Versatility: A Millennia Old Debate on Specialists vs Generalists

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Jump into a job board and you’ll see jobs like funnel specialist, Facebook Ads media buyer, and even more narrow “account farmer”.

Sounds familiar? If you’ve been in the field for a while, you might feel that generalists are not that appreciated. You might even feel that you need to specialize (if you haven’t yet), or that you are missing on opportunities only good specialists have… Let’s not be quick to decide – let’s take a look at what these specialists vs generalists pros and cons really are.

A High Value, Sought After Versatile Generalist Digital Marketer

The tools aren’t important, they change and will continue to change. There is a single type of digital marketer that is always in demand. Yeap, its the guy or girl who delivers. 

Therefore, I prefer to focus on learning a wider range of skills and upgrading my:

  • Complex problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Cognitive flexibility

The thing is…

Thanks to broader knowledge, generalists can navigate through different conditions and understand better how to apply their skills in different contexts. 

And, well, in digital, conditions change fast.

Bottom Line

Personally, I’ll choose versatility over specialization at any time. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve tried both, and it is clear to me that the path of specialization is not my piece of bread. Instead, versatility – or being a generalist – is much more interesting and exciting. 

versatility a millennia old debate on specialists vs generalists

Besides, just like with any product in marketing, you earn money when you know your client. Who is the client for a generalist digital marketer? Think about:

  • Small and medium businesses that need the work done but have no budget (and often no need either) to hire a team of specialists.
  • Digital agencies that offer to take care of all of their clients’ marketing needs – some of them deploy generalist marketers with versatile skills, instead of assigning a team of specialists.
  • Middle companies with an in-house marketer position – such a person would outsource things like Fb, Google Ads, SEO to freelance specialists or agencies.

Here are some more things to think about – generalists can make for a great:

  • Marketing Manager for a marketing department
  • Project manager for a digital agency or a marketing department
  • An entrepreneur that can take care of his company’s marketing 

The world’s race to specialization goes on, but the demand for versatile generalist digital marketers will not go away any time soon.

By Natalie Voloshchuk

Natalie Voloshchuk is a content writer and blog writer that specializes in SEO and on-page optimization. Her specialty is marketing and sustainability niches, with years of actual hands-on experience in the roles like digital marketer generalist, webmaster and Facebook advertiser.

Outside and in the course of work, Natalie remains an animal lover and a human-nature coexistence enthusiast.

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