Young marketers are often characterised as optimistic, keen and ambitious. However, they can also be seen as fleeting, hopping from job to job to work their way up.
This is something Hamish Goulding, head of integrated marketing communications for global brand, wealth and sponsorships at HSBC, advises against. He believes young marketers would be wise to value loyalty.
“I don’t believe you truly understand how a business ticks if you’re [at a company] less than three years. In your first year, you’re trying to understand what’s going on, the second year you’re getting into your stride and only in your third year do you start to make a difference. I believe in that three-year cycle quite strongly,” says Goulding.
Andrea Newman, positioned above him as global head of marketing for wealth and brand communications, adds: “HSBC might be unusual in the sense that people, no matter what age, do tend to stay there. We don’t have a high turnover of people. When it comes to a lot of my peers, I can’t think of anyone who has been there for less than 10 years.”
I don’t believe you truly understand how a business ticks if you’re [at a company] less than three years.
Hamish Goulding, HSBC
Besides the tendency for young marketers to switch jobs every 18 months, there is also a growing sense the CMO role is no longer the most coveted job because of increased competition from “more exciting” roles.
“There are a lot of contenders for the throne. You have got CIOs, CTOs and CXOs. The role of chief customer officer is becoming quite exciting and, for me, it is where the magic still happens,” Goulding says.
Newman is uncertain if the CMO role has become less appealing overall, as she believes the role differs hugely when working for a startup or a giant consumer goods company. She does believe, however, that the role has inherently changed over the years.
“I do agree that it’s much more ambassadorial and less about doing the marketing. I can only comment on what I’ve seen in my time at HSBC, but I have noticed that the role is less about the marcomms and more about ROI and strategy and channels,” she says.
Whatever marketing role people do end up in, both Newman and Goulding agree that success mainly comes down to having a creative legacy – and being seen in the industry as a place people want to work.
“Keeping and retaining amazing talent is what success looks like to me. And I don’t mean that from just an internal perspective, but also externally I love being the client that people within agencies want to work on,” says Newman.