Marketing and Advertising Talent Crisis Looms: ANA Study

Posted on by Patty Odell

The shortage and difficulty in finding and hiring marketing and advertising talent may be worse than many thought.

“Marketers and ad agencies are facing a severe talent challenge as college graduates are turning away from marketing and advertising to other, seemingly more appealing fields to build their careers,” according to a new ANA study.

hiring marketing and advertising talent
The talent crisis is caused by  a “severe disconnect between industry, academia and students,” the ANA says.

Three groups, key to understanding the problem, were surveyed—the advertising and marketing industries, academia and new hires/college students.

Each group has it’s own set of issues and challenges.

Students are unclear what defines a career in marketing or advertising and are unsure it constitutes meaningful work. Universities are rushing to develop curricula, but are conflicted with the need to produce graduates with relevant skills and critical thinking capabilities. At the same time marketers and ad agencies say they are frustrated by trying to understand the student mindset and find many recent graduates unprepared to enter the workplace, the study found.

Four key reasons were cited for the disconnect in the study,“Bridging the Talent Disconnect: Charting the Pathways to Future Growth”:

1. Digital transformation complicates new marketing and advertising career paths

2. Marketers and agencies now directly compete with technology companies for highly skilled talent

3. The expectations of today’s crop of young talent differ from previous generations

4. College and university curricula cannot keep pace with the rapid change going on in the industry

The ANA said it is taking steps to encourage marketers and agencies to partner with educators in a new initiative called Pathways 2020. The initiative calls for campus visits, inspiring professors and developing guidelines and best practices for internship experiences.

Related articles:

Kimberly-Clark’s Creative Strategy to Hire “Original Thinking” Millennials

4 Tips to Keep Top Creative Talent Happy


Related Posts

Chief Marketer Videos

by Chief Marketer Staff

Check out this replay of crowning the winners of the 2022 Chief Marketer PRO Awards, which began with a lively conversation between two PRO Awards judges, Visible CMO Cheryl Gresham and Disney Parks’ Senior Manager, Multicultural Marketing, Angela Burgin Logan.


PRO Awards 2022

ProAwards 2022

Click here to view the 2022 Winners.


CM 200


Click here to view the 2023 winners!