Working at VMA Group for the last few months, I have become familiarised with the terms ‘Marketing communication jobs’, ‘marketing communications recruitment’, ‘marketing communications manager’, phrases I had not previously encountered with such regularity. As someone new to the world of marketing and marketing communications it quickly became apparent that familiarisation with the terms was not enough, I needed to learn what they actually meant and in doing so, understand their importance in the corporate world of today.
With much talk these days revolving around the UK economy and its major contributors, it became apparent that the contribution the Marketing Communications industry makes is often overlooked and instead focus is placed solely on the performance of populist industries such as banking, finance and the public sector. However, figures released with regards to the contribution of Marketing Communications to the UK’s economy show that the industry deserves to share the spotlight. It has been reported that 7% of Britain’s GDP in 2012 stemmed from marketing and with the British economy being the sixth-largest national economy in the world, this is no small number. This figure seems even more substantial when compared to the 0.7% contribution to the UK’s GDP made by the agriculture sector in the same year. From these figures, surely it is safe to say that even in the midst of the hopefully unwarranted, ‘triple dip recession’, the future of the marketing communications industry is looking bright.
This is not the message that was portrayed at a seminar hosted by The Guardian in association with the MAA (Marketing Agencies Association). Ian Millner, chair of the MAA, projected his message loud and clear; those in marketing should not be resting on their laurels! With the average age of a marketing professional increasing annually, the industry is apparently missing out on an innovative and creative gold mine by not appealing to those just beginning their careers.
To my understanding, some of the most effective modern marketing tools stem from social media – the teenager’s natural playground. Recruiting a team of fresh faced university graduates seems like a no-brainer, even if they have not come from a “marketing” background, or partaken in a marketing undergraduate degree.This view was also voiced by Lianre Robinson of Livity at The Guardian hosted seminar who spoke on the importance of diversity, in particular the inclusion of young people in the work place with less traditional ‘marketing’ backgrounds and with less traditional skill sets. She rounded off her speech by concluding that “having a truly diverse workplace is the only way that you’re going to create truly innovative solutions”. The MAA are calling for The Government and the marketing industry to collaborate to raise awareness about marketing careers, but also to inform young people how to best use their digital skill-set for the world of work. This could result in an influx of fresh ideas and innovations, giving the marketing communications industry an extra boost to ensure its financial success continues.
From a young person’s perspective, it is easy to understand where this drive is coming from. Until working with VMA Group, my understanding of the terms ‘marketing communications’, ‘digital marketing’ and ‘online marketing’ were extremely limited. Furthermore, my understanding of the career opportunities and job titles in the sector were next to nil. In an industry that is so clearly an important contributor to the UK economy, surely questions such as, ‘Marketing communications-what does it even mean and why is it relevant?’ really need to be top of the agenda.
Francesca Santoni, Intern
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