matt dodgson video image
Feb 3, 2022

How to Move Industry Sectors [with examples]

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer

So one of the questions that we’re asked the most is how do I move industries? How do I move sectors? How do I transfer my B2B marketing skills from the FMCG sector into the B2B technology market?

And in this video I’m going to give you a piece of advice and then also a tip to really try and cut through the noise and get the attention of the person that you want to approach about a particular job to help make that transition a lot easier.

Hi, I’m Matt Dodgson, I’m one of the founders of Market Recruitment and we connect ambitious B2B tech companies with ROI focused marketers to drive growth and happiness.

Why is it hard for marketers to move industries?

First of all, how do you move industries? How do you move markets? How do you move sectors? It’s a question that we’re asked quite often. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it can be done.

And I think sometimes the challenge that people have is they’re trying to think about making that move in one fell swoop, they’re trying to go from being an FMCG marketer or retail marketer into a B2B tech company, enterprise software provider or something like that. And that’s in one hit quite a hard thing to do.

And if you think about it from a company’s perspective, a company, when they’re hiring for somebody, they’ve got a need, they’ve got a problem, they want to solve that problem and they want somebody to come on board who’s going to hit the ground running quite quickly and to start to make an impact.

The reason that they tend to focus on people who are quite close to their current industry, in our case, we talked to a lot of companies in the B2B tech market who want marketers from that space, is because they can add value very quickly. And also because you can minimise risk. If somebody’s coming from the FMCG market which is very different and they move across the B2B tech side, for a company, that might be risky. What happens if they land and they don’t enjoy what they’re doing? And they move on quite quickly. That’s why companies are looking for people who have got quite a close match to what they do as a business.

Think about your marketing career in stepping stones

Now, one thing to think about, is how can I make that move, but actually rather than doing it in one fell swoop, to do it as a set of stepping stones. And it could be just one stepping stone. As an example, it’s going to be a lot harder if you’re an FMCG or retail marketer to go into, let’s say, enterprise software market for the banking sector. There’s no relevance there. You’re going to be starting from scratch. You don’t really know the financial market. You don’t know the tech market. It’s going to be very hard for a company to look at your profile and go, “You know what? I can see some synergies. I can see this person making an impact quite quickly.”

However, if you are then thinking about, “Okay, well, I’ve got a really good understanding of the retail market. I’ve got a really understanding of a particular sector.” It could be the drinks market or the food market or whatever it might be. Could be transportation, logistics, anything like that. Whatever your knowledge is, think about, okay, well what’s a transition? What tech companies out there are in my space who would really value my knowledge? So it could be, for instance, a tech company that sells EPOS systems. It could be a tech company that sells data, maybe shopper behaviour or shopping data into businesses.

So think of it as a way to transition maybe into a more tech focused role because trying to make that transition is quite difficult. But if you can make that transition a little bit easier and if you can show to that company, well actually no, I haven’t operated within tech. However, I’ve got the skills that you kind of want, I’m a good person, but also really understand the market that you’re trying to attack, because I’ve been operating it for the last 10 15 years. So that makes the transition a little bit easier. So rather than thinking about making that big jump to something that you really don’t have a lot of knowledge about, think about how you can make a stepping stone into it.

How to get someone’s attention when you apply for a marketing job

Number two then is, okay, you found an opportunity. You’re a retail marketer or you’re from the media industry or something like that, and you want to get into the tech market. You found an opportunity that gives you that bridge. So maybe you’re able to showcase some of your knowledge. You’ve identified that that’s a good opportunity. How then do I approach that company? How then do I get their attention? How do I stop them just looking at my CV and going, “You know what? This is somebody who doesn’t know our market, never worked in tech, et cetera, et cetera.” And a really good tool to use is, and there’s a couple of solutions out there, is a tool from LOOM, there’s a tool from Vidyard, Vidyard Go, but there’s a few different providers that enable you to record yourself.

Now that might seem a bit scary, but all you’re going to do is you’re going to send a very short, one minute, two minute max, video about the benefits that you could bring for that particular organisation. And you’re going to really study that job description. You’re going to really have a think about your value and what you can bring. And you’re going to talk to the person who’s advertising for that role. And it’s going to be a very simple video and you’re going to say, “Look, I’m really interested in the marketing manager role that I’ve just been looking at. One of the key things that I could bring to help you is X, X, X.”

Then you start talking about how you can benefit that company. You’re also then maybe going to tag on a little bit of an example about, “Okay, this is some of the value that I’ve developed in the past. This is some of the revenue I’ve driven.” This is something exciting. It’s a hook and you’re going to look at that job description and say, “Okay, what’s the crux of this role? What are they trying to achieve from that job and what could I talk to them very briefly about, which could just generate a little bit of interest, a bit of intrigue, get them picking up the phone to you, dropping you an email back.”

Because if you do that anyway, you are differentiating yourself from every other single person out there. And if you think about marketing generally, marketing is about getting somebody to respond. It’s about somebody taking action. It’s about somebody doing something, whether it be buy a product, subscribe to something, whatever it might be. And you’re showing good marketing. You’re showing the fact that, “Hey look, you’re getting loads of CVS, but here’s a little video that I’ve recorded for you, which just gives it in a very short format, some reasons why you should be talking to me.” And you don’t want to go on and on and on. You want to keep it quite short, quite sweet. You want to give them a hook and let them come back to you.

So two things there. The first thing is, think about the stepping stones and they might be quite small stepping stones or there could be one step along to your final thing. Think about, okay, well how can I transition into what I want to do with the knowledge that I’ve got that benefits the company that I might be interested in? And then the second bit is, how do I stand out? How do I get that person’s attention? And recording a very short video using LOOM or Vidyard Go or something like that, is a really, really good way to do that.

So, the best of luck with trying to make that transition, if that’s something you want to do. And of course, we’re here to talk to people. We’ll try and offer as much advice as possible. We find it quite difficult to help people, despite thinking that marketing skills are transferable, we find it quite difficult to do, but I think if you’re doing it yourself, then you’ll have a better chance of doing it. So apply the tips. Let me know your thoughts. Is it working? Is it not? Offer some advice in the comment section, but obviously best of luck with whatever you decide to do. Take care.