The digital marketing world is vast and overwhelming for those wanting to build their skills. Many resources, guides, courses, and certifications are available to help you become a competent digital marketer. But therein lies the problem. How do you sieve through the sea of information on building a digital marketing career without drowning?
Typically, people begin their digital marketing careers with specific interests such as content writing, social media management, etc. They eventually realise there is more to it and scramble to learn as much as possible. They eventually sail away from their starting point, while building their skills vertically. The problem with this is that digital marketing is complex, and the different aspects are interconnected. Learning only one skill can limit your ability to create an effective marketing campaign.
Understanding the T-shape marketer principle is crucial to succeed without getting lost in all the information. This approach helps you build digital marketing competence while clearly focusing on your chosen specialty.
Who is a T-Shaped Marketer?
Developing skills in various aspects of digital marketing is essential to progress in your digital marketing career. Many marketers aim to become T-shaped marketers, which means they have expertise in one to three main areas. A T-shaped marketer has broad knowledge across different aspects of digital marketing and deep knowledge in one to three major areas.
The horizontal part of the “T” represents a marketer’s broad understanding of marketing. They may not be experts in every aspect, but they know enough to create and understand strategies. The vertical part of the “T” is their deep expertise in a specific area, like content marketing.
T-shaped marketers can analyse an entire marketing strategy and understand each component, even if they’ve only done limited work in certain areas. They deliver value by understanding digital marketing from various perspectives and having deep knowledge in at least one area.
Why Are T-shaped Marketers Powerful?
They are generalists with a specialty, which means they can work on any fundamental aspect of digital marketing. They can create a marketing strategy to achieve goals with different channels, platforms, mediums, and resources.
T-shaped marketers can develop comprehensive strategies for your business. For example, they can create an SEO strategy that involves content marketing, search engine marketing, pay-per-click, email marketing, and more.
If a T-shaped marketer has expertise in analytics, they know how to use it to improve all aspects of your digital marketing strategy. When a T-shaped marketer is skilled in social media marketing, they connect every aspect of digital marketing with social media.
Businesses need T-shaped marketers to shape their marketing strategies from SEO to email. They use their expertise and knowledge of other strategies to help your business achieve its goals.
T-shaped marketers may sometimes focus on more than one thing they are good at. But whatever they do, they ensure a connection with other aspects of digital marketing because they have the necessary knowledge to analyse and make suggestions on other areas. They are valuable in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing. That’s why you should strive to become a T-shaped marketer.
T-shaped marketers are beneficial for several reasons. First, they excel at collaboration because they understand the requirements for various aspects of a marketing strategy. They know their role and the roles of others, making it easier to work with them. Second, they are resourceful due to their broad knowledge of digital marketing, allowing them to quickly grasp ideas from team members and develop plans based on their extensive knowledge. Third, they can adapt and learn faster because of their exposure to different aspects of digital marketing. They can function outside their area of expertise and don’t require training from scratch, making it easy for them to contribute to digital marketing strategy quickly.
How to Become a T-Shaped Marketer
To become a T-shaped marketer and advance your career, follow these steps:
- Gain a solid understanding of digital marketing basics by obtaining various certifications. Google Digital Skills Shop Fundamentals of Digital Marketing is a good starting point. Other options include certificates from the Digital Marketing Institute or internship program participation.
- Choose a program that teaches different aspects of digital marketing, such as social media, content creation, strategy, and design. Our Forward by Anakle program is an example that helps interns build comprehensive digital marketing strategies from the beginning.
- Identify the areas that interest you most. Make a list of these interests and check if you have access to resources to learn these skills. Focus on one area, such as content marketing, social media marketing, or email marketing, and take courses to build expertise in that field. You can find free or paid courses on platforms like Coursera, Google, or Meta.
- Once you have gained knowledge in your chosen area, apply for job opportunities or internships to gain real-world experience. Working as a marketing intern or social media assistant at an organisation or agency can help you practise what you’ve learned and improve your skills. Agencies are good places to learn because they offer collaboration and various tasks to work on.
- Ask yourself which marketing areas you’re weakest in. For example, you might excel at content marketing but need help with pay-per-click advertising. As a T-shaped marketer, you should know about other aspects like pay-per-click advertising to become an advanced digital marketer.
Improve the skills you’re lacking while building expertise in your core competencies. You don’t need to master everything but gain enough proficiency to create a comprehensive marketing strategy using your knowledge and experience.
To grow in digital marketing, keep taking courses in your primary area. Combine training, certifications, and continuous learning to stay updated. This way, you remain a valuable T-shaped marketer, knowledgeable in various aspects of digital marketing besides your specialty.
Being a T-shaped marketer benefits your business or career by providing broad knowledge across disciplines and depth in your area of expertise. As a reliable T-shaped marketer, you can develop a robust, scalable, and effective digital marketing strategy using your generalist knowledge while collaborating with team members across different digital marketing aspects. This approach delivers the most value to clients and keeps you relevant.