Start Building your T-Shaped Marketing Skills at WWU

The T-Shaped Marketer has broad marketing knowledge along the top of a T, and depth of knowledge along the stem

By: Tyler Borjeson

Becoming a T-shaped marketer is something every marketing student at WWU should value. Whether you’re first starting out with your WWU marketing career, or preparing to graduate soon, building your marketing skills make you a more flexible, adaptive, and effective marketer. T-Shaped marketers are valuable members of any marketing team whether in a college course or in a real-world professional setting.

First, let’s define what it means to become a T-Shaped marketer at Westerns Marketing Program

Structure of a T-Shaped Marketer

The horizontal part of the “T” is the broad knowledge about marketing. This includes all of the skills surrounding marketing that you’re familiar with. These are skills that you have general knowledge in and understanding of, but are not an expert in.  

The vertical part of the “T” shows a singular depth of knowledge in one specific subject. This can be a skill that you have a passion for, or something you found you have a natural talent in. The skill you decide to deepen your knowledge in is the specific area that you will want to focus your career in.  

What makes T-shaped marketers valuable?

The goal of T-shaped marketers is not to be a specialist, but a generalist with one specialty. They are incredibly valuable members to marketing teams because they can understand an entire marketing strategy and provide insights to every part of it. T-Shaped marketers can come in and create marketing strategies that convert not only through content marketing(opens in new window) or SEO(opens in new window) - they’re going to do it across the board. They can put together high level marketing strategies that feed into content, email marketing, PPC(opens in new window) or whatever marketing goals that need to be touched on. 

Businesses need T-shaped marketers to help steer successful marketing strategies and campaigns. The combination of expertise and knowledge on a wide variety of other marketing skills is invaluable to businesses. It provides teams with increased efficiency and saves time and resources. T-Shaped marketers can successfully communicate with other team members and provide marketing insights that will integrate throughout any marketing goals. 

So why is it important for those just starting their career?

Building your T-shaped marketing skills early in your career is a great way to start broadening these topics over your coursework. By the time you are ready for graduation, you will feel confident to start applying your skills across the board. Over time, you will realize what marketing topics you are passionate about, and those you are not. T-Shaped marketers are so valuable because they eventually become an expert in a singular skill. So starting early gives you enough time to find a comfortable position in your career.  

Start building your skills today!

Western Washington Universities Marketing Program offers a wide variety of marketing efforts that will broaden your knowledge and build the T-shape that marketers strive to work towards. Check out the WWU marketing page, take a look at the courses available, and start to do research on which skills would be worth adding to your toolbox. The choice is yours, and the customizability of your career is at your fingertips. 

The Student Marketing Association(opens in new window) also hosts a weekly meeting(opens in new window) where they bring in marketing professionals from around the greater Seattle area to talk about their careers. These can be incredibly informational sessions that could broaden your knowledge, and help you find what skill sets you're passionate about. They meet every Wednesday at 6:30pm via Zoom!