Marketing Specialist vs Generalist: How to Hire For Your Team

Last week I did an interview with Nick Salvatoriello of IMPACT Branding & Design on how to build your marketing team with specialists and generalists. I gave IMPACT's reader an inside look on how we built my current startup's team over the last three years. I also provided some advice for marketing leaders building out their marketing teams. To checkout the full interview click here.

If you'd like the brief summary, here's what we talked about:

  • Specialists have a narrow focus on a particular discipline within marketing. Examples include writers, web developers, marketing technologists and product or industry experts.
  • Generalists can do many things, but they thrive with organization and management. They are the operators of the team – analytical, type A personalities that get stuff done.
  • When hiring for your team, consider hiring specialists first, as they align with your strategic marketing goals (heavy content production, dynamic website, etc). It's a competitive battle to hire really great talent, one more reason to start with specialists first.
  • Generalists need a lot of training to become successful. Sometimes specialists realize they would prefer (and better at) being generalists. So they switch. Let them.
  • Marketing leaders should provide space for their specialists & generalists to settle into the right roles. Don't be too restrictive or you might force a bad team dynamic (if your team members are in the wrong role). 

Again, you can check out the full interview here. If you have additional questions comment below or shoot me an email. Always happy to chat.