According to Wikipedia a polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems. Many consider Leonardo da Vinci a polymath of the Renaissance era. Others may know the concept by another common term “Renaissance man”.
I first came across the term about a year ago while exploring some Frank Lloyd Wright houses. One of the guides said that many people considered architects to be polymaths. His reasoning was that architects had to have a working knowledge of a diverse number of topics. Skills included design, building, human psychology, interior design, materials, construction, and technical knowledge as well as being creative and imaginative.
Digital Marketing Polymath
After this trip I started considering what other fields might include polymaths. An obvious one is web design and digital marketing. A good digital marketer must understand business, graphic design, coding, writing, psychology, sociology, sales, video, analytics and technical IT skills. They must blend those skills with creativity and imagination. Ultimately to come up with quality web sites and digital marketing campaigns that work together to achieve measurable results.
Notice I said good digital marketers have these skills and would be considered a polymath. Far too many individuals fall far short of this lofty goal. They understand one area of web design, but perhaps have no marketing or business skills. Perhaps they have some marketing or writing skills, but no technical aptitude. Finding someone that has all these skills is the trick.
If you don’t have someone that has at least a working knowledge and preferably a bit more in all these areas you end up getting solutions that are lopsided and don’t work well. They are missing key components that end up hurting your business.
One Dimensional Web Designers
Over the years I have met “web designers” that would buy a template online and set it up for you in a web site. If the template didn’t work right or needed extra modifications, they couldn’t do it. Once it was finished, they couldn’t give you any guidance on how to use this site to market for new customers. I have met others that were good technical developers, but didn’t understand how to write content, design, or had no imagination. They could build whatever you told them to build but couldn’t figure it out on their own.
The digital marketing polymath should be able to discuss your business problems. From that discussion draw upon their varied experiences and skills to come up with an innovative web design solution and marketing campaign. An individual that isn’t a polymath will not need you to tell them what this solution should be. A digital polymath will not need you to tell them what to build so they can develop it. They will not be hampered by a lack of knowledge in one area or another that ultimately leaves holes in your final solution.
Benefits of a Digital Marketing Polymath
The digital marketing polymath should be able to discuss the issues you are having in your business. Translate that issue into an understandable problem. They should also be able to articulate a solution that makes sense to anyone including someone without a technical background. Finally, they should be able to design and build this solution as well as support and improve it over time. Regardless if the solution requires coding, design, writing, planning or techical skills the digital polymath can perform them all.
Finding a digital marketer and web designer will take some searching, but the results you will get for your investment will make it worth your time.