The market for new talent

Andy Ball, managing director of Balls2 Marketing, talks about how attracting young, fresh talent isn’t only an issue for the glazing industry.

An article in Marketing Week caught my attention the other day. The magazine commissioned UniDays, the student affinity network, to collect opinions from 8,405 UK students aged between 18 and 24 to find out if young people see marketing as a desirable career destination. The results were worrying.

More than half reported that marketing was ‘never’ or ‘hardly ever’ mentioned at their school, and only 3% thought marketing offered the best career opportunities, trailing behind sectors like finance, engineering and business management.

I find this interesting, especially as marketing is such an important business management function and I know lots of people who have carved careers to the board and beyond after starting out in marketing roles.

The survey also found that Generation Z thinks marketing is intrinsically linked with advertising – something they neither like nor trust. And to add insult to injury, a survey of Year 9 school children found a graphic designer to be on the list of most-wanted jobs. I think it’s clear that marketing careers are not being marketed very well.

Talking to some of the team at Balls2 Marketing, I can see real-world examples of the issue. None of us got into marketing from learning about it at school or having a role model in the marketing world. Sarah and I both moved into marketing from sales, and Sarah R chose a marketing career from watching her parents run their own businesses.

Lucy, Lauren and Alita all chose careers in marketing after degrees in related disciplines like business and journalism, which introduced them to marketing concepts for the first time.

It’s unfortunate that there isn’t enough information out there to encourage young people into marketing. Not only does it give the opportunity for creativity, it gives real insight into how business works, and having a hand in helping businesses grow is a great feeling. I would recommend it to anyone.