It’s not your imagination: People are quitting their jobs in droves. Nearly 4 million people left their current positions in July alone, and the exodus is just getting started. Economists have dubbed it the Great Resignation of 2021, with up to 40% of workers thinking about leaving their jobs this year.
Virtually no industry is unscathed, and now the Great Resignation has come to the marketing world in full force. For every senior and mid-level marketing professional that is leaving an agency for the perks and safety of an in-house job, others are simply relocating to other agencies, and a few — though a minority — are contemplating moving away from the discipline altogether.
A generational reshuffling of roles and responsibilities
The news isn’t all bad though: This wave of change may finally normalize a more equitable understanding of career progress, making it easier for parents to take time for early childcare and encouraging employers to consider talent from a wider and more diverse talent pool unconstrained by geography. Talent is still staying largely within the marketing discipline, making it not so much a brain drain as a generational reshuffling of roles and responsibilities within the discipline.
While all this churn could ultimately be good for workers and employers as people find the jobs they really want, where they want them, there’s still a very real disruption this exodus is causing marketers in the near term.
Relationships between brands and the platforms and agencies that support them are often personal. That’s particularly the case for middle-market brands, often with smaller marketing teams, who frequently rely on their platform and agency partners to execute the full breadth of their cross-channel marketing. In this period of change, what is the best path forward for the advertiser that needs to deliver consistent performance results regardless of attrition within its marketing teams or agencies?
If you’re a smart marketing organization, you’ve outlined several concrete performance objectives that can serve as the guiding source of truth for new marketing talent. You’ve invested in advanced reporting and analytics so that your campaign intelligence doesn’t leave with an employee. These things can help establish a consistent foundation that will reduce exposure to a volatile talent market.
Strategize to soften the Great Resignation’s impact
Technology can’t replace great people (yet), but it can close the gap on churn and ease the transition. Here are three key things everyone in the advertising ecosystem should pay attention to now so you’re not caught off guard.
1. Performance culture
Determine clear and specific key performance metrics, then cross-train teams on these expectations. Find a platform that tracks these clearly and ensure that multiple team members have access and training.
Our omnichannel reality is quickly rendering specialists obsolete. Make sure there is no platform knowledge or access that is only granted to a single employee.
2. Data infrastructure
Ensure that your team has the underlying data infrastructure in place to ensure that every interaction in every channel is visible and accounted for with robust analytics and actionable insights.
3. Work with fewer vendors
Ditch the point solutions in favor of organizations with omnichannel competency and data sophistication — those with the broad set of skills and tools to act as a real extension of your team.
The bottom line is you don’t have to resign yourself to the Great Resignation. With these processes and the right technology partners in place, you’ll be less vulnerable during an exodus. Plus, giving people the right technology and skills they need could be just what they need to be happy, engaged and motivated to stay.
This is a major opportunity for ad technology and strategic services — an area that is likely to garner more investment as the realities of the Covid-19 economy evolve from short-term to longer-term forces. The right combination of technology and service creates a stable source of truth for performance campaigns, one that can help ensure continuity at a time of rapid change.