I believe the marketing department needs to be centered on the often used metaphor of Velcro management: Cohesive when in place, but easily rearranged when the situation and organization strategy change. 76% of the respondents in the Yearly Marketing Survey 2014 believe in such an agile and up-to-date organizational structure. Of course, you can’t constantly rip the company apart. A certain level of continuity needs to be maintained.
So an agile company is an organization that works through flexible networks and catches up with newly required competences by using specialized resources from outside the company. As a consequence, the marketer will become a cross-functional project manager who orchestrates and manages employees and external partners with diverse or complementary skills, and coordinates all kinds of specialisms, always in different constellations. 93% of the respondents of the Yearly Marketing Survey 2014 agree with this statement!
To me, this indicates that the marketer should firstly be a generalist, but of course curious about specialization. The current marketing scope is much broader than in the past. Hence, the marketer’s knowledge and skills need to be more extensive, which explains the importance of being able to play several roles at the same time when required. Only for really specialized topics will the marketer need to attract the help of specialists. But the respondents don’t agree with this entirely. They still believe that the future marketer is a combination of both a generalist and a specialist. Should marketers really have these two profiles at the same time?