Getting diverse young people across the UK to consider the benefits of a career in marketing is no mean feat. A group of 50 young marketers have, however, taken up the challenge and are starting to formulate plans to raise awareness about how dynamic and fulfilling a marketing career can be.
Known as the Founding 50, these young ambassadors are representatives of the School of Marketing, a cross-industry initiative launched in September 2018. Supported by an advisory board including marketing leaders from Direct Line, Google, Saatchi & Saatchi and Mars, the School of Marketing hopes to educate young people nationwide about the exciting, diverse and enriching opportunities that come with a role in marketing.
After being selected in December, the Founding 50 met for the first time last month to discuss their initial ideas on how to get young people excited about marketing, from the awareness stage through to content, building networks and mentoring opportunities.
Marketing Week will be following the Founding 50’s progress over the coming months, but these are some of the initial ideas intended to get the ball rolling:
With an objective to raise awareness about the School of Marketing and its social purpose, the group plan to engage careers advisors, headteachers, department heads, teachers, teaching assistants and school governors to spread the word.
The Founding 50 have proposed carrying out market research with focus groups to discover how best to engage young people and via what touchpoints.
A variety of different channels were discussed to get the message of the School of Marketing out there, including social media, print, podcasts and videos, as well as sharing information on teacher forums.
Content and thought leadership
The group discussed the possibility of creating course materials which stretch across three stages: discover, educate and implement. The discover phase would work as a profiling stage, during which young people would be encouraged to go through a ‘decision tree’ process to determine which area of marketing might interest them most.
Next, the educate section would give young people access to a variety of content, with tailored suggestions specific to them. This section content could include ‘day in the life’ videos with the Founding 50, interactive games or a run down of the campaign planning process using famous examples the audience can relate to.
Finally, the implement section would feature an element of assessment, whereby the young people could be awarded with a certificate and their information pulled into a CV building function.
The Founding 50 explained that it would be good to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges being experienced by careers councillors, as well as getting a clearer sense of the different industry bodies they typically collaborate with.
The idea would then be to share resources with careers councillors, such as a ‘what is marketing pack’, a quiz designed to help guide students through the marketing roles best suited to them and a ‘mythbusting pack’ addressing some of the common misconceptions about marketing.
Mentoring and lecture scheme
Another idea is to create a lecture series targeted at pupils aged 12 to 14 and a separate mentoring scheme aimed at 16-year-olds. To kick off the Founding 50 proposed rolling out a pilot programme across a select number of schools, the findings of which would feed into a national outreach programme.
The lecture content potentially could explore the different roles within marketing from data analyst and content creator to behavioural scientist and social media marketer. The content could then be combined with examples of different marketing campaigns that resonate with a younger audience, as well as a brief overview from a marketer discussing how they got into the field.
To create an effective mentoring scheme the group are keen to really understand what kind of information students require at different ages and stages. The idea is then to create a single email address for mentees to ask questions, supported by a Facebook page that would act as a forum for students to share their thoughts and access additional information.
To further develop relationships, the Founding 50 suggested working with educational partners to grow a global network, pinpointing larger educational trusts with multiple schools under their umbrella, as well as collaborating with other partners such as Young Enterprise and The Prince’s Trust.
In addition to establishing relationships with university careers departments and careers fairs, the Founding 50 also plans to work closely with an ‘influencer team’ of teachers interested in getting involved with the programme.
Aimed at students aged 15 to 17, the Founding 50 proposed launching a day-long competition that would see young people devise a marketing campaign to tackle a real-world social problem. One suggestion is to ask the students to devise a strategy, product and campaign based on the key insight that 80% of ocean marine life is impacted by plastic.
Young people would be asked to decide who the target audience is, the key problem that needs to be solved and whether the approach should be product or price focused. They would then be tasked with sketching out a potential campaign, crafting the creative, working out the media and budget planning, analysing the financial viability of the plan and eventually deciding how to measure success.
To add in some real world context, the Founding 50 proposed introducing challenges throughout the day such as budget cuts, new competitors and political or logistical issues.
After having presented their campaign to the judges and taken part in a question and answer session, the presentations would be graded across each aspect via a points system.
The Founding 50 hope to trial the competition format in a single school before scoping out the appetite across schools nationwide and potentially expanding into other age groups or longer formats that could last a number of weeks.