The “T-shaped marketer” notion has been gaining popularity, especially in the marketing arena. Consequently, more individuals are recognizing the significance of a diverse skill set, with these professionals at the forefront.
For marketers aiming to safeguard their careers, having comprehensive knowledge and a blend of skills that surpass traditional marketing fields is crucial in crafting successful strategies.
Embracing new technologies, excelling in communication, and possessing a profound understanding of digital marketing are all essential aspects of being a T-shaped marketer.
In this guide, we will explore the concept of a T-shaped marketer and discuss why it’s vital for you to become one by 2023.
What is a T-Shaped Marketer?
The concept signifies possessing a profound knowledge of a single marketing discipline (the vertical “T”), while also having a comprehensive grasp of how all disciplines (the horizontal “T”) synergize to create a cohesive marketing strategy.
This fusion of expertise empowers them to envision the overarching plan and craft harmonized campaigns that accomplish goals throughout the entire marketing spectrum.
They possess the ability to utilize their in-depth expertise to address issues in various fields, and their solid foundation enables them to identify links that others might overlook.
They can manage a comprehensive marketing strategy from inception to completion, as they comprehend how every component interconnects.
For instance, a digital marketing professional could be a search marketing authority with practical knowledge of search engine marketing, social media, paid advertisements, email marketing, content marketing, and funnel marketing.
T-shaped marketers frequently have a holistic perspective and grasp how diverse disciplines collaborate to attain success.
The Benefits of Being a T-Shaped Marketer
As the intricacies of marketing continue to expand, the skill to view the bigger picture and link various elements grows more crucial for digital marketers. Companies on the hunt for marketing experts capable of devising and executing unified campaigns to enhance their team should consider pursuing T-shaped individuals.
The following are some of its benefits to one’s digital marketing career:
1. One can do more
A prominent advantage of being a T-shaped marketer is the ability to accomplish more within a marketing team.
Possessing a fundamental comprehension of a single marketing discipline, along with the interconnectivity of all disciplines, enables you to assume greater responsibility and make a more significant contribution to your marketing team.
Additionally, having extensive knowledge allows for a deeper understanding of the overarching marketing strategy and how your efforts fit into the grand scheme.
This empowers you to think and act more strategically as a digital marketer, ultimately leading to improved outcomes.
2. It makes you function across all marketing facets
This approach fosters a well-rounded skill set, enabling you to operate effectively in all digital aspects.
As previously stated, a T-shaped marketing strategy equips an individual with in-depth expertise in one marketing discipline while also providing a wide comprehension of how other disciplines play a role in crafting successful marketing strategies.
3. Increases your value
Marketers of this caliber are greatly desired due to their ability to provide significant input to their marketing team and comprehend the broader perspective.
This heightened importance not only raises your worth to your employer but also expedites your advancement as a digital marketer.
What Can You Do to Become a T-Shaped Marketer?
Transforming into a T-shaped marketer necessitates harnessing a diverse range of skills and expertise across numerous marketing fields. Luckily for marketers, there is an abundance of free resources to assist them in broadening their skillset.
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.
Below are five cost-free methods that you, as a digital marketer, can employ to refine your T-shaped marketing abilities:
- Take online courses or attend webinars to gain new knowledge and marketing skills: Numerous free webinars and courses are available, covering digital marketing subjects like SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and beyond. These resources provide an all-encompassing insight into the components of contemporary digital marketing endeavors.
- Follow industry leaders and learn from their practices: Research well-known influencers within the industry and closely monitor their work. Observe their methods for tackling diverse challenges and responsibilities associated with being a marketer in the current technology-driven landscape. This can spark ideas for campaigns to undertake, and you might also glean valuable insights into the successful practices they have developed over time through experimentation, which have shaped their marketing groundwork.
- Network with peers in their field and share best practices: Platforms such as LinkedIn enable professionals to connect with more experienced peers, facilitating the exchange of ideas about their industry and specific challenges they face. This presents a chance for prospective collaboration and joint problem-solving, positioning it as an advantageous method for marketers to progress without any initial financial investment. In this regard, networking can also be considered a marketing strategy.
