The Comb-Shaped Marketer

A Project by Ben M Roberts

What does being Comb-Shaped mean?

Being Comb-Shaped is a philosophy, and a way of thinking. For Marketers it refers to the broadening of their knowledge. It’s about becoming more of a generalist, not a specialist.

Comb-Shaped Marketers don’t have specific roles, and aren’t necessarily experts at just one thing. Instead they work across teams. They are the managers, leaders and directors, orchestrating teams and helping the specialists do their roles effectively.

Being Comb-Shaped means to actually understand what other peoples’ roles entail, not just that they exist, and their goals. It’s about understanding the processes, nuances, and blockers that effect the ability to perform individual tasks, or work together as part of a project.

What is the role of a Comb-Shaped Marketer?

A Comb-Shaped marketer is a generalist. It is their role to constantly try to understand how things work, how roles fit together, and how individuals and specialists come together to form effective marketing teams.

The role of the Comb-Shaped marketer within this team is to lead and prevent the formation of silos. Because of their generalist skill set, Comb-Shaped marketers are the glue that binds a team together, and help specialists communicate and effectively work together. Their understanding of how elements of marketing fits together makes them highly effective, leaders, managers and directors.

The Future: As Leaders & Managers

Comb-Shaped Marketers are the present and future managers and leaders of both marketing teams, and organisations as a whole. Their broad understanding and knowledge of different peoples’ roles makes them the perfect candidate on paper to be an effective manager.

Of course there are many other factors that affect whether or not a marketer will be an effective leader or not, but by living up to the philosophy and creating a mind-set of being Comb-Shaped you are going to put yourself in an incredible position to become an effective leader.

The Future: As Individuals

On an individual level, marketers who pursue the philosophy of being Comb-Shaped, have to have a number of key traits. By having and developing these traits you are already on a path to becoming more Comb-Shaped.

The three core traits are: Expansionist – Someone who is curious, someone who wants to constantly expand their mind, and stretch their knowledge. Digger – Being a person who wants to not just scratch the surface, but also dig deeper to understand how things work, and how they fit together as part of the bigger picture. Leader – An individual who wants to help people come together, to achieve goals and complete projects.

Learn more about being Comb-Shaped

Diary of a Comb-Shaped Marketer Podcast

The Diary of a Comb-Shaped Marketer is a podcast by Ben M Roberts, covering what it means to be a comb-shaped marketer in the world, the role they play, the skills and knowledge they have and the influence they can wield across numerous areas of an organisation.

In each episode, Ben will share his ideas, views and thoughts on the world of marketing, the benefits and the issues associated with becoming more comb-shaped.

diary of a comb shaped marketer podcast

Blogs about being a Comb-Shaped Marketer

The Importance of Self Critique – Diary Entry 4

Self Critique is one of the most important ways in which you can keep progressing. if you can be honest with yourself, and open about how you can improve then you will take real strides forward. I’m a big believer in self analysis and critique as a way of understanding how to be better, and […]

Switching off provides perspective – Diary Entry 3

Sometimes to do more and achieve more, have have to stop doing things. It may sound counterproductive but, hear me out. Switching off is one of the most refreshing things you can do in the pursuit of being Comb-Shaped. It helps give you perspective, helps you see new angles and helps you mind wander with […]

The Power of Speaking and Networking – Diary entry 2

As a Comb-Shaped Marketer your network is vital. its vital for expanding your knowledge and horizons, but also for speaking. A Comb-Shaped Marketer is a leader and a manager. Speaking is a way for you to showcase not only your knowledge and authority, but also your competency. By expanding your network, you will learn more […]