Generalists vs specialists


A general marketer will focus on the overall marketing needs for your non profit and must know a little bit about every aspect of marketing.  Typically called Brand Managers, Marketing Managers or Product Managers, general marketers are usually employees within large corporations.  When a general marketer needs extra help in certain areas, they call in the specialists.


Specialist marketers are experts within certain marketing fields, e.g. graphic artists, writers.  Usually they are external consultants, but large non-profits may have employees performing the same functions.

Why do you need a marketing generalist?

images-16There is always a risk in self-diagnosing your problem.  You need to make sure you get what you need….. not necessarily what you originally asked for.  A generalist will help you diagnose where your gaps are and either fill the gap themselves or find a specialist to fill the gap.   For example, you may want “more donations” – a generalist will help you determine whether its more efficient to approach existing donors or new donors.

Marketing is both an art and a science.  Marketing generalists are trained to do well at both, but there will always be a tendency for a generalist to feel more comfortable with either the art or the science.  If you need help clarifying and protecting your brand, search for a “marketing artist”.  If you need help calculating the efficiency of your revenue streams and analyzing donor churn, search for a “marketing scientist”.

When I meet a new client, I explain what I do by using an analogy with the real estate market.  When a homeowner sells their home, they can hire a “staging” company who removes clutter and decorates.  Staging companies make a home easy for buyers to want to buy.  Similarly, when I rebrand a client, I remove the clutter and focus on their key messages.  I make it easy for donors to donate to you.