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70% of marketers aged under 45, study reveals

Marketing’s ageism problem runs deep. From a focus on ‘digital natives’ to brands’ obsession with youth, older marketers are suffering.

Exclusive data from Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey reveals just how young the marketing profession skews. Of the more than 3,000 marketers taking part in this year’s survey, 70.2% are aged between 26 and 45-years-old.

Digging deeper into this statistic, 40.2% of marketers are aged between 26 and 35-years-old, while 30% are aged 36 to 45-years-old.

This is a slight improvement on 2023’s survey, when almost three quarters of marketers (74.6%) were aged between 26 and 45-years-old.

Similarly, more marketers are aged between 46 and 65-years-old this year (20.4%) than last year, when this figure was 14.5%. In 2024, almost a tenth (8.6%) of marketers are aged between 18 and 25-years-old, compared with 9.7% last year.

Marketers urged to ‘crack industry open’ to older talent as study confirms youth biasMarketing’s youth bias is well documented. The latest All In Census conducted by the Advertising Association, ISBA and IPA found around three quarters of marketers are below the age of 45, tallying with the Career and Salary Survey findings.

Speaking to Marketing Week last year, former Royal Bank of Scotland Group CMO David Wheldon argued experience should be valued: “But the data doesn’t lie. There’s a problem. There’s been a problem for several years. Nobody seems to be doing anything about it.”

Moreover, recruiters and job-seeking marketers have told Marketing Week there are currently more senior marketers out of work and looking for jobs than ever before. This is down to a range of factors including redundancy, senior talent becoming frustrated and leaving, and marketers going freelance.

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The 2024 Career and Salary Survey data reveals a persistent lack of age diversity is harming talent and – despite a slight improvement on last year’s figures – the situation is not changing for the better at speed.

Marketing Week will be publishing more exclusive news and features based on the findings of the 2024 Career & Salary Survey over the coming weeks, including a deeper dive into marketing’s ageism problem. Click here to view everything we’ve published so far.

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