Marketing sector adapts to economic pressures to avoid ‘burnout’ of young professionals

New research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) highlights how the marketing sector is adapting to deal with tough economic conditions in 2023. Nearly half are demanding changes to their working patterns to cope with stress (49%), and a similar proportion (52%) admit they fear burning out in their current role. 

The survey, which explores the views of 500 UK in-house and agency marketing professionals, finds that younger professionals are more concerned about stress in their jobs, with 6 in 10 (59%) worried about experiencing burnout compared to just 49% of those aged 35-44, and 38% of 45-54 year olds. 

Confidence in the UK marketing industry 

Alongside concerns about their personal careers, CIM’s research also shows that whilst UK marketers are now more confident they can make a positive difference to society, they are still concerned about issues such as rising inflation and the effect on the marketing industry. Marketer’s concerns centre on falling budgets, and an over-reliance on social media spend. 

Three fifths (60%) fear brands are likely to spend less money on marketing due to external economic pressures and 63% would like to see higher salaries within the sector. Furthermore, 43% are worried that the growth of the UK marketing industry will be surpassed by international competitors, raising questions about the UK’s performance on the global stage.

Despite economic challenges, 74% of those polled believe their employers now take the mental health of their employees more seriously since the start of the pandemic and over half (57%) feel that their company’s mental health initiatives have had a positive impact on their wellbeing. 

Natalie Spearing, Marketing Director, CIM says: “As we head into a tough year, it is clear the marketing sector is driving change to boost the mental resilience of its workforce. The cost of living crisis and inflationary pressure will undoubtedly require many of us to tighten our belts, so marketing leaders must prioritise the well-being of their teams providing them with head-space to focus on customer needs.       

“As the world opens up post-lockdown, many are reconsidering their priorities in life, and team retention will continue to be a challenge for businesses in 2023. It’s tough to hear that twenty percent of our colleagues have considered leaving the profession over the past two years, a trend mirrored in many other sectors – but interesting that one in ten have considered relocating overseas to take advantage of their skills and new opportunities. To counter this we must prioritise the next generation of UK talent, by nurturing individuals through professional progression and training. Through these methods, we can help reinstall purpose into the profession, even if economic pressures require real-terms pay cuts.”

Solutions to stress and worry

Despite concerns raised, the research also reveals aspects of the marketing industry that professionals value and appreciate. Marketers clearly value team time – regardless of the work-from-home trend – with the majority (73%) believing that face-to-face interactions between colleagues have a positive impact on their productivity. In fact, 75% agree that working in person also positively boosts their mental wellbeing, highlighting the need for organisations to foster a collaborative culture.

Spearing continues: “It’s encouraging to see that marketers really value working together and that the industry has made positive steps in the mental health support it provides. Now, we need to double down on these efforts – ensuring that our marketers have the right environment to do their jobs to the best of their ability, so we can retain the great talent we currently have.”

Today’s research is the third and final instalment of CIM’s ‘Impact of Marketing 2022’ research series, which explores the roles and careers of marketers in a post-pandemic society. For marketer’s looking to upskill, CIM offers a range of online services including webinars, podcasts, training materials and online courses:

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