Does Ageism Affect Marketing and Advertising Industries?

The advertising and marketing industries are, generally speaking, full of younger professionals who are very much in tune with the current trends and platforms relevant to most brands. The fact of the matter remains that the marketing scene is one that’s constantly evolving. This means that anyone working in these industries must be able to learn new concepts regularly and have the ability to apply them to the work they’re doing for clients or for in-house marketing and advertising.

But does this younger type of industry have a problem with ageism? Will an older professional with decades of experience be able to compete with a younger person fresh out of college with less experience? Common sense would say yes, but in some cases this has proven to not be the case. 

In order to avoid this idea of ageism, companies must take into account all elements of a candidate’s experience. If a person has a wealth of knowledge and experience around the concept of marketing, isn’t that of a high value?

Think of it this way. Today’s younger generations have grown up with technology. On one hand, this makes these individuals much more adept at learning new platforms such as social media, as well as understanding a younger user base a bit better. However, what about the experience that comes from understanding the art of copywriting or the nuances of advertising from when there was no AI to assist us and no analytics available at our fingertips?

Experience should never be discounted. And in an environment in which consumers are increasingly craving more genuine interactions with businesses, this type of experience may prove to be invaluable.

How does a company prevent ageism? The concept is simple: respect. The workforce is aging, and there are still countless veterans of the industry looking to contribute to the industry that they’ve called home for several years. Sure, many companies are shifting towards a younger demographic, but what about marketing to those who are older? Older generations have a ton of buying power, and this is not something to discount when it comes to marketing. Yes, they may be more difficult to reach — but perhaps having people on the team who can identify better with those demographics and how to best reach them will be influential for the success of the campaign.

Of course, this all depends on the type of products or services the business is promoting, and what its target demographic is for those sales. But when determining what the best team would be comprised of, a mix of veteran and younger professionals is often a powerful combination. A candidate should never be disqualified or discounted because of age, as this type of ageism is often accompanied by doubt in the candidate’s abilities to work in a high-paced, high-pressure environment. This is often a false assumption and one that can be detrimental to the ongoing success of a business and its marketing strategy.

Experience adds depth to any team, and avoiding ageism should be of paramount importance when a company is looking to expand its marketing personnel.  

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