Building your Career as a Marketing Leader

This article was contributed by AMI Chair, Andrew Thornton.

Today’s marketing leaders are required to have T-shaped skills sets.

So, what is meant by T-shaped skills?

T-shaped skills refer to a special type of qualities that make an employee valuable to an organisation. A T-shaped individual possesses excellent knowledge of, and skills in, specific areas of marketing and is good at working with others in a collaborative way.

In short, there are, essentially, two journeys that a professional marketer can take to develop these T- skills.

Journey 1 (the horizontal bar) is where the marketer starts with broad marketing knowledge (e.g. a marketing graduate working in a large corporate marketing environment). They need support to develop the deep specialist knowledge that enables them to take leadership positions and be commercially successful.

Journey 2 (the vertical bar) starts with the specialist knowledge (for example, a digital marketing specialist) but with aspirations to be a senior marketing leader (such as a CMO). They need support to develop their leadership and commercial abilities.

Now is the time to invest in building your T-shaped skills. The AMI offers its members access to a range of professional development options, curated to meet the needs of professional marketers as they build their T-shaped skill sets. To find out more, click here.

Why employers want T-Shaped Individuals

Employing T-shaped marketers is highly beneficial to any organisation. With their core skills and ability to learn things quickly, T-shaped employees excel in their main responsibilities but they can also perform other tasks effectively. In such a way, they contribute to the growth of the organisation as a whole.

 Specifically, they offer the following advantages:

Better communication and collaboration skills: T-shaped individuals are able to deal with other people and understand their needs as a whole, because of their ability to discuss matters across the entire organisation. They understand the ways other people work and the reasons for doing things in a certain way.

Flexibility: While T-shaped employees can cite a main expertise, or a primary area of work, they can still offer their skills to other priority areas that may require their assistance. They are flexible enough to take on new tasks and help other members on their team to make sure that the overall goals and objectives are met.

Hard and soft skills: In addition to hard skills, such as design or programming skills, T-shaped employees also possess soft skills such as networking and critical thinking, making them a complete package.

Andrew Thornton
AMI Chair

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