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Marketers on why the industry must unite to make marketing a more exciting career option

A concerted, cross industry effort to sell the virtues of marketing to school and university students is required if brands are to avoid a future recruitment problem, according to a panel of senior marketing executives and academic experts.

A wide-ranging study commissioned by Marketing Week earlier this year found just 3% of undergraduates thought marketing offered them the best career opportunities. Lack of awareness, negative perception and limited understanding of what marketing is were the main reasons behind its lowly standing.

Discussing the need to work harder to attract talent, panellists at at an event held by marketing consultancy Oystercatchers, which is owned by Marketing Week publisher Centaur Media, said more needs to be done.

According to Pippa Glucklich, CEO of Dentsu Aegis’ media investment arm Amplifi UK, a more coordinated approach is necessary.

“More cross industry initiatives are required. Lots of companies are doing their own thing. Dentsu Aegis does The Code, going into schools in sometimes quite difficult areas to sell what we do. But it is us doing something our own way and others doing something different.”

Big companies like BT demonstrate the depth and breadth of the job of marketing, according to its chief marketing and brand officer Zaid Al-Qassab. “We have jobs in marketing, in communications, in PR, in sponsorship and in media – everything the world of marketing has to offer… Big companies that do a lot of marketing have a big advantage, we just need to sell it better.”

Education expert and vice chancellor of The University of Buckinghamshire, Sir Anthony Seldon, said he was “stunned” by the low number of undergraduates that considered marketing a career option, saying that marketing and advertising was considered “exciting” and for the “crème de le crème” when he left university.

It’s been two years since the seven-year-old social media platform decided to let advertisers in, opening up a whole host of new and largely unexplored opportunities centred around one thing: the smartphone camera.

From sponsored geo-filters and video content, to shoppable augmented reality posts, there are numerous ways – ranging from around $7 to $500,000 – for brands and publishers to reach Snapchat’s 191 million daily active users (12 million in the UK), who each spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes sending photos and consuming content on the platform every day.

It is now even trialling six-second forced view ads and unskippable ads within shows in its Discover section.

And yet many marketers seem reluctant to join the Snapchat flower garland revolution that has (ironically) taken Instagram – renowned for its Snapchat copy-catting – by storm.

In the first quarter of 2018 just 8% of marketers used Snapchat, up by only 1% the previous year, according to a report by Social Media Examiner, and 72% said they have no plans to use the platform at all in the next 12 months.

By comparison, 94% of marketers are using Facebook, 66% Instagram, 62% Twitter, 56% LinkedIn, 50% YouTube and 26% Pinterest.

It was a bumpy start to the year with more than a million users signing a petition to get Snapchat to undo its latest redesign, with people complaining the new layout makes the app hard to use, while a single tweet from Kylie Jenner wiped $1.3bn from the company’s value.

Despite this, global revenue grew by more than 50% to $230.7m in the first quarter of 2018, but user growth did take a hit, rising by just 2% during the first three months of the year, compared to 5% during the last quarter of 2017.