Talent Disconnect Research

AEF’s Building the Next Generation of Marketing and Advertising Talent Research

AEF is undertaking groundbreaking research on talent. Our industry partners have told us they are facing a significant challenge with the acquisition and retention of talent. Further conversations with both academics and marketing professionals suggest that this talent challenge appears to be rooted in a deep disconnect among the goals, practices and perceptions of marketers and agencies, students and academics. To learn more, the AEF, in conjunction with the ANA, has launched a major piece of research to understand the experience of finding and hiring students to be the next generation of marketing talent. The study, for the first time, will explore the issues surrounding the acquisition of marketing/advertising talent from the perspective of hiring companies, the academic community and the students themselves. No empirical study has ever been conducted that focuses on the relationship connecting all three of these stakeholder groups.

The qualitative discovery phase will be finished in January. Results will help us shape the second phase of this research, a large-scale quantitative study that will be put into the field in Spring 2017. Our goal is to use research findings to guide development of AEF programs that will begin to bridge the disconnect among the stakeholder groups.

"I developed a much higher respect for social marketing by seeing the value and complexity of this function which seemed very ambiguous to me before."
— Student at Boston College after AEF sent speakers from DigitasLBi