Hostelworld: Young marketers must play a bigger role in shaping brand purpose

Generation Exchange: Hostelworld’s Ottokar Rosenberger believes young marketers need to shape their own roles to avoid a Gen X versus millennials situation.

More and more young people are looking for careers in marketing, according to CMO Ottokar Rosenberger. And with it now being easier to prove marketing’s impact on revenue and customer growth, he says marketers feel they can get closer to the action.

The travel brand invests 50% of its revenues back into advertising. “This means a career in marketing at Hostelworld has more opportunities than it had before,” Rosenberger claims.

“As marketers, we drive revenue and customer growth, and that’s an attractive challenge to so many emerging talents.”

One of those emerging talents is planning and operations lead Treasa Rogers. She joined the business in 2012, working for four years in HR before making the switch to its marketing division a year ago. She says the idea of digital transformation inspired her to make the switch.

I want the younger generation to become more of a part of the solution when shaping brand purpose and job satisfaction.

Ottokar Rosenberger, Hostelworld

“It’s clear digital transformation is impacting marketing more than most other industries. That pace of change is far quicker than if you were to work in HR and that’s exciting not just for me but a whole generation of people coming through.”

According to Rogers, young people only want to work in marketing for brands that have a clear social purpose. Rosenberger, who started his marketing career at Procter & Gamble in 1997, agrees with this assessment but says he would also like younger marketers to play a bigger role in driving this social purpose.

He explains: “I want the younger generation to become more of a part of the solution when shaping brand purpose and job satisfaction; I believe that generation needs to bring itself to the table more. If it doesn’t, there’s a danger it becomes a ‘Gen X versus millennial’ kind of situation, and I don’t want that to happen.”

READ MORE: The similarities and differences between junior and senior marketers

Reflecting on when he started out, Rosenberger says life was simpler in the 1990s. “In my department, we had just moved to everyone having their own computer so it was a very different world. I am a digital immigrant, Treasa is a digital native. Life was more stable for me when I was starting out as you didn’t have to react so much to numbers. Cross-campaign analysis happened over six months, now it’s instant.”

He advises Rogers and other young marketers that “marketing is now less of an art and more of a science. You have to be agile to be a success.”

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