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Are the demands on marketing professionals increasing?


The unstoppable march of technology has changed almost every job description over the last two decades, but the marketing sector has been especially affected by the emergence of new trends such as social media, responsive design and mobility.

As the skill set the role calls for continues to expand, are the demands being placed on marketing experts becoming too onerous? Recent research from the EMR salary and market trend report highlighted the fact that people in the sector are working more hours and feeling the pressure on them beginning to increase.

Of the 1,500 professionals surveyed, over 43 per cent admitted to working more than 45 hours a week. This trend was more pronounced among male marketers - 54 per cent carried out their role for this length of time or more each week, up three per cent year-on-year.

Only 37 per cent of female respondents found themselves in this position, suggesting that machismo may be one element in the tendency of marketers to work increasingly long hours.

In total, 31 per cent of marketing, communications and digital professionals are working more hours per week than they were two years ago. There could be a number of factors in this shift - for instance, the economic slowdown may have left teams working with less resources and as such needing to put in more time to produce the same results.

Furthermore, a slump in hiring may mean that smaller groups of workers are being asked to carry out the same kind of projects, despite a lack of manpower.

However, it seems fair to suggest that the increasing amount of technological nous required for the role, as well as the pressure being placed on firms by web-savvy clients keen to utilise the latest tools, is putting pressure on marketers to work as hard as possible.

On the bright side, this does not appear to have put the majority of people off their job - over 54 per cent of respondents described themselves as satisfied or very satisfied with their current position.

This is good news, but businesses still need to ensure their teams are not over-worked. Stress can lead to serious problems within the workforce and actually drive down productivity in the long term, as well as making employee retention more difficult.

A recent study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) found mental health issues to be costing British workforces around £70 billion each year.

Professor Stephen Bevan, director of the Centre of Workforce Effectiveness at The Work Foundation, pointed out that one in six UK employees suffers from issues such as stress and depression.

"The impact is felt not only in lost productivity and high sickness absence, but on individual self esteem and quality of life. We welcome the OECD's recommendations which will better support people with mental health difficulties to enter and remain in work," he added.

Companies that wish to avoid any long-term issues emerging need to ensure their staff are given reasonable workloads and allocate them sufficient time to complete the increasingly complex tasks involved in modern marketing.


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