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Is there still a place for a Marketing generalist?

Posted 3 months ago by Heidi Moreby
Opinion

A few weeks ago we said to our client base “if you could ask us one question, what would it be”, then fab guy called Nick (hello if you’re reading!) asked us if there is still a place for a marketing generalist. As recruiters in the marketing space, this got us thinking.

Cue internal chats and google searches featuring “reasons not to hire” and “the return of” later and we’ve come to a conclusion.

Yes.

It is undoubtable over the past year we have seen an uptick in demand for specialist marketing skillsets, as businesses sought to become more digitally agile to compete. And we predict growth in the specialist marketing area (especially within the SEO, PPC, CRM and Digital Marketing space) will continue to grow as businesses maintain focus on driving digital growth.

In some organisations this is likely to reduce the need for a generalist marketer because specialists will work as part of a team dynamic, with each individual taking an element of a generalists workload and implementing their knowledge to help drive businesses towards the next level.

But the key word here is team. Because taking on a specialist works best in those mid-large sized organisations, but in smaller businesses and new start-ups hiring all of the cogs in the machine is not always viable during the immediate period. This is where the marketing generalist comes in.

Hiring a generalist means that many smaller organisations get access to a broader skillset. Though there is an argument to say that due to their non-specialist nature, getting some tasks completed may be tricky and require outsourcing, for many the generalist marketer is the first foot on the ladder towards growing a marketing team consisting of specialists.

Marketing generalists create the foundation of a marketing plan and strategy, which then as the company grows, expands to include the requirement for more specialist skills and dedicated workloads. Is there still a place for a marketing generalist? Of course there is. In fact we could argue they’re fundamental to the eventual hiring of specialists.