Original Talent Research

How will the marketers and advertising agencies of the future attract and retain the kind of talent they need to lead? How will academic institutions better adapt and prepare students for careers in a rapidly transforming business world? And how can students find more clarity, more choice and more meaningful work when they graduate? For the first time ever AEF explored the challenges from the perspective of the hiring companies, the academic community, and the most important players, the students themselves.

Answers to these challenging questions will only be found by bringing industry and academia together. “Bridging the Talent Disconnect: Charting the Pathways to Future Growth“, was the original groundbreaking research study by the AEF, published in 2017.

The follow-up 2019 qualitative study “Bridging the Diversity Disconnect: Charting More Inclusive Pathways to Growth” uncovered the same structural disconnects when analyzing this issue through a diversity lens, specifically racial diversity.

Our 2020 study, “Bridging the Analytics Disconnect: Charting a More Data-Driven Pathway to Growth” finds that the marketing industry needs to work much more closely with academia if we are to create the new breed of data and analytics talent that will be so crucial to fueling our industry’s growth.

Collectively, they highlight the systemic entry-level disconnects that exist within the marketing and advertising ecosystem which is captured in this report called the Structural Racial Diversity Disconnect in Entry-Level Hiring in the Marketing and Advertising Industry.

Bridging the Analytics Disconnect research study




"The single biggest community that will change the future of marketing is academia."
— Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Mastercard