Social Media and Digital Agencies Will Vanish Within 10 Years, New Grads Say

A pan-European survey of 2,000 marketing students reveals that more than 80% of the current generation of marketers think stand alone social media and digital marketing agencies will disappear within 10 years as the channel becomes a discipline for all marketers

The current crop of graduates now embarking on a career in advertising and marketing doesn’t believe that they are ‘digital natives’. Rather, they believe it is the generation 10 years younger than they are who will be the true masters of digital media.

These are some of the findings from a new report published last week 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’.

The results reveal a generation convinced that social media is something applicable across all marketing functions. Close to 90% said social media was 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’.

Eighty-five percent of respondents either agreed, or strongly agreed, that social media and digital agencies would not be stand alone specialists by 2023; they held that by then, these initiatives either will be integrated with other marcoms agencies or morph into full-service firms themselves.

Other findings include: 77% believe Facebook is the most important social media tool a brand can use to communicate to this generation, and only 40% agreed with a recent statement by Sir Martin Sorrell that Twitter was not an advertising medium.

G2Market Inside Scoop: This survey illustrates an emerging mindset among the new crop of marketing graduates: a view that today’s standalone social media agencies will give way to a landscape dominated by content marketing and so-called “PR Thinking”. This is a logical evolution and one that is visible today as a growing number of PR and advertising agencies step up the pace of incorporating digital marketing specialists into their operations at a rapid pace. This is a paradigm shift with legs: over the next decade, expect advertising and PR agencies to acquire a robust, real-time capability to operate across all media channels.

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<p style=”text-align: right;” dir=”ltr”>-Susan Aluise
<strong><span style=”color: black;”>Sr. Editor, </span><a href=””>G2Market</a></strong></p>