The term “T-shaped marketer” has gained much traction recently, particularly within the marketing space. As a result, many people are becoming more aware of the importance of diverse skillset, and these professionals lead the way.
Marketers looking to future-proof their careers need extensive knowledge and a mix of skills that extend beyond the traditional marketing disciplines.
They need to understand and utilize new technologies, be excellent communicators, and deeply understand digital marketing.
In this guide, we will discuss what a T-shaped marketer is and why you need to become one in 2023.
What is a T-Shaped Marketer?
The term means one has a deep understanding of one marketing discipline (the vertical “T”), as well as a broad understanding of how all disciplines work together (the horizontal “T”).
This combination of skills allows them to see the big picture and develop integrated campaigns that achieve objectives across the entire marketing mix.
They can apply their profound knowledge to solve problems in other areas, and their foundation allows them to see connections that others may miss.
They can run an entire marketing strategy from start to finish because they understand how all the pieces fit together.
For example, this digital marketing specialist might be a search engine marketing expert with a working knowledge of social media, email, funnel, and content marketing.
T-shaped marketers can often see the big picture and understand how different disciplines work together to achieve success.
The Benefits of Being a T-Shaped Marketer
As marketing becomes more complex, the ability to think holistically and connect the dots will become increasingly valuable. Businesses looking for marketers who can create and execute integrated campaigns and join their marketing team would do well to seek out T-shaped talent.
The following are some of its benefits to one digital marketing career:
1. One can do more
One of the most apparent benefits of being a t shaped marketer is that you can do more. With a basic understanding of one marketing discipline and how all disciplines work together, you can take on more responsibility and contribute more to your marketing team.
You can also have broad knowledge and better understand the overall marketing strategy and how your work fits into the bigger picture. This allows you to be more strategic in your thinking and execution, leading to better results.
2. It makes you function across all marketing facets
The model makes you more well-rounded and functions across all digital facets. As we mentioned before, a t-shaped marketing strategy gives one a deep understanding of one marketing discipline and a broad understanding of how all disciplines work together.
3. Increases your value
These marketers are in high demand because they can contribute more to their teams and better understand the big picture. This increased value makes you more valuable to your employer and can lead to career advancement.
What Can You Do to Become a T-Shaped Marketer?
Becoming a T-shaped marketer requires leveraging multiple skills and knowledge in various marketing disciplines. Fortunately for marketers, many free resources are available to help them expand their capabilities.
Many marketers mistake becoming experts in one area and never expanding their skillset. However, the marketing world is constantly changing, and you must learn and evolve to stay ahead of the curve continuously.
Here are five free ways that you can use as a marketer to hone your T-shaped expertise:
- Take online courses or attend webinars to gain new knowledge in digital marketing tactics: You can find plenty of free webinars and courses related to digital marketing topics such as SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and more. These will give you a comprehensive understanding of what’s involved in modern-day digital marketing efforts.
- Follow industry leaders and learn from their practices: Look up popular influencers in the field and follow their work closely. See how they approach various challenges and tasks that come with being a marketer in today’s tech-driven environment. It can inspire campaigns to pursue, and you may also gain insights into best practices they have adopted over time through trial and error.
- Network with peers in their field and share best practices: Social media platforms like LinkedIn allow professionals to network with others who are more experienced than themselves, allowing for exchanging ideas about the profession and the particular challenges at hand. It’s an opportunity for potential collaboration and problem-solving for both parties involved, making it one of the better ways for marketers to get ahead without outlaying any cash upfront.
- Utilize open-source tools such as Google Analytics, keyword tools, and content calendars to track progress on campaigns and initiatives: If you’re looking for assistance structured around specific goals, then using open-source tools can be invaluable when tracking progress or creating benchmark reports at regular intervals throughout the year—all while costing nothing at all! Combining quantitative data via analytics paired with qualitative research gathered through keyword searches is essential before launching any successful campaign. Make sure these are part of your arsenal to become a well-rounded marketer!
- Participate in forums and communities related to the field to collaborate with other like-minded professionals and stay up-to-date on industry trends and news: For those looking for peer recognition (or even having something tangible to put on a portfolio), participating in online discussion threads is an effective way of doing just that! Through these channels, like-minded professionals can discuss topics related to current affairs and future considerations regarding their profession—all for free! Joining groups sharing similar interests means accessing industry leaders and everyday people going through the same experiences—a valuable resource, no doubt!
These are five free ways that marketers can become more T-shaped individuals by taking advantage of all the resources available today; by focusing on learning new skills and networking with peers already established within their fields, professional growth should come naturally over time!
Common Prerequisites for T-Shaped Marketers
As the world of digital marketing continues to evolve, the skills that t-shaped marketers need to learn are also changing.
While a t-shaped marketer still needs to have a deep understanding of one or two specific marketing disciplines, they also need to be able to adapt to new digital tools and platforms.
Below are the “horizontal” (the top line of the “T”) skills that the majority of T-shaped marketers know about:
A t shaped marketer must be able to use a content marketing strategy to reach and engage customers across multiple channels. Content marketing can drive website traffic, generate leads, and build brand awareness.
