BJM: The Marketing Specialist vs The Marketing Generalist 101

Specialist Marketing vs generalist marketing

The difference in a marketing specialist and marketing generalist is clearly obvious by the words specialist and generalist. In the health care system, we have the general physician and we have the plastic surgeon. In construction, we have the general contractor and then we have the electrician. If you’re still unsure, we’ll break it down for you.

You got the idea?

***You will need both to stay competitive for your startup or enterprise***

The Role of Marketing Specialist

  • They usually have a specific discipline in marketing or advertising or technology
  • They focus on their specific lane
  • Commonly found in bigger organizations or marketing agencies
  • If you are very clear of your needs are like content marketers, email marketing, graphic designer, event marketing, etc
  • In some cases they can produce faster and better in their specific role
  • Specialist take their work very seriously cause this is their craft. Sometimes may get offended if criticized.
  • They are perfectionist and that can be great in some circumstances.
  • Cheap specialist are not easy to hire directly however maybe through freelancing or project based. Also cause it takes time to become a great specialist.

The Role of Marketing Generalist

  • They love to wear many hats and learn what they need to learn. Do what they need to do.
  • They need to be flexible and adaptable on a dime
  • More like project managers and coordinators
  • They will jump in wherever they are needed
  • Specialist can become generalist or the other way as well
  • A generalist is under pressure to keep all the areas he/she is good at up to industry standard so they can keep doing what they love. A specialist just focuses on their lane. and pursues above average.
  • More open minded and more curious
  • Generalist are not very amazing in everything. They may be average or good.

General Marketing Tips

Always understand the industry you are in and the importance of marketing when people decide to buy your products versus the competition.

Marketing is more than posting a few pics on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok,

Marketing is a science and art. It’s right brain and left brain thinking. It involves creative and yet logic to achieve the right results.

Marketing can take on just a administration role which may complement in driving business growth. It’s a bit about just creating awareness and keeping in touch. No lead generation activity.

Marketing can take on the expert role. This person or team that just can do their jobs so well consistently. They have mastered their lane. Occasionally just focused on the near future. Like improving conversion on a landing page. Or redesigning a mobile UI/UX. The thing though is that they may not be the fastest adapters or be able to see 3 to 10 years ahead. Implementing and middle man.

Marketing can take on the strategist role. This person wants to plan, lead, develop ideas, visions, direction, big ideas thinker, etc. for the organization. Usually this person can see and understand every aspect of the business and still provide excellent marketing leadership & results. They need to feel they have the freedom and resources to do their jobs.

Hiring people is just man power. You also need a marketing budget to buy the tools, stacks, and ad space or marketing activity.

Even bootstrap gorilla marketing requires a marketing budget

The sweet spot is to hire or collaborate with both a specialist & generalist

Both will keep each-other in check

The best thing is learn how to identify a generalist and specialist marketer so you know what to expect.

When everything about your business is not quite smooth operation 24/7 and still has bugs sometimes generalist are better

You need to decide what will be in-house (hired employee) and what will be outsourced.

Outsourcing allows you to build lots of support around your organization as well. A mountain climb can be more easier with twenty people than just two.

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