If you look at the marketing industry, it seems that way. Welcome to the new ‘grey attrition’
While it’s been a ‘young person’s business’ at ad agencies for a long time, corporate marketing jobs also seem to be ‘out with the old, in with the new’ – unless you’re the CMO. Whether at an ad agency or on the brand side, this is a disturbing marketing trend.
Seems like we receive at least one email a month from a colleague who has a friend / colleague that’s suddenly unemployed and, because they’re over 40, run into a ‘grey wall’ with human resources or job app websites.
One man of a certain age, according to a recent Digiday article, spent the last three years as a permalancer while he looks for a permanent advertising agency gig.
There are likely many factors driving this new ageism in the marketing industry.
One such culprit is certainly marketers driving down agency comp. This eventually forces advertising agencies to find cheaper talent solutions. And eventually marketers complain that the agency team is too junior and, worst yet, fires the agency.
Mergers and acquisitions, consolidations, and reorganizations also contribute to ‘grey attrition’ at both clients and agencies as they unload higher salaried staffs.
Whatever reason you come up with, it is still a human one.
It’s time marketers and agencies rethink scopes, and staffing – on both sides.
Pressures to increase ROI need to factor in the value of experienced human capital.
With that ‘grey attrition’ also goes your knowledge base. Indiana Jones once said, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”
We’d argue that it can be both.
Mileage doesn’t always ensure wisdom. And ‘the years’ doesn’t mean you hit the brakes on learning.
Let’s stop and rethink this marketing trend.
Bajkowski + Partners is a global consultancy with practices in Agency Search and Selection Management, Agency Performance and Relationship Management, Marketing Organization and Optimization, and Brand and Marcomm Management.