online marketing

3 Types of Marketing Experts

Finding the Right Marketing Professional

With more people coming online with their businesses than ever, the demand for marketing expertise is on high demand. It’s really hard to know if you’re getting good advice right now because there’s so many consultants, coaches and mentors out there.

Today’s companies understand the necessity of digital marketing and social media for building and growing their businesses.  But it’s not always feasible, or preferable, to create an in-house team to develop and maintain all the work and develop effective online promotion initiatives. Just as you might hire an accountant to help you with your taxes, a host of new experts, coaches and consultants have sprung up to help meet the growing needs posed by the social media economy, each with particular skill sets and capabilities.

But what is the difference between a web development shop, a digital marketing agency and a social media manager? As these companies are also working to define themselves in a changing market, the distinctions are not always clear, but we have provided a guide to vendor selection that will help you choose the kind of expert that will best meet your outsourced business needs.

A web developer will tell you how to best structure and design your online web site with the direction you give and the content you supply. This is where many think you can just hand off, but you must take an active role in this process.

A digital marketing agency or expert can best tell you how to target your ideal audience and build promotions and campaigns around reaching and engaging them, including social media strategy.

A social media manager will most often be in charge of content and creative for ongoing placement after a strategy is in place. Social media experts best understand content, creative and attention working with the direction and goals of the marketing strategy in place.

  • But what happens if you don’t know what type of person or firm you need?
  • What happens if you don’t understand the differences in services to make a fair comparison?
  • What do you do when their promises all sound the same and you can’t distinguish their experience and success as it relates to your requirements?

When everyone is a marketing genius, 

how do you know what you need?

Marketing Specialists typically focus on one part of the marketing process like ad placement and campaign development, social media posting content or SEO for better ranking of site pages and blogs. They also tend to specialize in only one platform, like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube. Or they may specialize in one tactic like paid advertising, membership building, email content, landing page builders and the like. Maybe about 80% of marketers you’ll find online fit into this category. If you are asking for help with your social media, you will probably get pitches from specialists but how do you know what you need without a marketing strategy?

More tactics do not mean more sales!

Generalists have broader understanding of the entire marketing and sales process, and often have more experience in multiple industries, varied functions and most popular platforms but will be less likely to support a single campaign or test results. They focus more on building a solid strategy and choosing growth options out of the hundreds of tactics you could try. About 15% of marketing experts fit into this category especially if you consider business coaches and higher end consultants.

And then you have Hybrid Marketers who are more agile, flexible, and diverse than the others. They are highly experienced but also quick with current trends. They can help you get more customers without wasting time and money in the wrong places. They think big picture and can see the entire landscape and understand your whole business to link up all the areas of marketing needed to get you the best solution. They usually develop solutions that go against the grain, and are harder to identify when you seek them out. Sometimes they are also called growth marketers.

Growth marketers help you test, test and keep adjusting until you find the exact right methods for your specific company, situation and goals. Then they help you build on those small wins and replicate in order to scale up.

Now the challenging part for you is to identify which type of marketer you are talking to when you try to find the right marketing professional to help your business.

Do you know who you are listening to?

If you are a novice online or haven’t hired any extra help yet, then you might be asking questions that may not lead you to the right type of marketing expert. Typically, you might think you need to start running a few paid ads on Facebook or Google. But you aren’t sure what to say or how much to spend. You end up spending a few thousand dollars on ads that don’t work. Or maybe you post every day, but you’re only getting leads, not paying customers. So you try a few other things that other people recommend but nothing seems to work for you.

So you want to hire a marketer or an agency to do this for you because you can’t figure it out yourself.

But what they usually don’t tell you is that there are hundreds of ways to get customers, not just the obvious social media places like Facebook and Google. And few will tell you which methods make better sense for your business over what worked for others. That’s why it’s essential to get the right marketing help so you don’t waste time or money in the wrong places on the wrong activities. 

Before You Hire A Marketing Professional

Anyone marketing online these days probably runs into so much advice it’s hard to know what to do and what really works.  Most ideas seem to make sense and the marketing experts keep giving examples of how it worked for them to earn over six figures for their clients.

But all you need are the 1-2 things that work best for you. The only way to figure that out is to develop a solid marketing strategy by asking the right questions of the right people.

CAUTION: There are many experts offering services that they are not specialized in. Life coaches offer marketing and social media advice, web developers offer branding, funnel builders offer ad management. 

If you are an expert then stick to your best areas and partner where you need to. If you are hiring experts be well aware that you will need several areas of expertise to accomplish your goals of an online business. Be certain to hire true experts in their best zone of skillset and the best tools for what you need (not more).

Many marketing experts will say they know what to do, but they probably do not have the experience to back that up. And then many clients tell the experts they already know all there is to do but just don’t have the time. We’ve rarely come across clients that truly know what is best for their businesses, so it’s best to keep an open-mind over assuming you already know.

Other points:

  • Don’t worry about rate comparison before you narrow down to your best choices. 10 hours with a social media planner to complete a few tasks does not relate at all to 1 hour of strategy that will move you miles ahead. The tactics are not apples to apples so aim for expertise and how well they begin to understand your business over the initial price quotes.
  • Don’t worry about finding experts only from your same industry. Often, broader experience is more beneficial than knowing a few of the same things or some terminology. Unless you need statistical analysis for your operation which is industry-specific, a broader base of marketing experience is likely to bring more to the table for you.

Article: 8 Characteristics of Great Consultants


For some questions to ask before you hire a marketing expert, read Part 1 – Outsourcing


Part 1 – Outsourcing

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