Over the last 6 months, I have spent a lot of time at my new job learning and growing as I have been challenged with all sorts of new projects and programs. I went from being a focused specialist to being the “buck-stops-here” point for all things digital within the company – and those are two very different roles. I’ve learned something though, as I have expanded and gotten involved in projects ranging from landing pages for print ads to entire website redesigns and overhaul.

There are two kinds of…

If you stick a bunch of digital marketers in a centerfuge and spin them around, they will separate into two different groups. Yes, I know it’s silly to distill people down to two groups, but hang in there.

Builders

Some marketers are builders. They start from the ground up, building programs, websites, projects, etc. They have the unique ability to look at the thin air in front of them, and envision the end result. They are heavily entrepreneurial, vision-driven individuals who can identify the opportunity, and put the plan and steps in place to seize it.

Optimizers

Some marketers however, are optimizers. They can take a look at a program, site, project, etc, and identify ways to make it significantly better. They can see the goals and the existing paths to accomplish those goals – but then find new paths as well. They take something already built, and make it more efficient and effective.

Ok so there aren’t two kinds.

Really though, I think most marketers fall more heavily in one camp or the other. The people I know that can build great programs and sites are not necessarily the same people that can take existing sites and maximize the opportunities.

Looking back at my own career, I have fallen most often in the Optimizers camp. It has been a fairly significant adjustment in my new role, since I now have to spend much of my time building programs from the ground up. I have had to think about sites and programs in an entirely new way – and it’s been hard.

All marketers should spend time doing both – because the skill sets are completely different and equally important. I won’t say one is easier than the other – just different.

Where do you fall? Where do you want to?

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