While every marketing agency would have loved to have scouted Seth Godin or Brian Solis at a young age; the reality is that most marketing agencies wouldn’t have been able to benefit from such great talent.
Too often, marketing agencies don’t have an adequate mentorship program in place. This problem becomes more acute at very large ones, where the recruiting of young talent is done without a roadmap that truly sets a plan for growth within the agency.
First, let’s take analyze the issue from the side of the young marketer.
The client of the marketing industry wants to see a track record and the smart marketer will meet those consumer demands. The track record is a benchmark that is required by the industry and the only way that a young marketer can have access to that is by pairing up with an established agency. The young marketer needs an well-known name to establish credibility and have access to a larger network that he or she could never have access to by himself or herself. The easiest and fastest way to do that is to partner who already has both a proven track record and a strong network. The young marketer has a clear motive to join the ranks of a large investing firm in order to grow professionally.
On the other hand, the large marketing agency has a far more short-term goal: continuing to generate revenue and maintain reputation.
The older marketer is aware that hiring is a comprehensive process and procrastinates in taking the appropriate time not only to hire a larger number of younger marketers but also to set up a proper mentorship program that has a longer-term view. There is a mismatch between the expectations of established agencies and young marketers.
The reality is that the large agency needs the young marketer as much as the young marketer needs the large agency.
The large firm needs to establish a succession plan and a continuity of the business. The only way for that is to recruit talent with potential, pair them up with older advisors through a meaningful mentorship program, and provide opportunities for succession. If large agencies don’t establish long-term mentorship programs that present clear roadmaps for growth and opportunity, they will not be able to recruit the next Seth Godin or Brian Solis.
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