- Utilize open-source tools such as Google Analytics, keyword tools, and content calendars to track progress on campaigns and initiatives: In search of aid tailored to particular targets, open-source tools offer immense value for tracking advancements and producing benchmark reports consistently throughout the year – all without incurring any costs! Uniting quantitative data from analytics with qualitative research acquired through keyword searches is a critical prerequisite for initiating a thriving campaign. Be certain to include these elements in your arsenal as you strive to become a balanced 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 individuals seeking peer validation (or even a tangible addition to their portfolio), engaging in online discussion forums can be a powerful approach! These platforms allow professionals with common interests to exchange ideas on current issues and future aspects of their careers – all at no cost! Becoming part of groups with shared interests provides access to both industry experts and everyday people encountering similar experiences – undeniably a worthwhile resource!
Here are five cost-free methods for marketers to develop their T-shaped marketing foundation and transform into more T-shaped professionals by leveraging the plethora of resources accessible today.
Concentrating on acquiring new abilities and connecting with colleagues well-established in their respective domains, professional advancement is likely to occur organically over time!
Common Prerequisites for T-Shaped Marketers
Addressing the marketing foundation, the dynamic nature of digital marketing demands that the skillset for T-shaped marketers adapt and grow as well.
While T-shaped marketers still need 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.
Presented here are the “horizontal” (the upper bar of the “T”) marketing abilities that a large number of T-shaped marketers are familiar with:
A T-shaped marketer is expected to skillfully employ content marketing strategies to captivate and connect with customers through various channels. The power of content marketing lies in its ability to boost website traffic, generate valuable leads, and elevate brand recognition.
Moreover, content marketing serves as a tool for fostering customer loyalty and advocacy. For T-shaped marketers to excel in content marketing, they must grasp the art of crafting engaging and pertinent content, distributing it effectively across diverse channels, and evaluating the outcomes.
By comprehending and leveraging content marketing, T-shaped marketers can develop a comprehensive and cohesive approach that yields tangible results.
Social Media Marketing
To thrive as a T-shaped marketer, it’s essential to possess an in-depth knowledge of the various channels at your disposal for connecting with your target audience. In today’s context, this translates to mastering social media marketing.
Being a T-shaped marketer calls for adaptability and a diverse range of expertise. This skill set should encompass the ability to deftly maneuver through the intricate landscape of social media. Crafting captivating content and cultivating relationships with influencers are crucial aspects of effective social media marketing.
To stay ahead in today’s competitive environment, harnessing the power of marketing is a must.
Influencer marketing is a marketing approach centered on collaborating with prominent individuals possessing extensive social media followings, with the aim of amplifying brand visibility and fostering relationships.
T-shaped marketers stand to gain from acquiring influencer marketing expertise, as it enables them to access the appropriate audience and establish authentic connections. This strategy also allows marketers to engage with a more expansive audience in a genuine manner.
Furthermore, through partnerships with influencers, marketers can obtain precious insights into their target demographic.
The survival of any online business depends on consistent traffic. This is where the importance of a T-shaped marketer comes into play. They possess the expertise to employ digital advertising effectively, targeting the right audience with a tailored message.
Consequently, they can produce a continuous flow of qualified leads who are genuinely interested in your offerings. Moreover, T-shaped marketers are adept at monitoring outcomes and fine-tuning campaigns for optimal ROI, making them a crucial component of any online business.
To ensure your business flourishes, it’s vital to have a T-shaped marketer as part of your marketing team.
The driving force behind any online business is traffic. The greater the amount of targeted traffic coming to your website, the more chances you have to turn that traffic into leads, clients, and sales.
There are numerous ways to generate traffic, ranging from paid advertising to social media. However, one of the most effective (and cost-free) techniques is search engine optimization (SEO).
A T-shaped marketer is an individual who not only comprehends SEO but also excels at utilizing it effectively. They are skilled in keyword research, website content optimization, and link building to enhance their website’s search engine visibility.
Consequently, they can consistently produce targeted traffic, which can then be converted into customers and sales. To ensure the success of your online business, it’s crucial to become a T-shaped marketer.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers to the process of enhancing web content to improve its visibility in search engine results.
