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From generalist to specialist: How you can advance your digital marketing career.

Posted over 3 years ago by Harry Silvester
Pexels Joseph Ruwa 4038395

When many start their marketing careers, nine times out of ten they enter the industry as a generalist; someone who is actively involved with marketing at all levels from strategy to social media, SEO and (if lucky) PPC.

However whilst generalists hold a good position in the industry, as their broad skillset means they can solve and contribute to a range of marketing decisions - making them an attractive hire for SMEs, we are seeing a large increase in demand for more specialist skillsets.

Whilst already an emerging trend at the tail-end of 2019, as recruiters we have found the demand for specialist skills within digital marketing has increased as a result of Covid.

For our freelance and interim clients this has emerged through companies needing assistance undertaking digital transformations and enhancing their digital presence through content creation and SEO. A similar picture is present on the Agency and In-house side, where due to brands increasing their digital presence throughout lockdown, either through the introduction of online purchase options or increased investment in PPC to compete, they are now finding themselves in a position where they need to hire to maintain.

Rather than hiring generalist talent, who may lack in certain skills, many organisations are opting to go down the specialist route to ensure they are able to get maximum return for their investment in hiring. Meaning if you aren’t already considering advancing your career to become a specialist, now may be the time.

What is a marketing specialist?

A marketing specialist is an individual who specialises in one specific area of marketing.

As a result of changes in the market we have seen an increase in demand for the following skills across freelance/interim and permanent roles:

Paid Search/PPC

PPC professionals manage the paid advertising and marketing budget for an organisation. This can include search engine marketing and paid social media activity. Requiring strong data analysis skills, these types of roles suit strategic thinkers who are nimble and adaptable in the market.

PPC job description



SEO at its core is a strong profession for those creative personalities who perhaps like to dabble more in the strategic side of marketing. Requiring strong data interpretation skills, you will use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to identify and fix website performance issues whilst also crafting keyword led content to improve rankings.

SEO job description


Content/ Social Media management

Taking the specialist route into content and social media management is the closest thing you will get to staying on the generalist route, but taking the next leap. It is likely you will be involved in the full process from research to creation and implementation, whilst also dabbling in PPC and SEO strategies.


Content/ Social media specialist job description


CRM Executives/Managers

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) executives and managers work at the heart of the marketing strategy by getting to understand and know target audiences. In addition to dealing with customer requests you will offer insight into how to improve their purchase experiences, working directly with Marketing managers to improve attraction, retention and conversion.

CRM Executive/Manager job description


As consumers shift to more digital purchase, E-Commerce is likely to become a strong area for growth in marketing. As an E-Commerce specialist you will be an expert in digital strategies, requiring the implementation of PPC and SEO skills to get brands and products noticed, ensure web performance is optimal and the creation of innovative social strategies to stand out.

E-Commerce executive/manager job description


Marketing analyst

Marketing analysts lie at the core of marketing, without these specialists it would be hard to know how to improve social, digital, PPC and SEO functions. Professionals employed in this specialism are often results focussed and commercially minded - seeking to improve business prosperity through strategic insight.

Marketing Analyst job description

Though there are many routes you can take within digital marketing to level up your career, this blog provides just a snapshot of what we have seen. For a deeper insight, you can download Pitch Perspective: The Autumn 2020 job market for free.

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Header: Photo by Joseph Ruwa from Pexels