Hays UK blog


Why are marketers still not satisfied?

By Clare Kemsley, Managing Director of Hays Marketing, Retail and Sales, UK&I

Something we’ve been consistently observing over the last few years is that the role of the marketer is rapidly evolving to be much more data-centric. The increased prevalence of automation and the need for engaging audio/visual content has created a strong demand for candidates who can demonstrate both extensive knowledge of user experience, and the technical ability to back it up.

According to the findings of the Hays UK Salary and Recruiting Trends 2018 guide, this rapid development and growing business focus on customer experience is great news for the market, and has led 95% of marketing employers to expect their activity in the coming year to increase or stay the same. But this optimistic outlook could still be threatened by poor workforce planning.

Data driving successes, and creating challenges

Our findings show that 42% of employers currently identify shortages in data/analytical skills within their teams, and increased demand for these professionals is leading to greater competition. This is likely to exacerbate as the trend towards automation and digital transformation continues. Spikes in salary demands and a difficult market for employee retention are becoming apparent.

It is vital therefore that employers are doing everything they can to not only attract new staff, but engage their existing employees.

Employers could be doing more to match expectations

We have also noticed that despite high levels of activity, and greater demand for technically minded staff, salary satisfaction is low. Nearly three-fifths (59%) of marketing employees expect to move roles in the next year, and more than half are dissatisfied with their salaries. Career progression too is a point of increasing concern amongst employees, 54% of whom see no scope for progression within their current organisation.

By neglecting these key areas, employers risk losing talented professionals to competing organisations. While upwards career progression is not always possible, frequent lateral movement to other marketing roles can help to keep staff engaged, continually increasing their abilities and adding to their skillsets, something which may be invaluable in this skills short market.

Marketers know the benefits they want

In the event that salary increases are not possible – due to budget constraints or other such factors - wider benefits can be enough to keep a talented employee invested in their role – and help attract the most in-demand professionals. Work-life balance is important to 75% of marketing professionals when considering a new role, and an obvious area where employers can add value.

Currently, flexible working tends only to be prevalent in more senior roles, rather than being open to all levels. To help improve satisfaction with work-life balance, employers should carefully consider the flexible working options they provide for professionals across all levels.

The quickly evolving market will be a test for marketing employers as skills become ever-more scarce. To avoid the risk of losing talent, or being unable to attract talented new professionals, organisations need to focus on what marketers really want. Smarter use of flexible working policies, tailoring of benefits and career development plans based on the needs of the professional are powerful attraction tools which lead to loyalty and employee satisfaction. This kind of long term investment and dedication from employers, even in the light of salary dissatisfaction, will encourage loyalty from their staff.

Find out further recruiting trends for marketing request your copy of the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Over her last ten years at Hays, Clare has developed a detailed understanding of creative and customer focussed industries and the talent they need to succeed. She is a believer that great behaviour drives the culture of the business and allows the customer experience to be one of the highest quality.


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