Specialist or generalist?

Be a ninja, my son...

Over the years the pendulum has swung between agencies with clear specialists and generalists that offer everything under one roof.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we are passionate about our specialist approach at Brawl. Content marketing requires a laser focus on the ever more fractured world of social media and a deep understanding of what content works best on a particular platform.

And because we are specialists it means we can invest in the latest technology, from cameras to studios, to ensure we can react quickly to any brief.

When clients have a wider brief, we partner with other trusted specialists to ensure the same focus is applied. The counter-argument is that agencies that cover a broad range of services are better placed to deliver integrated campaigns. Rarely are full-service agencies as strong in every marketing specialist they offer.

Over the last decade, the push has been toward full-service agencies. Driven by a client demand for efficiency and an agency desire for revenue. However, the pendulum is swinging back toward specialists, most likely driven by an increasingly more complex marketing ecosystem.

At Brawl, we set out to tell great stories through compelling content. But there is a science that sits behind the art. There are fundamental building blocks in every successful content strategy. And the decision to create and use content should be one based on clear goals and approached in a measured way.

The specialisation of the marketing workforce is a clear trend that is driven by the growth of digital channels. The competition to attract talent in the smallest of marketing niches is evident in every city in the UK. We find that people with a passion for a particular element of marketing, be it social media, planning or production, do better when they can work with a like-minded team and focus on what they love.

A complex marketing ecosystem is leading a return to basics. Marketing strategy should start with the customers’ needs and concerns, campaigns and the teams required to deliver them all flow from this point.

These days it isn’t one size fits all. What works on one channel won’t necessarily work on another and what channel works isn’t clear cut either. This is where we rely on the numbers and find the curveballs.

Agencies add value by bringing an external perspective to a brief and can share learning from different sectors. A specialist team should also bring a deeper understanding of its particular channel.

How long before they pendulum swings back to the generalist?

Brawl works with an international client base creating multi-channel content campaigns. The consistent trend across all countries is the increasingly fractured route to the consumer. The speed of social media is accelerating, popular platforms are constantly evolving, and new platforms emerge on an almost daily basis. For a team to be successful, it has to live and breathe content marketing.