T-Rex, T-800, T-Test, T-Shirt, T-Shape. All cool words, meaning cool things. A small armed dinosaur, a robot from the future, a statistics test, a piece of modern apparel, and finally, together with the pirate funnel (read about it here if you haven’t already), arguably .
The T-Shaped marketing model covers all different skills a marketer should possess in order to become a Growth Hacking master. Where traditional marketers have more narrowed knowledge in different areas of specialization, T-Shaped marketers have a very broad range of skills and usually one specific area of specialization. From UX/UI Design to behavioral psychology and from automation to marketing analytics.
How the model works works
The T-Shape has two axes, with the x-axis showing the width of knowledge of all different skills, and the y-axis the depth of it, a further specialisation into a specific area of expertise.
What is a T-Shaped marketer?
A T-Shaped marketer is someone who is an expert of 1 or more areas of deeper knowledge on the T-Shape, areas such as SEO, UX Design, and Automation. Next to being an expert in those areas, a T-Shape marketer is savvy in all areas of the width of the model. You will have a broad understanding of subjects like programming, stakeholder management, behavioural psychology, etc. and you might, for instance, have deeper expertise in lead generation.
Especially as a growth hacker, the width of your knowledge is important. You have to be competent enough in these fields to see opportunities and weaknesses.
We are working full-funnel, remember?
T-Shaped marketing teams
Being a growth hacking agency, we found the ‘80/20’ rule or Pareto principle is in full effect. With 20% of the skills, you can solve 80% of the problems. If you feel like your or your client’s problem is too complex for your skills this means you need an expert; an expert who is a specialist over an area in the long part of the T. In practice, in a T-Shaped team everyone has a general broad understanding over every aspect of the T-Shape, and every individual has a (preferably unique from the rest) field of expertise. When your 20% of knowledge doesn’t cut it, you can ask the expert in that field to help you out.
The Marketing Competencies
Below you can see the T-Shape we use to define competencies within our field. It is a great overview to see whether becoming a Growth Hacker is something for you, it also serves as a great Roadmap of tracking your own skills and value as a marketer.
Steps to becoming a T-Shaped marketer
Ready to become a future-proof marketer who can bring value to the table? Start by following the next steps.
- Start with the marketing basics.
No, you don’t necessarily have to sign up for a Marketing degree. Valuable information can be found anywhere online. Start by getting a good understanding of the first, blue row of the T-shape model above. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to head over to step 2.
- Become an expert.
Ask yourself what areas of the T-Shape you are most passionate about and become an expert on this topic. Online marketing specialists are wanted everywhere in the world at the moment, it is hot business. Pick a topic, and become the best at it.
- Find your weak spots.
Critically assess what your weakest competence is within the T-Shape, go over that area again. You don’t have to dedicate all your time in improving your weak links, you are already an expert on another topic. However, it is always good to expand your knowledge, so don’t neglect learning more either.
Starting to see why a team of T-Shaped marketers or Growth Hackers make sense? At Sprints & Sneakers our entire Growth Hacking team has a broad knowledge in every field of marketing, next to a deeper specialization in more specified areas such as paid media, SEO, automation, e-commerce, UX Design, and so on and so forth.
Curious to find out what Sprints & Sneakers can do for you?