A survey conducted by Marketing Week has come up with the extremely unwelcome result that only 3% of students aged from 18 to 24 years old believe that marketing would be a good career option for them. Furthermore, over half those taking part said that marketing was either “never” or “hardly ever” mentioned during the time they were at school.
However, there are new moves taking place to raise awareness among young people of the value of marketing and the industry’s exciting career potential. As online communications and marketing specialists, we strongly support these developments. We need to nurture talent and harness creativity for the future.
Changing perceptions through education
In its recent article “Different class: How the marketing industry is coming together to inspire the next generation” Marketing Week describes the mission of the newly launched School of Marketing online education platform, which is backed by leading industry figures from world renowned brands such as Unilever, Microsoft, IBM and Google. The project is also looking to recruit a “Founding 50” team of marketers under the age of 30 to visit schools to “demystify marketing for students, help shift their preconceptions and raise awareness of careers in marketing.”
The misconceptions they identify as being held by school students include the belief that marketing is the same as advertising, that it tries to make people buy products they don’t require and that it is somehow complicit in harming the environment. Clearly there is a lot of work to be done.
An Imaginative course that could be criticised
The step-by-step online programme devised by the School of Marketing includes five modules followed by a quiz and receipt of a certificate of completion. The course looks fascinating and motivational. Being designed by experts in the field, it should do much to help school students grasp the purposes of marketing and its exciting career potential.
The final stage is the challenge of creating a two minute video and marketing plan for a dream ice cream flavour and brand. This is in essence a great idea, but we do question the wisdom of offering a year’s supply of free ice cream as the winning prize. Of course it depends on what quantity the School of Marketing means by a year’s supply. Clarification is needed, because otherwise at a time when the UK is struggling to combat childhood obesity, this excellent project could be open to serious criticism.
The future is creative
Increasingly, robotics and artificial intelligence is being applied to tasks that could previously be only undertaken by people. This means that strongly human-centric creative industries such as marketing will become increasingly attractive in the future.
BBI Brandboost believes fervently in the value of marketing and we have worked with local educational institutions to introduce apprentices to the field as well as to web development activities. In fact, the two areas are highly complementary to and interlinked with each other.
It is also vital to inform this generation of school students, which has frequently been described as altruistic, that marketing is a skill that can be used to support all forms of activity. Charities need marketing as much as consumer goods and marketing strategies are equally important to promoting environmental products as they are for sportswear.
We look forward to hearing more about the progress of the School of Marketing and wish this educational venture every success. Watch this space for further news.