Marketing today requires knowledge in many fields – from technical SEO to content to paid advertising. Great marketers are competent in a wide array of aspects of marketing, but will often have deep knowledge or expertise in one specific area.
The T-Shaped Marketer is a brilliant model to follow for successful marketing. It refers to a specialist with a broad knowledge of other types of marketing that’s enough to create a successful marketing strategy for your startup.
What is a T-Shaped Marketer?
A T-Shaped Marketer refers to a marketing expert that has a broad knowledge of any area but extends their knowledge to become an expert in one or two fields.
For example, a B2B startup may want to hire a T-shaped marketing manager to focus on implementing a successful SEO strategy. At the same time, this manager should have enough knowledge of social media and email marketing enough to keep those channels running.
By having a T-shaped marketer with a broad set of skills, you’ll avoid the need to hire multiple freelancers to manage these different channels. Effectively, T-shaped marketing managers help you optimize your marketing budget and reach your goals faster.
What are the benefits of a T-Shaped Marketer?
Why should businesses hire T-Shaped Marketers?
Get someone versatile
They can benefit from a wide array of skills and expertise. Highly specialized marketers are brilliant at what they do, but won’t be able to help you with other parts of your marketing strategy. Businesses tend to have a few channels that work best for them but will need some attention in less important areas.
They don’t want to hire separate marketers for smaller roles – such as SEO or web development. A T-shaped marketer can provide general assistance when needed.
Stay on budget
Budget-constrained startups can hire T-shaped marketers to develop these focal points. They can cost-effectively scale your marketing operations as your organization grows, further helping you optimize your budget.
By avoiding the need to hire separate marketers, T-Shaped marketers can help you cut marketing costs and optimize your budget more effectively.
Scale your best channel
T-Shaped marketers can offer in-depth expertise in their specialist area when they need it. By contrast, general marketers may not offer the same depth here. This can allow you to effectively scale on a channel that’s a top priority, while making sure that other channels are taken care of.
Related: Learn more about what Fractional CMO, Growth Marketing Managers and VPs of Growth are
What to look for in a great T-Shaped Marketer
Businesses can benefit from the wide range of expertise afforded by T-Shaped marketers. But, how can you ensure you’re picking the right marketing manager for the job?
Here are some things to look out for when hiring a T-Shaped Marketer:
Select the right focal point
T-Shaped marketers will have a significant depth of knowledge in one or two key marketing channels.
Needless to say, you should make sure that the marketer you hire specializes in the channels that you find important.
What areas and channels could you pick as the focal point of your organization’s marketing strategy?
- Content marketing is seen as the “king of inbound marketing”. It involves planning and creating valuable, actionable content to attract your target audience. A specialist in this field will be adept in content strategy, SEO and more! Even for startups.
- Paid ads include PPC advertising, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads etc. Outbound marketing remains a hugely popular marketing channel, especially for B2C companies.
Some channels might not be as useful. For example, many businesses (barring large corporations that prioritize customer-facing marketing) don’t prioritize social media marketing. It may be difficult to grow with a social media marketing focal point.
Pick a marketer with a proven track record
Marketing is a results-based business. We recommend picking a marketer that has the experience and data to validate their skillset.
What proof should you ask for when hiring a marketer?
- Do they have a portfolio? This is especially important if they create content.
- What gains have they been able to achieve with past employers/clients?
- Are they used to targeting the goals and KPIs you’re looking to focus on?
Some organizations may set test tasks to assess a T-shaped marketer’s skills. This may be a short piece of content, performing analytical work on a social media post or suggesting SEO keywords.
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