85% think stand-alone social media and digital marketing agencies will disappear within 10 years

Almost nine-tenths believe social media is channel that all marketing practitioners should use and that it is not a ‘stand-alone’ discipline, a survey of 2,000 marketing students has revealed.

The survey, carried out by the MediaSchool Group, found that 85 per cent either agreed or strongly agreed that by 2023 social media and digital agencies would not be stand-alone specialists and that by then they would be integrated with other marcoms agencies of be full service themselves.

The research also found that 40 per cent agreed with a recent statement by Sir Martin Sorrell that Twitter was not an advertising medium; while 70 per cent predicted that in 10 years advertising’s job would be mostly to ‘entertain’ and not to ‘sell’.

Anne Pflimlin, director of the MediaSchool Group, said: “Every year acres of newsprint not to mention blogposts, tweets and hot air at conferences is given over to marketing industry commentators who claim they know what young people think of social media, advertising and branding. What happens less often is that someone actually asks young people themselves what they think. Such was the thinking behind this pan-European piece of research and the basis of its value.

"This next generation of marketing leaders clearly have a strong point of view on the future they will shape and create. It's clear to them that questions of silos and channels don't exist. They are agnostic about channel or medium.

“Instead trust, word of mouth and content seem to matter so much more. It behoves an industry that is so often transfixed by questions of youth and channel relevance to listen carefully."

In terms of inspiration, 44 per cent said Red Bull Stratos was the most admired creative or branding campaign of 2012 followed by Nike: My time is now at 20 per cent and the Olympics opening ceremony (19 per cent).

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