting for that elusive candidate.

My question is (and I’m not claiming to know the answer, I’d just like your opinion) which is more important when you hire a marketing candidate – marketing expertise or industry expertise?  My only request is that you don’t answer “both”, and you support your answer with your reasoning.





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Admitting Marketing Mistakes and Moving On

Blog, General Posted on: Jan 23, 2014 By: soapboxmarketing | 0 Comments

The recent Obama Care website debacle has thousands of web developers across the nation either sighing in relief (“Thank God that wasn’t me!) or giving righteous commentary on the importance of testing, scheduling and good project management.

Either way, marketers feel their pain. None of us worth our salt want to disappoint a client, miss a deadline or cause a snafu that dampens the results of a marketing effort — ever.

But it happens and you need to be prepared to act quickly, behave humbly, and learn your lessons to prevent recurrence.

My favorite story from the “I’m glad it wasn’t me” department was a mailing file created by a guy in our IT dept for a project I was working on when I worked for Best Software. We were title slugging a contact list to mail promotional letters to fixed asset managers. He title slugged all right, only the program truncated after salutation 14 characters.

The letters were all addressed to “Dear Fixed Ass.”

I caught it before the file went out to the printer (who hopefully would have caught it, or our traffic manager would have when she checked the proofs. The IT guy and I had a good laugh and he always checked his work more carefully after that incident!

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Obsessed with LogoQuiz

Blog, General Posted on: May 17, 2012 By: soapboxmarketing | 0 Comments

Have you played LogoQuiz?

If you’re into graphics design, branding or business (or cars, skateboard gear or international airlines) you must download this app!

The premise is simple: each level presents you with 75 logos of major brands. Identify the company and get points. Earn enough points to earn hints, guess enough correctly and unlock the next level.

Easy, right? Not so fast! You only get to see part of the logo — a letter, a box, a squiggle — just enough to give you a clue.

After playing one level, I got my entire family involved. My 11 year old kicked butt on logos for surfer gear, video games and sneakers. My 14 year old is an airlines whiz. My husband aced lots of the tech and financial services companies. (I, of course, recognized haute couture, retail and restaurants!).

The game is so challenging, we began to Google terms like “largest world brands”, “popular orange logos” and “Asian cars”. My kids spent hours searching for clues on websites and learning about global businesses. They began to pay close attention to logos on TV and on the back of cars.

The coolest part of this family fun (besides the fact that we were all doing something together that did not involve a TV set) was that, as we identified each logo, my husband and kids learned about more about marketing and branding. What makes a good logo? Why does a company spend big bucks on a logo? How does imagery, shape and color bring about a feeling or create a personality?

Not every business can spend money on market research, focus groups and a New York agency. But if you’re thinking about redesigning your company logo. there are steps you can take to make sure the result evokes the right message. Next week, I’ll post a list of things you can do to make your logo memorable and reflective of your brand.

For now, I’ll leave you with our Soapbox Marketing logo, as seen on a future version of LogoQuiz.


Hint: Marketing Muscle without the Overhead



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