Addressing the challenges in the marketing industry

Addressing the challenges in the marketing industry

The marketing industry is often associated with innovation and creativity. In fact the Department for Culture, Media and Sport found that creative businesses contributed £84.1bn to the British economy, with creative industries growing at double the rate of the UK economy and marketing as one of its strongest sectors.

Clearly it is an exciting growing industry to work in, but what is it really like to work in marketing?

Greenlight's 41 Hour Report, which assessed the current state of the industry, found digital marketers feel overwhelmingly positive about their role. The large majority of marketers (84%) enjoy their everyday job, with 40% going as far to say they feel "really positive" about their jobs. It seems that their enthusiasm is paying off, with 38% of marketers feeling that their colleagues understand their contribution to their broader business. It is evident that enthusiasm and recognition go hand in hand within the marketing industry.

However, there is always room for improvement and for the 16% who don't enjoy their jobs, there are key points marketing leaders must address.

The gender pay gap is still commonplace in the marketing industry

Marketing has a reputation for being a female-dominated sector, however the 41 Hour Report discovered that even with that reputation, the gender pay gap is impacting women in this industry. On average male marketers out-earn women by almost a tenth, taking home an average of £48,025 per annum compared to £43,864 for women. This doesn't differ when it comes to bonuses, with 54% of men receiving a bonus last year compared to just 35% of women. For all marketers to feel like they can progress their careers within the industry, the C-suite will have to look to fill this gap to make sure some marketers don't jump ship.

All work and no play

When it comes to the biggest pet peeves among marketers, long hours come up top. In line with the marketing industry's 'always on' culture, almost half (46%) of marketers feel like they work too much. The struggle to find the perfect balance is made worse by the rise of mobile, with employees being contactable from anywhere at any time. A healthy work-life balance is crucial for a marketing team's success, with employees being able to provide fresh and innovative ideas if they are engaged both in and out of the workplace.

Lack of budget impacts success

The struggle to secure budget is a frustration for everyone. Marketers are no different, with 56% saying they struggle to secure budgets on an ongoing basis, whilst almost a third struggle to prove ROI to their bosses. With limited budget available it is no surprise that marketers feel that because of this they can't perform to the best of their ability. It may not be possible to always get big budgets, but measurement is essential for proving why the budget is needed. To do this, digital marketers must work closely with the C-Suite to provide them with clear and measureable KPIs for the campaigns they are executing. The infamous This Girl Can campaign by Sport England and FCB England had a significant budget of £10 million, and with clear, measureable goals it resulted in its video being viewed 36 million times on Facebook and YouTube. Marketers who worked on this campaign can hold their head up high as 1.6 million women were influenced by the campaign to start exercising.

Of course, not all companies will have a budget like this to play with, but if the C-suite takes the time to calculate the budget required and digital marketers map out what they can achieve for that budget, marketers will be in a better position to execute a campaign that will successfully contribute to the wider business.

Marketers enjoy their roles and it is evident that the rapidly changing environment is something they are really thriving from. However, when it comes to securing more budget and proving the worth of the department, digital marketers need to concentrate on measurement to grab the attention of the C-suite. If the C-level executives can see a justification for investment in tools and talent, many of the frustrations that the 41 Hour report has highlighted could be solved. 

This article was first published on the Marketing Business Forum website.

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