A few friends and I were lamenting over several marketer job descriptions we’d seen while helping a friend search for a position. These friends were an experienced professional group of marketers. They had managed multi-million dollar marketing campaigns, successfully operated marketing businesses, and had the know-how and education to get the job done. They ranged in age from mid-twenties to me—the old guy. No one in the group completely qualified for most of the marketing positions we found, at least not as they were posted. The job listings expected too much—too many disciplines.
Were they asking for too much?
Many of the classified marketing ads we saw asked for qualifications other than marketing. For example, one ad listed marketing experience along with copywriting, editing, HTML expertise, analytics creation, photography, videography, web development, event planning, and social media marketing. Several in the group were qualified for all of the above, but the question became who would want to?
Do you want a Jack of all Trades?
In the example above the business may be making a mistake. The adage, “Jack of all trades, master of none” applies. And this philosophy may not be the best approach to marketing. It may leave the company…jacked. Consider this; would you want a top notch professional photographer for corporate head shots or someone who took pictures for a hobby? How about websites? Should you settle for someone who knows how to build a WordPress single serve site or hire a professional web developer. Do you see my point?
Is There Room for a Marketing Generalist?
Yes, there is, but there’s also a place for experts in their chosen field. The key is to know when it’s acceptable to use your in-house generalist and when you need an expert. What do you ask your marketing team to do? Should some of what they do be outsourced to experts? How should you decide? Are you hurting your image by asking for too much?