The difference between a marketing strategist and a digital strategist is not merely a specialization. Nor is digital, as a prefix, a REDUCTION of something broader that means digital only. The opposite is actually true!
A marketing strategist is a SPECIALIST. A digital strategist is an OMNIVORE. Their core functions are similar, but their approach is entirely different. And digital doesn’t equate with “online” but rather with the ability to integrate many things together, just as digital has now integrated with every aspect of our lives.
The digital strategist deals with technology, content, strategy, science and art – meaning they have an omnivorous mindset. They have to be able to attack a problem from all sides and engage in more than medium. They are also actively involved in almost every aspect of a team because they need to be.
They might choose to focus, and apply all this to one area, such as “Digital Marketing Strategist” but, rest assured if they are a Digital Strategist at heart, they’re just hiding out there, many of their capabilities submerged for the sake of an identifiable role.
A TalentZoo piece cites Harvard’s Chief Digital Officer, Perry Hewitt, explaining that “digital is part technology, part content strategy, part marketing art – and science. People who very strongly identify with only one piece of the equation will struggle on a high-performing digital team.”
The piece goes on to say this kind of mix in one person is RARE. I’ve always felt a bit freakish, because I step easily into roles as Sales Director, Marketing Director, content strategist, business process strategist, training and development, program development, and even creative direction. Binding it all together under the banner of Digital Strategy / Digital Strategist is how it finally became coherent.
The sheer number of marketing channels has expanded to the point that, on a marketing team (if one tends to focus in that broad set of categories), team members tend to micro-specialize – excelling in one or two areas – social media campaigns, e-mail strategy, PR, advertising, event marketing, video marketing, SEO, content writing, or some other aspect. Maybe they have a major and a minor but, beyond their skill set, it gets fuzzy or mundane.
Putting all the pieces together into a digital (marketing) strategy, requires (same citation) not only “an omnivore, but a but a voracious one at that.” It takes someone who can shift gears and deal with any of it. By taking on the mantle of Marketing Director, Sales Director, or just outright Digital Strategist for my companies and clients, I get to juggle hats and use my skill set as an omnivore.
To get an “omni” on your team, reach out to MadPipe. Don’t be at the mercy of a dozen specialists, while you still have to manage it all. Lease a Marketing Director from MadPipe.