Over 80% of young Europeans pursuing Advertising or Marketing studies who responded to a recent survey think stand-alone social media and digital marketing agencies will disappear within ten years.

Marcoms: Rise of Content Marketing Set to Affect Future Profession?

The current crop of graduates embarking on a career in advertising and marketing do not see themselves as 'digital natives'. Instead, they believe it is the generation ten years younger than them who will be the true masters of digital media. This is one of the findings of a report entitled the ‘Next Generation of Marcoms’* just published by the London-based European Communication School (ECS) following a survey among young people in four West European countries studying Advertising, Marketing Communications, PR or Events Management. These young people believe that stand-alone social media agencies will no longer exist in ten years’ time, having vanished from an advertising landscape which will become dominated by Content Marketing and 'PR Thinking'. They also believe that, on average, agencies are more meritocratic places to work than in-house organisations.

Marketing landscape will be 'dominated' by Content Marketing and 'PR Thinking'

The findings show a generation which is convinced that Social Media is a channel that all marketing practitioners ought to be using, not a 'stand-alone' discipline. Some 85% either agreed or strongly agreed that by 2023 social media and digital agencies will no longer be stand-alone specialists but by then will be integrated with other marcoms agencies or be ‘full service’ players themselves. Fully 90% believe that in ten years the agency they work for will be a ‘full service’ setup, where practitioners will be comfortable creating strategies in advertising, direct, social, digital and PR. And while 70% of respondents do not consider themselves to be digital natives, 81% predict that Content Marketing, where brands become publishers and creators of their own content, will be an essential part of their job in ten years’ time.

Optimistic about equality

The study suggests a generation of optimists when it comes to career prospects, particularly as regards gender and equal opportunities. Some 64% believe that in ten years’ time the agency they work for will pay them the same salary as a member of the opposite sex and 73% believe that by then they will have the same opportunities as a member of the opposite sex to rise to a position of senior management within an agency. In some other respects however, respondents were rather critical of their chosen sector. Fully 78% believe the marcoms industry enjoys an “unfair subsidy” provided by this generation, with 26% of students having worked unpaid for more than three months – more than any generation before. Moreover, 70% reckon that marcoms agencies are not doing enough to create a sustainable world, while 86% say that the agency they want to work for will have to care as much about the creation of social good as about creating profit for brands.

* ‘Next Generation of Marcoms’, European Report 2013, based on a survey carried out by Masters students at ECS (part of the MediaSchool Group) among more than 2,000 students aged 20-25 in the UK, France, Spain and Belgium

By Pauline Trassard