It is essential for T-shaped marketers to possess a certain degree of expertise in SEO, as it aids in increasing website traffic, building credibility, amplifying brand awareness, and acquiring insights into customer preferences.
A profound comprehension of SEO allows marketers to guarantee that their content is both noticeable and captivating to their target audience on various search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.
Being a T-shaped marketer requires possessing a wide array of skills and knowledge for achieving success. Among the various areas to concentrate on, email marketing is particularly crucial for T-shaped marketers.
Email marketing enables you to communicate with a vast audience, making it an incredibly efficient method for promoting your brand or product.
Furthermore, email marketing is cost-effective and simple to implement, which makes it an excellent choice for small businesses or startups. Lastly, it offers high levels of customization and personalization, allowing you to engage with your target audience effectively.
Considering these advantages, it’s evident that T-shaped marketers must give priority to email marketing.
Mastering copywriting is crucial for T-shaped content marketers, as it embodies the art of persuasion and plays a vital role in crafting successful marketing campaigns.
Additionally, copywriting is an indispensable skill for generating captivating content that yields results. If enhancing your content marketing strategy in 2023 is among your objectives, it is essential to concentrate on refining your copywriting abilities.
Other Essential Skills for T-Shaped Marketers
Apart from the typical marketing disciplines that most T-shaped marketers hone to generate substantial value in their marketing efforts, numerous transferrable skills can further empower T-shaped marketers for success.
Let’s explore some of these skills below.
As a T-shaped marketer, it is essential to have a profound understanding of your target audience, enabling you to develop messages and campaigns that connect with them on an individual level.
One of the most effective approaches to acquaint yourself with your target audience is by creating a customer avatar.
A customer avatar represents a fictional character embodying your ideal customer. During the creation process, ensure you incorporate as many details as possible, including demographics, interests, hobbies, and pain points.
By developing a comprehensive customer avatar, you can collaborate with your marketing team to devise more targeted and impactful marketing campaigns.
Moreover, this approach allows for a better comprehension of the needs and desires of your target audience, facilitating their service in a manner that satisfies their requirements.
As a T-shaped marketer, it is crucial to master the art of crafting a core message. This message serves as the cornerstone for your entire digital marketing strategy and efforts, and it should be clear, concise, and captivating.
Moreover, the core message should be in harmony with your brand, customer avatar, and business objectives.
Developing a robust core message aids in concentrating your digital marketing endeavors and engaging with your target audience. It also simplifies the process of generating consistent and cohesive messaging across all your marketing channels.
Therefore, if you are committed to effectively marketing your business, begin by collaborating with your marketing team to establish a potent core message.
Customer Value Journey
In the contemporary digital era, T-shaped marketers are required to recognize their target audience and comprehend the process of constructing a customer value journey that strikes a chord.
By delineating the customer journey and identifying the most crucial touchpoints, you can develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that encompasses the entire buyer’s journey, rather than solely focusing on the final purchasing decision.
Grasping the concept of creating a customer value journey empowers T-shaped marketers to design more fluid, cohesive campaigns, ultimately resulting in increased conversions and return on investment (ROI).
Community managers hold the responsibility of establishing and nurturing relationships with clients and potential customers. They interact with customers on social media, forums, and various online communities.
Moreover, they strive to form connections with influencers and thought leaders.
Often, community managers represent the company’s image and function as an intermediary between the organization and its customers.
As a result, they must adeptly convey the company’s message and address the needs of their customer base.
T-shaped marketers possess the skills to cultivate relationships, engage with customers, and proficiently communicate both the company’s message and the requirements of their clientele.
Data & Optimization
In today’s marketing arena, the significance of data and optimization continues to grow. The introduction of cutting-edge technology enables businesses to track and evaluate customer behavior with unparalleled precision.
This capability empowers marketers to pinpoint the most effective marketing strategies for driving sales and leads, subsequently allowing them to distribute resources effectively.
Moreover, through continuous testing and refining of their campaigns, T-shaped marketers can consistently stay ahead, offering their customers the optimal experience.
In a world where customers hold the highest importance, data and optimization remain essential skills for all T-shaped marketers.
Previously, marketing primarily revolved around designing eye-catching advertisements and hoping potential customers would take notice.
