Digital Marketing Skills: Are You Broad, Deep or Scattered?

Sometimes you come across an idea that just plain olde GRABS you.

“Vitruvian” by Leonardo da Vinci

That’s what happened when I read Rand’s article on the T-Shaped Marketer. It’s a new way, proposed by Tim Brown of Ideo, of describing the trade-offs of depth versus breadth in marketing skills.

Our knowledge of human psychology, behavioural science and technology grows and changes.  So it becomes increasingly difficult for any one individual to be the da Vinci of marketing.



This topic of “the marketer’s skill set” has come up in a few forms;

1). Marketing Expert Versus Marketing Generalist

If you are a niche marketer, this may suggest a lack of appreciation for the bigger picture.  Worse, you should never invest in X marketing because that’s what you know.  But we can’t all be experts in everything.  Some disciplines benefit greatly from in-depth expertise.

Larger teams will have the benefit of many digital marketing skills.  Still all marketers need a core appreciation for the marketing discipline.

2). Social Media Marketing versus Marketing

Marketing starts with customers; what needs and challenges they have, where they are, and how your solution fits those needs.  I see many clients on the wrong social network.  Just because …

“The whole planet is on Facebook!”

Well not quite. But 1 billion is a large number of people. But is that really the best place for you to do business?

Far better to take an analytic approach and learn where your prospects are with a social media marketing audit.

Go where your customers are; wherever that may be.  And of course, marketing is bigger than social media.


3). Marketing Creativity And Analytics

No creativity  = no touching the hearts and minds of prospects.

My favourite (favorite) anecdote on “creative marketing” is this. When folks say they love suchandsuch an advert.  Yet when asked they don’t know what the product was.    That’s not marketing.  It’s entertainment.  

Speaking of creative and entertainment: this Guinness video is one I am enjoying.  Who doesn’t want to be the master of their fate?

A core marketing value of mine, and something I love about digital marketing is analytics.

Without understanding your analytics, what works is a murky business.

These analytics show exactly how many people viewed and shared the Guinness ad.  Nothing murky about brand engagement here.

Analytics is a critical part of the digital marketing skills
VidIQ Analytics For The Guiness Advert


We all love entertainment marketing.  But budgets should be spent on; branding, lead generation, lead nurturing / conversion, or customer retention.


Entertaining  + Informative Content + Knowing What Works = Great Marketing  




Gaining Digital Marketing Skills

From time to time we all need to augment our own abilities.  Even those coming out of college can lack digital marketing skills.

The survey of Moz readers shows those digital marketing skills / topics most of interest.  No surprise that advanced SEO is top of the list for Moz.

Perhaps your in-house marketing skills would benefit from working with an agency or marketing consultant.  Or maybe the gap is larger and the opportunity justifies hiring.


T-Shaped Marketer

So is this concept of the T-shaped marketer a good description of your marketing skills? Where is your depth of expertise?  Perhaps a tag cloud is a better description of your marketing skills.

What shape marketer are you?

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About Jane Morgan

With 20+ years high-tech marketing & product development experience from Boston to Billund, Berlin to Bangalore, Jane has managed teams and tech products with millions of installs, and millions of revenue (annually). She's researched and developed market strategy for global markets, and established the blueprint for product management in many new teams. As an intrapreneur turned entrepreneur, she changed vowels in 2014 and founded JEM 9 Marketing Consultancy. Today she works with CEOs & business leaders to assist them in understanding and reaching customers. Speaker on market research, technology marketing and product management.