The roles of marketers can be divided into generalists and specialists. Generalists do a little of everything. Specialists do a lot of one thing.
Which is better? That’s not for me to say.
But I can tell you that each have their advantages, both for the marketer in question as well as the company they work for. And over the next two days I will argue for both sides.
Today let me tell you why it’s better to be a specialist:
- There are lots of generalists. Your specialty makes you different, in a very good way. Companies need specialists to do the work that generalists are simply not able to do. And while generalists can sometimes be a dime a dozen, having a specialty helps you stand out.
- You are immediately more valuable. While I might argue that the best generalists have higher long-term prospects because they may become executives, in the short term specialists will tend to earn more. Specialists command a higher salary because their skills are more rare.
- You can focus. Because no one expects you to know everything, you can really dive into your specialty. You can devote more time to that one area than a generalist can devote to anything. And because of that, your skills will improve quickly over time, making yourself that much more valuable.
- You can work for yourself. If you’ve got the stomach for it, a specialist can do well for themselves as a consultant, working for a variety of different clients. It’s easier for companies to outsource specialty work instead of hiring a new team member. Generalists will find it much more difficult to find work as a consultant.
Not convinced? Read yesterday’s post on why it’s better to be a generalist.