Marketing Edge has partnered with three organizations that will help the marketing and advertising nonprofit advance its diversity and inclusion efforts to support job opportunities for students in marketing and advertising. The partnerships were announced Friday.
The organizations include American Advertising Federation and its Mosaic Center for Multiculturalism (AAF), The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF), and Pi Sigma Epsilon (PSE). The relationships will enable the nonprofit organization to expand several programs to give students more opportunities.
Advertising is a fast-paced industry with evolving needs. One of the most important elements any entry-level candidate can bring to an agency, brand or other type of organization is the ability to think critically and continually learn, said Ayanna Jackson, vice president, Mosaic Center & Education Services, American Advertising Federation.
“It is not an accident we formed the partnership with The Marketing Edge during the tumult of 2020,” Jackson said. “Nothing looks like it did a year ago, and we needed to find new ways to prepare our students for the new reality.”
The organizations began negotiating the partnerships during 2020. By giving AAF students access to Marketing Edge’s programs, Jackson believes all ensure that companies in need of marketing and advertising experts have the most prepared “pipeline of incoming talent.” The partnership will ensure students are ready for whatever tomorrow brings, she said.
The industry faces a high demand for top talent as businesses reopen following the worst of COVID-19, said Terri Bartlett, CEO and president of Marketing Edge. The need for a rich pipeline of diverse, market-ready talent prepared to deliver on day one has never been more critical.
“More than 50% of our program population are students of color,” Bartlett said, adding that the ability to build on this foundation gives a diverse set of students more opportunities.
For more than 10 years, Marketing Edge has focused on data and analytics. Several years ago, the educational organization expanded to include technology, such as programmatic and artificial intelligence, because agility remains key.
“Given the rapid pace of change, often we’re not able to pinpoint the skills and capabilities needed for tomorrow’s workforce,” Bartlett said. “Give me an individual who is confident, flexible, curious, hungry and has an indomitable spirit to deliver results, and I would bet you have a super star in the making.”
TLF Chairman and CEO Kim Hunter believes the partnership will enable TLF -- a nonprofit with a mission to increase the number of ethnic minorities across advertising -- to reach more marketing students and young professionals and provide them with the resources they need to succeed as they start their career.
“The marketing and advertising industries generally lack diversity across all levels,” Hunter said. “There’s a growing number of diverse, young talent who are eager to get their foot in the door but have a difficult time looking for opportunities.”
This partnership will focus on giving these students the opportunities. Students early on will learn the ins and outs a career in marketing and advertising, helping them make better decisions about their academics and career pursuits.
“Better informed students result it early career candidates who are prepared, aware and successful early on. They’ll stick around longer, too, improving costly turnover,” said Joan Rogala, CEO, Pi Sigma Epsilon.