Breaking into a new industry can be tough. And while you may not always (or ever) feel like you have a grasp on the world around you, taking the time to ask questions and learn from your team can make a big impact. Learn from our new Brand Marketing Specialist Molly Laird, about how she's navigating the marketing world of veterinary medicine one day at a time.
The word “Spandex” was coined because it is an anagram for “Expands”. Plastic bottles can be recycled, formed into small chips that are then melted and formed into yarn that can be knit together to create recycled fabric. Clearly, these facts are very much applicable to the veterinary field.
Fresh out of graduate school, I accepted the Marketing Manager position for a wholesale stretch fabric supplier. Now my intro is making more sense, right? I worked there for almost two years and learned some amazing things about how to market products at a Business-To-Business (B2B) level. I was also the only marketing person on staff so I handled all of the communication channels for the business. I helped revamp and update the website, I sent out emails, I posted on social media, I oversaw the direct mail campaigns, the list goes on and on. It was a great first job that really helped to learn how to manage multiple projects and campaigns. Fast forward to now.
I’m now about to be in my third month at DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency & Speciality Hospital. When I first accepted my position at DoveLewis, I was thrilled. It meant working for a nationally recognized and AAHA accredited animal hospital that is also a non-profit that focuses on the importance of the human-animal bond. Amazing! I came on with the official title of Brand Marketing Specialist. Handling the communication channels for DoveLewis and atdove.org. A similar idea to the position I was previously at.
Then I started.
I walked into the hospital and was amazed by the behind-the-scenes action going on that you don’t get to see when you’re in the waiting room. At the same time though, I started to feel a little overwhelmed at the magnitude of my responsibilities. What if I don’t share the right stories and lose people’s interest in DoveLewis? What if I completely mess up presenting the technical aspects of a case on atdove? Questions and doubts keep swirling in my mind.
This was a whole new world that was technical and heart-warming. Serious and cute. Quirky and sad at times. The amount of work that goes on is amazing in both organizations. I found it hard at first to hold myself back on everything that I thought needed to be shared.
Enter day 3, when I took over emails for Dove and atdove.org. I came in right in the middle of many things. There were atdove content emails, DoveLewis event emails, email newsletters, and all the while learning about the audience profiles and the organizations themselves.
I knew next to nothing about veterinary medicine. I felt awkward walking into the ER and ICU trying to catch photo-ops when there are serious emergencies happening. I would go home those first couple of weeks (and sometimes still do) and think there is so much to communicate and there are only so many hours in the day.
Now, while I still feel slightly out-of-place walking onto the floor, I know that what I’m doing is helping to reach our audiences and share DoveLewis and atdove.org stories. What started as reacting to the next email or social media post that needed to go out that day has turned into strategizing the following month’s emails and social media posts in editorial calendars. I now have the time to look at our performance each month and move forward to see where we can go for email, social media, PR, blogs, etc. for both DoveLewis and atdove.org channels.
This is truly marketing in a whole new world. With so many facets, programs, stories, amazing employees to feature, I had an amazing (and a tad bit stressful) first couple of months. This is a world that is so very different from where I was at before. But my lack of veterinary knowledge and anxiety when I first started made me realize I needed to have the mindset of a sponge. Soak up all the information I can to communicate the messages in the best way. Ask questions. View previous materials. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Having applicable experience to the job is important, but it doesn’t need to be from the same world or industry as where you’ve worked previously. I knew when I applied that it was an odd transition in industries. But while I started from a world of fabric, I learned and gained my foundation on how to manage campaigns on multiple channels that has translated well in my time here.