I enjoyed working with Jarmila Yu, Propolis Hive expert for Teams/Resourcing/D&I while the interviews were with marketing executives across several B2B sectors.
Here is the opening chapter; “The Great Resignation forces marketers back to management basics”.
“Yet another challenge for marketers. They are already dealing with the shift to more digital marketing channels; to more customer-centric and personalised content marketing; and towards using new technologies such as predictive analytics, advertising retargeting and account-profiling. Now, as if that wasn’t enough, they are also facing widespread changes in the working conditions across their businesses. They are not only seeing significant personnel churn in their marketing team, but also dealing with radical changes in the expectations of their teams when it comes to the working environment.
This is not a trend unique to the marketing department. Business employees across the board are quitting their jobs at a rate not seen in over a decade. The chief UK economist at Deutsche Bank in London reports that analysis of official data suggests people are resigning at the highest rate since 2009, with “historically elevated levels of workers leaving the labour market entirely”.
The data shows that a so-called ‘Great Resignation’ wave is happening around the world in the wake of the pandemic. In the US, where the government produces official data on the so-called ‘quit rate,’ the record 4.5 million people that resigned in November 2021 was followed by another 4.3 million resignations in December.
Employers across the UK complain of struggling to both hang on to and recruit staff. Redundancies in the UK are at their lowest level since the mid-1990s, while the level of open vacancies is the highest on record. The employees are leaving for a variety of reasons:
- Some are frustrated. Employees want to change their working environment because they are no longer satisfied with their current situation. Some have experienced inconsiderate leaders, unrealistic expectations of work performance, and/or a lack of career advancement. Those who saw colleagues being furloughed often had to shoulder greater workloads and work more time to help keep operations afloat.
- Others are just tired. Burnout and stress, family-care demands, and personal life-reflection after the Covid-19 pandemic are prompting many employees to reconsider their overall work-life balance objectives.
- Seizing the opportunity to move on. Many business professionals are now reconsidering where they want to live, let alone where they want to work. There is an increasing numbers of job opportunities that can be fulfilled remotely without ‘The Great Commute’ to deal with anymore.
The marketing discipline is one of many feeling the impact of this trend, which LinkedIn, the professional networking and career development platform, calls ‘The Great Reshuffle.’ The company reports a 31% growth of members with marketing careers changing jobs in 2021 compared to the previous year. That translates to a whopping 618,000 marketing job changes in 2021. And this at the same time as many firms are also ramping up their marketing departments. The past year saw a mind-blowing 374% growth in marketing jobs, with 1.3 million marketing jobs posted to LinkedIn.
So, is the ‘Great Reshuffle’ or ‘Great Resignation’ an opportunity or a challenge for marketers? Perhaps it’s a bit of both, offering an opportunity to re-build the business in a better manner, and ensuring that people are better placed in more rewarding and engaging careers.
For years, most B2B marketing organisations have been working with a ‘do more with less’ approach, with burnout and a lack of mental wellbeing all around. So, was the great resignation about to happen anyway and just accelerated by the pandemic?
The number of open marketing roles is at a seemingly all-time high in 2022. Is this because there is an overall increased need for marketers, or is it that there is a greater recognition for the role marketing plays in supporting business? Alternatively, is it a case of ‘where have all the marketing people gone and we need to replace them’?
The focus for this Propolis report is to answer some of those questions by examining and documenting how The Great Resignation has affected B2B marketing. We have held long interviews with several senior B2B marketers for deep insight into the topic. Hopefully, their comments will provide actionable advice for other marketers facing similar challenges. As you will see, these executives dropped a series of advisory nuggets in our conversations, so they will take the main stage throughout the report. Both Jarmila Yu and I have worked (and continue to work) with many clients on these issues, and so those experiences also feed into the report.”
The report will publish to B2B Marketing Propolis clients next month and a shortened version to the non-premium members later in the year. Contact me if you would like to get more details.
Always keeping you informed! Peter