Are your Marketers’ T shaped or I shaped?

With opt-in GDPR on the horizon data bases are going to be decimated, marketing plans torn up, and marketers reshaped.

Have you got the right shapes for success in your marketing team?

I first heard the T-shape term at a digital conference in 2013 during a presentation by a marketing recruiter who used it to illustrate their difficulty in finding the type of candidates their clients were looking for – marketers who had a broader marketing experience (T shape) than the digital only/specialist/biased marketers (I shape).

At the same conference I shared round table discussions with enthusiastic digitally qualified marketers bemoaning the fact that their managers didn’t get it, trust them or respect them and consequently would not support their proposals when it came to allocate the marketing budget.

Fast forward towards 2018 and my client experience since, suggests that this disconnect still exists in many organisations, particularly those challenged with reductions in their marketing budgets. This could be down in part, to a generation gap, the transition from off line to online activity but probably has more to do with tangible financial results, i.e. delivering the budget!

In the world of open rates and click through rates we could conveniently forget or fail to relate them to the ultimate purpose of every commercial/sustainable organisation…to increase profitable sales. After all, this is what pays the staff salaries and shareholder dividends.

Here are ten steps to help you avoid being seduced or intimidated by the technology, blinded or manipulated by the data, and position you to maximise the digital opportunity:

  1. Recognise that digital metrics are a means to an end not an end in themselves.
  2. Be very clear on how digital fits within the overall strategic marketing plan.
  3. Set clear means-to-an-end objectives.
  4. Involve your I shape marketers in the broader marketing plan.
  5. Commit to developing I shape marketers into T shape marketers.
  6. Question the data you don’t see – it may tell you more.
  7. Get your I shapes off their screens and in front of customers on a regular basis.
  8. Don’t leave your customers behind.
  9. Don’t get left behind by your customers.
  10. Embrace the lessons of failure and move on FAST.

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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Posted in business strategy, Digital Marketing, Marketing
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