One of the marketing, advertising, and human resources issues that recur over and over in industry studies is that industry professionals are so burned out. The data is not exactly surprising, because the industry has been weighed down by certain recurring structural problems when it comes to talent management.
The day-to-day life of the top marketing managers, CMOs, can help them understand what is wrong in the relationship between companies and marketers. CMOs are the executives in the C-suite with the highest turnover: they are those who are given the least time by companies to demonstrate that they are good at their job before switching to other executives.
The days are very long and expectations are not usually associated with reality. The data on burnouts in the marketing team is usually very high, because the dominant practices in the day-to-day are usually much closer to toxic work than to the recommendations to create an office in which workers are happy with their work and their routines.
The coronavirus crisis has burned marketers more: although teleworking has been seen in a positive light, the crisis has worsened their mental health and a few months ago it was beginning to fear that it would be the coup de grace for many marketing and advertising professionals , prompting them to throw in the towel even more.
The great fear of the industry should therefore be that a great fright of professionals is looming. And the tests say that, for this to happen, it is very possible: in the United States they are already talking about “the Great Resignation”, because many layoffs are accumulating. Some 4 million workers left their jobs during the month of April.
The trend, however, is not limited to the United States. A Microsoft study has concluded that 40% of the workforce is considering leaving their jobs and their bosses this year. The study speaks of being on the verge of “disruption”, not only because many workers are thinking about leaving their job but also because of the weight of hybrid office models.
One of the key points the study highlights is that workers are exhausted. Although all these data are generic about the labor market, the reality is even harsher in the field of marketing and advertising, where everyone was already very burned before and where the tendency to leave the industry was already very pronounced, effect of bad practices in the environment itself.
What happens with marketing and advertising
As they point out in AdAge , the marketing and advertising industry must prepare for a potential brain drain. The top management positions in the industry work as the perfect benchmark to see it: as the American media recall, high-level companies, from Facebook to Bank of America, have seen their marketing managers leave their positions.
TBWALondon CEO Sara Tate is leaving her post in September and the statements that AdAge collects are perfect to summarize why the industry is facing a serious problem: “many of us have been working in a way that we realize that it is not sustainable for the next two decades and that it has invaded many other aspects of our lives. “
Work in marketing and advertising cannibalizes private life and takes up all the hours, also forcing excessive and exhausting hours. If these managers leave it, it is because they do not want to continue working 60-hour days. Neither do your ordinary workers. The scare is not occurring only in senior management, but also in junior and middle positions.
Younger marketers, who have been able to telecommute in the last year, do not want to go back to living in the big cities that dominate the universe of marketing and advertising, with pitiful salaries and condemned to live in small and miserable apartments, they recall in the American medium. Middle jobs have long accumulated burnout in a work culture that has been quite toxic.
Half in a decade will be freelance
What are quitting workers doing? AdAge talks about various trends. On the one hand, independent agencies are taking over talent that abandons the big ones. On the other hand, workers make the leap to be freelance and have control of their days (some estimates suggest that in 10 years 50% of the advertising industry will be freelance). What has become clear is that workers’ priorities have changed and that companies cannot continue to do what they did before.