July 24, 2017

The Dangers of Everyone Being a Digital Marketing Specialist

Does being a digital marketer feel like working on an assembly line?
Day after day, you’re asked to do the same thing. because digital marketing is dominated by specialists.
How come?
Given the growing number of channels and options, specific skills are required to succeed.
Being a generalist is like being a dinosaur.
It seems like a good idea to be multi-dimensional but who wants a jack-of-all-trades?


To be successful, digital marketing programs or campaigns need people with expertise in a particular area.
Want to do Facebook advertising? Bring in a hired gun? Want to embrace content marketing? Hire an ex-journalist.
In other words, digital marketing has become niche-ified.
Rather than having a broad array of skills, today’s digital marketer has a very focused approach.
So what does that mean for startups and fast-growing companies?
For one, companies need a well-defined strategic roadmap.
They need to understand their goals, target audiences and marketing channels BEFORE tactical execution.
It is no longer good enough to take a shotgun approach to marketing, hoping that something/anything works.
Instead, companies need to know where they want to go and how they are going to get there.
With this insight and a strategic plan, they can hire the right people with the right skills.
At the same time, companies can be selective in how and when they deploy digital marketers.
They can, for example, leverage specific skill-sets to embrace specific marketing channels.
If these channels don’t work or they are no longer effective, companies can attract people with different skills.
This fluidity means companies – at least in the early days – should hire a specialist: contractors, freelancers, or agencies rather than full-time employees.
This delivers strategic and tactical flexibility and agility rather than having employees with the wrong skill sets.
Here’s a question: Is a niche-driven marketing world a good thing?
On one hand, people develop knowledge and expertise to tackle specific jobs.
On the other hand, there is a danger that marketers operate in silos.
They are really good at one thing but have little understanding of other areas or the bigger picture.
What do you think of the niche-ification of digital marketing?

I work with fast-growing companies looking to grow even faster with marketing that actually works.
My strategic and tactical services, which harness the power of storytelling, are driven by frameworks and processes to create strategic messaging, brand positioning, strategies, and content. If you want marketing that makes an impact, let’s talk.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking for hand-picked content, subscribe to my weekly newsletter focused on marketing, operations, sales, raising money…and some Canadian news.

Ready To Spark Your Marketing?

Learn more about how working with a fractional CMO can help you create a better B2B and SaaS marketing strategy, engage more customers and drive brand awareness, pipeline, demand and sales.

A blue spark illustration