It can also be used to create loyalty and advocacy among customers.
To be successful with content marketing, t-shaped marketers must understand how to create compelling and relevant content, how to distribute that content across multiple channels, and how to measure the results.
By understanding and utilizing content marketing, t-shaped marketers can create a holistic and integrated approach that will deliver real results.
Social Media Marketing
To be a successful T-shaped marketer, you need to deeply understand the different channels available to reach your target audience. And in today’s world, that means knowing how to use social media marketing.
As a t-shaped marketer, you need to be able to wear many hats and have a wide skillset.
And part of that skill set must include being able to navigate the complex world of social media. From creating engaging content to building relationships with influencers, a lot goes into social media marketing.
But to succeed in today’s world, you must know how to use marketing to your advantage.
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on engaging with influential people with a large social media following to spread brand awareness and build relationships.
T-shaped marketers can benefit from learning influencer marketing as it helps them reach the right audience and create genuine connections. It also provides an opportunity for marketers to connect with a larger audience in an authentic way.
Additionally, marketers can gain valuable insights into their target market through influencer partnerships.
Any online business needs traffic to survive. That’s why a t-shaped marketer is so valuable. They know how to use digital advertising to reach the right people with the right message.
As a result, they can generate a steady stream of qualified leads interested in what you offer.
In addition, a t-shaped marketer knows how to track results and optimize campaigns for maximum ROI. As a result, they are an essential asset for any online business.
If you want your business to thrive, make sure you have a t-shaped marketer on your marketing team.
The lifeblood of any online business is traffic. The more targeted traffic you have coming to your website, the more opportunities you have to convert that traffic into leads, customers, and sales.
And while there are many ways to generate traffic – from paid advertising to social media – one of the most effective (and free) methods is search engine optimization (SEO).
A t-shaped marketer is someone who not only understands SEO but also knows how to use it effectively. They know how to research keywords, optimize website content, and build links to improve their website’s visibility in search engines.
As a result, they can generate a steady stream of targeted traffic that they can then convert into customers and sales. If you want your online business to succeed, you need to become a t-shaped marketer.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of optimizing web content to increase visibility in search engine results.
T-Shaped Marketers need to have some level of skill in SEO because it helps to improve traffic, establish credibility, boost brand awareness, and gain insight into customer preferences.
Having a deep understanding of SEO can help marketers ensure their content is visible and engaging to their target audience on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.
As a t-shaped marketer, it’s important to have a broad range of skills and knowledge to be successful. However, one area that is especially important for t-shaped marketers to focus on is email marketing.
Email marketing allows you to reach a large audience with your message and can be a very effective way to promote your brand or product.
Additionally, email marketing is relatively inexpensive and easy to set up, making it a great option for small businesses or startups. Finally, email marketing can be highly customized and personalized, allowing you to connect with your target audience.
For all these reasons, it’s clear that t-shaped marketers need to prioritize email marketing.
Copywriting is a skill that any t shaped content marketer needs to master. It is the art of persuasion and an essential skill for developing effective marketing campaigns.
It is also a key skill for creating compelling content that will drive results, and if one of your goals is to improve your content marketing in 2023, you need to focus on improving your copywriting skills.
Other Essential Skills for T-Shaped Marketers
But aside from the common branches of marketing that most T-shaped marketers train themselves in to create real value in their marketing, plenty of transferrable skills can also equip T-shaped marketers for success.
Let’s go over some of those skills below.
As a t-shaped marketer, you must deeply understand your target audience. This way, you can create messages and campaigns that resonate with them on a personal level.
One of the best ways to get to know your target audience is to create a customer avatar.
A customer avatar is a fictional character that represents your ideal customer. When creating your avatar, be sure to include as much detail as possible. What are their demographics? What are their interests and hobbies? What are their pain points?
By creating a detailed customer avatar, you’ll be able to generate more targeted and effective marketing campaigns with your marketing team. Plus, you’ll be able to understand the needs better and wants of your target audience, making it easier to serve them in a way that meets their needs.
As a t-shaped marketer, you must know how to craft a core message. Your core message is the foundation of all your digital marketing strategy and efforts and should be clear, concise, and compelling.
It should also align with your brand, customer avatar, and business goals.
Crafting a strong core message will help you focus your digital marketing efforts and connect with your target audience. It will also make creating consistent, cohesive messaging easier across all your marketing channels.
So if you’re serious about marketing your business effectively, start by creating a powerful core message with your marketing team.
Customer Value Journey
In today’s digital age, the t-shaped marketer must be able to identify their target audience and understand how to build a customer value journey that resonates.
By mapping out the customer journey and understanding what touchpoints are most important, you can create a more holistic marketing approach that considers the entire buyer’s journey – not just the final purchase decision.
By understanding how to build a customer value journey, t-shaped marketers can create more seamless, integrated campaigns that ultimately lead to more conversions and ROI.
Community managers are responsible for creating and maintaining relationships with customers and prospects. They engage with customers on social media, forums, and other online communities.
They also worked to build relationships with influencers and thought leaders.
Additionally, community managers often serve as the face of the company and act as a liaison between customers and the company.