However, the emergence of digital marketing has dramatically altered the landscape. Effective marketing now demands a profound comprehension of customer behavior and leveraging data to craft personalized messages that resonate with individuals.
With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), marketing has evolved into an even more intricate and data-driven field.
AI marketing refers to the application of AI technologies to enhance the efficacy of marketing campaigns. AI can be employed in various aspects, from segmenting target audiences to determining optimal email timings.
Since AI can analyze vast quantities of data at a faster rate than humans, it offers marketers invaluable insights that might otherwise be challenging or impossible to acquire.
Consequently, AI marketing is rapidly becoming indispensable for marketers seeking to maintain a competitive edge.
A digital marketer must possess a growth-oriented mindset, which entails constant learning and striving to enhance their knowledge.
Rather than being satisfied as an expert in a single domain, they continuously seek opportunities to broaden their skillset and provide greater value to their marketing team.
Strategic planning is yet another crucial skill to being a marketing specialist. As previously stated, T-shaped marketers must possess the ability to think strategically and comprehend the bigger picture. This skill is vital for creating comprehensive digital marketing strategies that yield the intended outcomes.
Bear in mind that numerous other skills we will discuss are equally significant for strategic planning as we cover the remaining essentials you require.
Mastering problem-solving skills is of utmost importance. It requires an understanding of the broader context and the ability to identify issues that warrant solutions. Moreover, adopting a creative strategy to tackle these problems is essential.
Problem-solving is a key element in every aspect of digital marketing, spanning from strategic planning to campaign implementation. If you’re not at ease with problem-solving, now is the perfect moment to begin refining this skill.
Comprehending behavioral psychology is another critical marketing skills. This insight can affect people’s actions and ultimately yield results.
Studying this field is vital for devising successful digital marketing campaigns. A common misconception among marketers is that they can solely rely on their intuition for campaign creation.
Nonetheless, grasping behavioral psychology is fundamental for designing campaigns anchored in robust principles and offering a high likelihood of success.
Product marketing is another vital skill to possess. It centers around gaining insight into your target market and their preferences and requirements. Furthermore, it entails developing a distinct selling proposition for your product or service.
This skill is paramount for those seeking success in marketing, and it’s an ability that must be honed to achieve such success.
Attribution modeling is a skill that spans all digital marketing channels, involving the assignment of conversions and other desired results to particular marketing efforts.
For digital marketers, attribution modeling is crucial as it enables the identification of marketing activities that yield results and those that don’t.
This understanding is vital for making well-informed choices regarding marketing strategies and resource allocation.
Automation & APIs
In the current digital landscape, automation and APIs are essential marketing skills. Automation empowers you to expand your marketing initiatives and accomplish tasks rapidly. APIs facilitate connections between digital marketing platforms and task automation.
By concentrating on the most crucial tasks and delegating others through automation and APIs, you can free up time to dedicate to more strategic responsibilities that demand your attention.
Organizations continuously seek methods to enhance their digital marketing endeavors, and one approach is through swift experimentation.
Swift experimentation involves assessing various marketing strategies and tactics to determine their effectiveness.
The importance of rapid experimentation lies in its ability to quickly test and refine diverse marketing concepts. This skill is crucial for those who aspire to lead in marketing innovation.
Finally, creativity is essential. This doesn’t imply that you must be an artist or musician. Rather, it means having the ability to think unconventionally and devise innovative solutions to challenges.
In marketing, creativity plays a significant role, from strategizing to executing campaigns. Inventive marketers can create distinctive campaigns that differentiate themselves from competitors.
To achieve success and excel as a marketer specialist, you need a comprehensive understanding of marketing. These skills can be applied across all digital marketing channels and in various marketing roles.
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 landscape undergoes transformation, marketers within it must adapt as well. T-shaped marketers represent a versatile new generation possessing a diverse skill set. To thrive in marketing, it’s crucial to concentrate on cultivating these abilities.
Armed with this expertise, you can achieve success in any marketing position, utilizing any channel and employing various strategies.
The dominance of T-shaped marketers is growing, and an increasing number of companies recognize their value as team members.
To excel in marketing, prioritize building the knowledge necessary for becoming 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.