Future Marketers Say Facebook Most Important Social Communicator And Twitter An Ad Medium

According to results from a report by the MediaSchool Group, 70% of respondents believe that in 10 years the marketing landscape will be dominated by content marketing and PR thinking. At that time, advertising’s job will be mostly to entertain rather than sell. The study is based on a survey of more than 2,000 European students aged 20-25 studying advertising, marketing communications, design, PR and events

Ad Industry Future As Seen by European Marketing Students (% of Respondents)


% of Respondents

Agreed (or Strongly) that by 2023 social media and digital agencies would not be stand alone specialists, but integrated or full service


Agreed (or Strongly) that content marketing will be an essential part of job


Feel that in 10 years advertising’s job will be mostly to entertain, not sell


Think marketing landscape is dominated by content marketing and PR thinking


Agreed (or Strongly) that PR thinking, where creation of WOM and trust for Brands is most important, will be primary agency response to briefs


Disagreed (or Strongly) that TV advertising will be irrelevant


Source: MediaSchool Group, May 2013

The report goes on to say that the current crop of graduates embarking on a career in advertising and marketing do not believe they are 'digital natives'. Instead, they believe it is the generation ten years younger than they who will be the true masters of digital media. They also believe stand-alone social media agencies will no longer exist in 10 years time, having vanished from an advertising landscape, which will become dominated by Content Marketing and 'PR Thinking'.

The results reveal a generation convinced that social media is something applicable across all marketing functions. Close to 90% said social media is the channel that all marketing practitioners should use and that it was not a 'stand-alone' discipline. However 70% either agreed or strongly agreed that 20-25 year olds today are not digital natives, and that the generation ten years younger than them represents the 'true digital natives'.

  • 85% either agreed or strongly agreed that by 2023 social media and digital agencies would not be stand alone specialists and that by then they will be integrated with other marcoms agencies of be full service themselves
  • 77% believe Facebook is the most important social media tool a brand can use to communicate to this generation
  • Only 40% agreed with a recent statement by Sir Martin Sorrell that Twitter was not an advertising medium

The study reveals a generation that understands the evolving nature of the marketing industry and predicts an emerging dominance of Content and word of mouth.

  • 90% agreed or strongly agreed that in ten years the agency they work for would be full service where practitioners would be comfortable creating strategies in advertising, direct, social, digital and PR
  • 81% either agreed or strongly agreed that Content Marketing where brands become publishers and creators of their own content would be essential part of their job in ten years
  • 70% agreed or strongly disagreed that 'PR thinking' where the creation of word-of-mouth and trust for brands is most important - would dominate the way agencies respond to briefs in ten years times
  • In a reaffirmation of one traditional channel some 68% disagreed or strongly disagreed that TV advertising would be 'irrelevant' in ten years time
  • 70% said that in ten years advertising's job would be mostly to 'entertain' and not to 'sell'

The study suggests a generation of optimists when it comes to their career prospects particularly on questions of gender and equal opportunities.

  • 64% thought that in ten years time the agency they worked for would pay them the same salary as a member of the opposite sex
  • 73% thought they would have the same opportunities as a member of the opposite sex to rise to a position of senior management within an agency in ten years time
  • 64% thought that on average agencies were more meritocratic places to work than in-house

Sustainability, social good over profit and unpaid internships were all subjects covered in the Ethics section of the study.

  • 78% believed the marcoms industry enjoys an unfair subsidy provided by this generation - more than any generation before
  • 26% of students had worked unpaid for more than three months
  • 5% had worked unpaid for six months
  • 45% worked unpaid for two months
  • On sustainability: 70% thought that marcoms agencies were not doing enough to create a sustainable world
  • 86% said they agency they want to work for would have to be as much about the creation of social good as about creating profit for brands

International marcoms group Publicis, Global PR agency Ogilvy and Red Bull were the three brands most cited when the students were asked to talk about inspiration.

  • 54% said Publicis Groupe was the Most Admired International Marcoms Group (Omnicom 11%, WPP 10%, IPG 2%)
  • The most admired advertising agency was also Publicis 28%, then TBWA (15%) and Havas (12%)
  • The most admired PR agency was Ogilvy PR (31%) followed by Edelman (15%) and H+K (13%)
  • 44% said Red Bull Stratos was the most admired creative or branding campaign of 2012 followed by Nike: My time is now 20% and the Olympics opening ceremony (19%)
  • Apple was the clear favourite as the in-house team this generation would most like to work for receiving 44% of the votes.

Anne Pflimlin, director of the MediaSchool Group, which commissioned the research said: "...acres of newsprint, not to mention blogposts, tweets and hot air... is given over to marketing industry commentators who claim they know what young people think of social media, advertising and branding... (this study) asks young people themselves what they think... this next generation of marketing leaders... has a strong point of view on the future they will shape... questions of silos and channels don't exist... they are agnostic about channel or medium... trust, word of mouth and content seem to matter so much more... “

The findings are from a new report published today by the MediaSchool Group. Titled the 'Next Generation of Marcoms', the report contains a survey of more than 2,000 students aged between 20 and 25 years old studying Advertising, Marketing Communications, Design, PR and Events. Students in the UK, France, Spain and Belgium were questioned on five different themes covering: 'Digital and the Next Generation', 'The Future of Marcoms', 'Career' 'Ethics' and 'Inspiration'.

Please go to the PRNewswire to view more of the study, and read additional quotes from several keynoters of the industry.





3 comments about "Future Marketers Say Facebook Most Important Social Communicator And Twitter An Ad Medium".
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  1. Suzanne Sanders from S2 Advertising, June 4, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.

    Oh to be young again!

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, June 4, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.

    Yes, to be young and wrong.

  3. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, June 4, 2013 at 11 p.m.

    "The study is based on a survey of more than 2,000 European students aged 20-25 studying advertising, marketing communications, design, PR and events". This is a joke, right? I teach and have some tremendous students. But they are still learning to see the whole world - not just the corner they happen to live within... to move beyond their experience as part of an elite group attending university for marketing and advertising. Why did MediaPost even give this page space?

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