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.