The Marketing Generalist and their sphere of influence

Initially when I started putting this post together, I wanted to talk about marketing specialists vs. marketing generalists. What I originally wanted to draw attention to is the fact that while we are experiencing a huge uptake of specialist marketing personnel, we might be missing the bigger picture.

Let me expand. In a marketing department ( if your organisation is lucky enough and big enough to be able to afford you this luxury) then you will typically have people focused on seo, ppc, events, content, web development, advertising, copy writing, etc… We have people that are focussed. Solely on their sphere of influence that they can lose sight of the bigger picture when delivering a service.

The marketing generalist therefore is not one who is a specialist in any of the above domains, but rather one who understands each of them with a large degree of detail and can make the links between each of those specific roles to bring cohesion to the department.

The marketing generalist is the guy who sticks his head up from behind his counter screen and is aware of what is happening around him.

That is what I originally wanted to talk about, but then the thought struck me, this silo dies not merely exist within roles, it exists between departments as well. There is a singularity of thought in business that does not necessarily allow those silos to know what they other is doing.

The name of the game has changed from one of being able to do a single function better than anyone else, to a place where you and your department are business value enablers and catalysts for change within other departments.

The business is business is greater than the sum of its parts and this is what social business methodologies teach us. Collaborate and ensure that collectively you are making a difference as opposed to only concentrating on what is happening behind your silo’s impregnable walls.

Granted there are management meetings and department meetings which are supposed to keep a everyone on the same page; but I’m talking about a deeper integration than that. I’m talking about a broader picture than that.

Essentially there are two levels – breed specialists who understand their role backwards and can do it better than anyone else – but on the second level, empower then to grow and understand other areas of their business so that their way of thinking and frame of reference can transcend their operational boundaries and benefit the business holistically.

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