What do the marketing industry’s newest hires really care about?
We sat down with seven recent marketing agency recruits from across The Drum Network to ask them, as representatives of adland’s next generation of leaders, what they hope changes over the next 10 years.
Where will the marketing industry’s newest generation of workers take it? / Nikola Knezevic via Unsplash
With worldwide phenomena such as ‘the great resignation’ and now ‘quiet quitting’ – not to mention inflation and the cost-of-living crisis – the marketing industry has had talent on its mind.
Against this backdrop, we’re hearing time and again from bosses and hiring managers that new workers entering the industry are doing so with shifted expectations. Young workers, they say, have non-negotiable commitments to issues such as climate change and representation. They have more demanding expectations about growth and support. Their views are ironclad and unwavering.
But is that true? In these discussions, we rarely hear from those new entrants themselves. So we gathered together seven new entrants to the industry, all with less than two years under their belts, from across the US and Europe, to ask: what do you really want from this industry – and how will your cohort shape it?
Shannon Oosthuizen, marketing executive, Across the Pond: 11 months in the industry
I hope that diversity, equity and inclusion are not a huge focus in 10 years, because they’re the norm. I hope that the work being done today is reflected in 10 years’ time, and that all our leaders are diverse, equal and inclusive. I hope that the work that adland and the creative industry as a whole is putting out is a mirror of the state of the world, and reflective of the people who are working in it.
Sophie Kohs, research intern, Momentum worldwide: recently completed three-month internship
The changes that we’re seeing in a flexible work model are really exciting, whether you’re working nomadically, transferring between global offices or having meetings in the metaverse. I just hope that with these changes, we still maintain a human-first mentality, because it’s really important for the growth of young employees, whether you’re gen Z or the next generation after us.
Rosie Howe, marketing executive, StrategiQ: one month in the industry
I understand that university can be a great thing for a lot of industries and a lot of people, but I hope that in the next 10 years the push toward university will be dialed down.
When I was leaving school, only seven of us weren’t applying for university, and my school was constantly on at me about going. In marketing, I don’t think going to university is so important. A lot of people do have degrees and I was a bit like, ‘oh God, do I need a degree?’ But I’ve been reassured that what you’ll be taught in university is redundant in a couple of years because it changes so quickly.
Nathan Brown, marketing executive, Reading Room: 10 months in the industry
The things that I want to see in the industry are pathways for progression. I want senior leaders to realize that by investing in the graduates, in the juniors coming up, they’re just going to reap the benefits in the future. By encouraging training programs and setting out career progression pathways, companies are only going to benefit. We’re going to want to stay with the company; we’re going to feel valued. When you feel valued, you work better and you’re going to stay with the company longer.
Cat Lemus, search engine marketing coordinator, PMG: one year in the industry
For me it’s about investing in the future: having more rotational programs and training programs for people coming out of school. That way, they can appreciate the industry they’re coming into and (even if they focus on one very niche area) how that plays into the greater picture. That’s really helpful when setting the foundation, rather than focusing on one little area and only later on realizing how that all plays into each other.
And I really hope that in the future, our industry reflects more of the people that we serve. We have this industry because we have consumers, and we are consumers. We should be able to mirror that so that society can look at advertising and feel it’s authentic and not just catering to one part of the population.
Rachel Bentley, account manager, The Marketing Practice: five months in the industry
I hope mainly more than anything that companies in our industry take a little bit more of a risk on choosing people – maybe people who don’t have degrees, but who have experiences in different fields and have different skillsets. That’s one thing in our company that I think is so amazing: bringing people with different skills together and helping them hone in on their strengths. It’s about investing in people, and their future and careers.
Greg Hollands, social media channel manager, Brave Bison: two years in the industry
Where can I see the industry going in 10 years’ time? I’ve got no idea, and that really excites me. Social media is always changing; there’s always something new. I just hope that my role keeps progressing and developing, and that I can be a positive proponent of the evolution of the industry.
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Across the Pond
We’re a global, independent creative agency helping tech brands create a better world. How? We make the complex, human.Find out more
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StrategiQ are the strategy-first marketing agency. By uncovering valuable market insights, revealing competitor beating opportunities, defining and delivering impactful marketing strategies, we help ambitious brands outperform their objectives through world class advisory, creative, marketing and tech.Find out more
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PMG is a global independent digital company that seeks to inspire people and brands that anything is possible. Driven by shared success, PMG uses strategy, creative, media, and insights, as well as its proprietary marketing intelligence platform Alli, to deliver Digital Made for Humans™. Our team is made up of over 500 employees globally, and our work for brands like Apple, Athleta, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Kohler, McDonald’s, Nike, Old Navy, Sephora and Shake Shack runs across 85+ countries and has received top industry recognition from Cannes Lions to Adweek Media Plan of the Year.Ranked by Deloitte, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Adweek as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation, PMG has grown because of its commitment to continuous improvement, business integrity, cultivating dynamic relationships, and putting people first. Named 7X Ad Age's Best Places to Work, 3X Best Places for Working Parents, and among Fast Company's Best Workplaces for Innovators, PMG has also been named Adweek's Breakthrough Media Agency of the Year and MediaPost's Independent Agency of the Year.Find out more
The Marketing Practice
The Marketing Practice is a leading, global B2B agency that delivers growth right across the funnel.Find out more
Your world used to be limited by who you knew or where you lived. Now we live life in infinite digital space. Dating online. Working remotely. Minting NFTs. If you thought disruption was a threat before, how about now? Expectations have exploded. New platforms, creators and trends in constant flux. And you’re expected to have this all figured out. Gone are the days when you could turn to an agency – they can’t keep up either. That’s why Brave Bison is a different beast; a media, marketing and technology company built for the new era. We connect digital experiences, creators and conversions, underpinned by a universe like no other – our own social first media network. With monthly views in the billions, we know how to build communities and make hearts roar.Find out more