As such, they must effectively communicate the company’s message and the customer base’s needs.
T-shaped marketers know how to build relationships, engage with customers, and effectively communicate the company’s message and the customer base’s needs.
Data & Optimization
In the modern world of marketing, data, and optimization is becoming increasingly important. With the advent of new technology, businesses can track and measure customer behavior with unprecedented accuracy.
This allows marketers to Identify which marketing activities are most effective in driving sales and leads and then allocate their resources accordingly.
Additionally, by constantly testing and tweaking their campaigns, t-shaped marketers can ensure that they are always ahead of the curve, providing their customers with the best possible experience.
In a world where the customer is king, data, and optimization are vital skills for all t-shaped marketers.
In the past, marketing was all about creating attractive ads and hoping that potential customers would see them.
However, with the advent of digital marketing, things have changed dramatically. Nowadays, effective marketing requires a deep understanding of customer behavior and the use of data to create personalized messages that resonate with each individual.
And with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), marketing has become even more complex and data-driven.
AI marketing is a term used to describe the use of AI technologies to improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. AI can be used for everything from target audience segmentation to determining the best email time.
And because AI can analyze large amounts of data much faster than humans, it can provide marketers with valuable insights that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to obtain.
As a result, AI marketing is quickly becoming essential for marketers who want to stay ahead of the curve.
A digital marketer needs to have a mindset that’s focused on growth. This means that you’re always learning and trying to improve your knowledge.
You’re not content with being an expert in one area but are always looking for ways to expand your skillset and contribute more to your marketing team.
Another important skill is strategic planning. As we mentioned before, T-shaped marketers need to be able to think strategically and see the big picture. This skill is essential for developing integrated digital marketing plans that achieve the desired results.
Many of the other skills we’ll mention are also important for strategic planning, so keep this in mind as we go over the rest of the things you need.
One of the most important skills is problem-solving skills. One needs to see the big picture and identify problems that need to be solved. They also need to be creative in their approach to solving these problems.
Problem-solving comes into play in all aspects of digital marketing, from strategic planning to campaign execution. If you’re not comfortable solving problems, now is the time to start honing this skill.
Another important skill is an understanding of behavioral psychology. This knowledge can influence people’s behavior and ultimately drive results.
This field of study is essential for developing effective digital marketing campaigns. Many marketers mistake thinking that they can rely on their gut instinct regarding campaign development.
However, understanding behavioral psychology is essential for developing campaigns based on sound principles and having a high chance of success.
Another essential skill is product marketing. It is all about understanding your target market and their needs and wants. It’s also about creating a unique selling proposition for your product or service.
It is a critical skill for anyone who wants to be successful in marketing, and it’s a skill that you need to master if you’re going to be one.
Another skill that cuts across all digital marketing channels is attribution modeling. Attribution modeling is attributing conversions and other desired outcomes to specific marketing activities.
Attribution modeling is a key skill for digital marketers because it allows you to understand which marketing activities drive results and which do not.
This knowledge is essential for making informed decisions about your marketing strategy and allocation of resources.
Automation & APIs
Automation and APIs are critical skills in today’s digital world. Automation allows you to scale your marketing efforts and get more done quickly. APIs will enable you to connect your digital marketing platforms and automate tasks.
Automation & APIs can focus on the most important tasks and outsource the rest. This will free up your time to focus on more strategic tasks that require your attention.
Companies and businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve their digital marketing efforts, and one way to do that is through rapid experimentation.
Rapid experimentation is testing different marketing strategies and tactics to see which ones are most effective.
Rapid experimentation is key because it allows you to test and iterate on different marketing ideas quickly. This skill is essential for anyone who wants to be at the forefront of marketing innovation.
Last but not least, they need to be creative. This doesn’t mean that you need to be an artist or a musician. However, it does mean that you need to be able to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to problems.
Creativity is important in marketing, from strategy development to campaign execution. Creative marketers can develop unique campaigns that stand out from the competition.
You need more marketing know-how to be successful and become a master marker. one can use these skills across any digital marketing channel and in any marketing role.
As the industry continues to become increasingly competitive and new technologies continue to disrupt traditional practices, having this kind of versatility will prime individuals for successful career growth.
As Neil Patel said: “Developing a T-shaped marketing skillset is crucial for any professional looking to stay competitive in today’s market.” Here are the top questions about T-shaped marketers:
As the marketing world evolves, so must the marketers working in it. T-shaped marketers are the new breed of adaptable and have a wide range of skills. If you want to succeed in marketing, you need to focus on developing these skills.
With this knowledge, you’ll be able to succeed in any marketing role and across any marketing channel.
T-Shaped Marketers are taking over marketing, and more businesses realize the importance of having T-Shaped Marketers on their teams.
If you want to be successful in marketing, start focusing on developing the knowledge that will make you a successful Marketer.
Brian Shelton is an entrepreneur, marketer, and life-long learner committed to helping businesses achieve impactful results. He founded Grow Predictably to provide tailored marketing strategies to generate predictable, profitable growth. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Brian has helped businesses, large and small. reach their goals and drive positive change in the world.