“You never hear a child say ‘when I grow up, I want to be a marketer’,” notes Imogen Beschi, marketing graduate at Samsung.
Beschi is one of the Founding 50, a group of 50 marketers aged under 30 who are collaborating with the School of Marketing to change the perception of marketing among young people across the UK. The cross-industry initiative was launched with the support of Marketing Week in September 2018, and members of The Founding 50 will be going into schools during 2019 to raise awareness and understanding of marketing as a career.
These young trailblazers are armed with a raft of ideas about how to engage school children in conversations about what a marketing career really looks like.
To start with, marketing should take its place among the more traditional subjects on the curriculum, argues Beschi, who believes schools need to forge closer partnerships with local companies so pupils can access work experience from an earlier age.
“Many young people grow up without being educated on marketing as a career option, leave education and realise it’s actually the career they want to pursue, but find it difficult to secure a job due to a lack of relevant work experience,” she warns.
Chelsea Maher, head of marketing at Trust Brand and Culture Shift, agrees marketers need to get in front of children earlier, which would dispel some of the myths about marketing being ‘just advertising’ and illustrate why it is an aspirational career.
I don’t think enough is known of what marketing departments actually do. It’s not a [traditional] school subject, so what does it really mean?
Tony Waygood, New Look
“Careers day talks come a bit too late,” she adds. “I also think it would be great to get inspirational speakers into schools and some one-on-one mentoring initiatives in place rather than just traditional work experience placements, which will give them more opportunity to question marketing professionals on what they actually do.”
Fiona Mukherjee, senior brand strategy manager at Sky TV, agrees it is crucial to land the message with young people that there are a wide variety of roles within marketing, making it perfect for people who have a clear vision about where their strengths lie and those who haven’t worked it out yet.
“You also don’t need a degree – there are plenty of marketing apprenticeship schemes at great companies, so if university doesn’t appeal it shouldn’t put them off exploring a career in marketing,” Mukherjee argues.
“It’s a really exciting landscape at the moment with incredible technological advances, the consumer being increasingly savvy about brands and their social responsibility, and an incredibly competitive creative landscape.”
Inspired by a lifelong fascination with brands and their cultural impact, New Look group insights manager Tony Waygood wants to help young people better understand the power of marketing and how it can be used to influence behaviour.
His perspective was shaped during six years working at Kantar, three of which were spent in Shanghai, before joining fashion retailer New Look in March.
“I don’t think enough is known of what marketing departments actually do,” he states. “It’s not a [traditional] school subject, so what does it really mean? Once we show what marketing is I think children will be inspired.”
Harry Seaton’s first foray into marketing came when he experimented with paid social advertising in a bid to drive traffic to his YouTube and Facebook videos. As the audience for his music grew Seaton started working with brands keen to tap into his audience, before landing a job as a social media specialist at an agency aged 18.
Now managing director of Fluential, an agency specialising in influencer-led content and paid social, Seaton points out that even though school-age children consume ads, no one ever shows them what happened to bring those ads to life.
“I fear that because of this many people don’t even realise it’s a profession until they’re in their late teens,” he says.
Unify Communications digital marketing manager, Tessa Pillar, believes effort needs to be put into making marketing a viable and exciting career option.
“We all grew up with the usual doctor, vet, lawyer, pop-star spiel, but I can’t remember ever being introduced to what sorts of roles existed in the business world,” she recalls.
“Reaching out to school-age children who might know that they’re ‘good at writing’ or ‘like to draw’ but don’t know how to translate that to possible jobs, and showing them the opportunities that exist to use those talents within marketing, would be a great first step.”
The 50 young marketers named below will be instrumental in kick-starting progress towards a bigger pipeline of future marketing talent.
Annabel Arrowsmith, senior marketing manager, Foresight Group
Jess Arthurs, digital strategy consultant, Accenture Interactive
Jade Bassett, senior affiliates consultant, Direct Line Group
Luke Besant, digital marketing manager, Think Studio
Imogen Beschi, marketing graduate, Samsung
Samuel Bonstow, marketing executive, Realistic Games
Russell Booth, marketing and communications manager, Change Grow Live
Amy Butterworth, media manager, Tesco
Natalie Campbell-Reid, marketing manager, Filtered
Dan Caven, associate director, MediaCom
Jenni Day, marketing manager retail, GS1 UK
Jaideep Doshi, global brand manager, Unilever
Crystal Eisinger, strategy and operations manager, Google
Konceta Gjini, global assistant brand development manager, Unilever
Joe Glover, marketing manager, Genie Goals
Tom Holmes, digital excellence manager, consumer healthcare, GSK
Lyndsey Homer, junior brand manager, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Mondelez
Jessica Houston, digital marketing manager, PwC
Tanya Jumabhoy, assistant brand manager Ribena, Lucozade Ribena Suntory
Cicely King, assistant brand manager, MoneySuperMarket
Liam Kingswell, digital marketing manager, The Millboard Company
Tyler Lawrence, marketing manager, Stace LLP
Chelsea Maher, head of marketing, Trust and Culture Shift
Chris Malby-Tynan, digital marketing manager, Automation Games
Daniela Martino, communications manager, Coloplast UK
Jessica McCready, marketing manager, Western Union
Fiona Mukherjee, senior brand strategy manager, Sky TV
Rebecca Nassiri, senior account manager, Eulogy
Jemi Patel, digital manager, Day Lewis Pharmacy
Holly Payet, planning manager, Edit
Kate Peregrine, global head of social media, Dyson
Tessa Pillar, digital marketing manager, Unify Communications
Alberto Pisanello, assistant brand manager, Nestlé
Aidoia Puig-Delfin, Northern Europe content manager, Hilti GB
Amber-Rose Rawlings, direct marketing officer, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust
Shanice Remy, marketing manager, Direct Line Group
Jane Richards, brand manager, Weetabix
Elliot Rushton, marketing coordinator, Lift Truck Services
Harry Seaton, managing director, Fluential
Danielle Smith, social media manager, Curated Digital
Mandy Smith, marketing services manager, Cancer Research UK
Jon Somers, marketing executive, Taylor & Francis Group
Shainaz Stewart, marketing communications coordinator, Pellings LLP
Luke Tuckey, CRM and digital acquisition manager, West Midlands Trains (London Northwestern Railway & West Midlands Railway)
Lasharna Turner, marketing manager, Adobe
Hannah Urbanek, head of marketing, Think Productive
Vaibhav Verma, propositions development consultant, Direct Line Group
Abbie Voice, marketing manager, Guildford High School
Tony Waygood, group insights manager, New Look
Lois Wentworth, advertising officer, University of the West of England Bristol