Why marketers want to leave their job

With 81% of marketers looking to leave their current role within the next three years, businesses need to understand what they can do to hold on to those they value.

Staff retention is a big issue for any employer, so understanding when people are likely to move on and what might motivate that decision is invaluable.

The latest Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey shows that while the majority of respondents (74.9%) are definitely or very likely to stay in marketing for the next five years, many are planning to leave their current job.

Of those surveyed, 43.2% are planning to change their role in the next one to three years, with 37.8% looking to move in the next year. Only 11.2% are not considering a move.

READ MORE: Salary Survey 2018 – The top sectors to work in

Better financial remuneration emerges as the key reason for a change (65.1%), followed by the search for a new challenge (54.9%) and limited opportunities at their current workplace (37.4%). The desire for a promotion comes in fourth (34.5%).

The ambition to find a better workplace culture is a reason to move jobs for 26.3% of the sample, while gaining broader experience or making a sideways move matters to 20% of marketers. Flexible working is a key reason to change jobs for 18.3% of respondents.

READ MORE: Salary Survey 2018 – Wellbeing and the future of work

Companies should seize on this desire for a new challenge and find ways to inspire and fulfil marketers in their current working environment, according to Pete Markey, marketing director at TSB.

“For me, it feels like a failing within some businesses not recognising the need to give their talent the right opportunities to progress, learn and grow.

“That might not be as straightforward as saying people can have a promotion, but rather giving them new and different opportunities. The danger in some marketing departments is that they can become a bit machine-like. You’re put in a job and you end up being a cog in a machine of execution.”

Markey believes the industry needs to get better at enriching marketers’ careers, so they do not become labelled as a “safe pair of hands” for a certain type of role and consequently be prevented from taking on new challenges.

“As employers we need to do more to create a culture where people can truly and fully be themselves each day, but also one which understands how their work matters,” he adds.

“I do a weekly huddle with my team where we talk about the work they’re doing. Everything should be given equal airtime so people feel they’re contributing to something bigger and better.”

As a business you’ve got to set your own working culture and that’s a massive retention tool in itself.

Andre Rickerby, Moonpig

From an ecommerce perspective, the sheer range of opportunities open to marketers is growing every year, enabling them to try out new roles, says Andre Rickerby, CMO at Moonpig. In such a competitive, fast-paced sector brands that are able to build a marketing culture which breeds autonomy and works to a shared vision will find their culture is a retention asset.

“Online has changed dramatically and the nature of what you can do and where you can work. So as a manager, what are you offering? There are a lot of competitors out there and often people just think of money first,” Rickerby explains.

“As a business you’ve got to set your own working culture and that’s a massive retention tool in itself. If people want money they can probably go and get that anywhere.”

  • The 2018 Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey analysed the responses of 4,154 marketers from 24 different industries including agencies and consultancies, the automotive sector, entertainment, FMCG, financial, telecoms, sport and travel. The seniority of the respondents ranged from graduates and marketing assistants to senior managers, board directors and partners. This is a nationwide sample of UK marketers, including digital specialists. In all cases relating to pay marketers were asked to give their basic wage, excluding bonuses and benefits. 
Hide Comments2 Show Comments
  • Christopher Lawton 16 Jan 2018 at 3:44 pm

    I though5t the number one reason was, “to get away from a rubbish boss”.

  • Derek Hopper 17 Jan 2018 at 8:51 am

    The real reason is tied to the myth, perpetrated by many managers, that their business’s most valuable asset are their staff. Only very few managers really believe this and a high percentage of those that do then exploit that resource mercilessly. All others feel secure in the belief that their business’s most important asset is themselves.

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