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40% of senior client-side marketers have agency backgrounds

Posted: 18 May 2017


A new study has shed light on hiring practices within the marketing sector, revealing that brands are increasingly looking for agency backgrounds when it comes to searching for candidates.

According to the Grace Blue study quoted in Marketing Week, close to 40% of senior-level client-side marketing talent have experience with, or a background in, agency work – a sizable increase from just a few years ago when this figure stood at around 25%.

The report also established the top sectors that are currently on the lookout for marketers with an agency background, which included the media and financial brands. Meanwhile, automotive, travel and retail brands were deemed to be among the least likely to hunt for agency experience.

For Ian Priest, Grace Blue's global CEO, the results reflect a cross industry intention to upskill marketing departments by hiring applicants with an agency background to enhance their in-house teams. The data echoes ISBA research compiled last year which found that 19% of UK advertisers currently have in-house agency capabilities, while almost 50% of agency talent stated that they were considering going in-house.

The data is also indicative of the changing role of CMOs. While in the past, hiring managers were keen to spy applicants with extensive insight into their sector, we are beginning to see more brands desire a wider industry perspective.

"Brands that really get consumer-centricity want to understand how to get under the skin of consumers and leap ahead. They are looking for that wider perspective. Agency people can bring in their creative and customer-centric skills," Priest continues. This is particularly common in sectors such as finance as the brand often carries more weight than the product.

Marketing teams need to have a diverse range of skills, whether they're built from in-house teams or those with agency experience. "Diversity in gender, age and race are all important but to better understand consumers and represent the customer you need diversity in how people think as well," Priest concludes.

Regardless of whether you have agency experience or not, we have a wealth of marketing opportunities waiting for you. Sign up to our job alerts today to find out more.


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