Adland finally wakes up to the need for data geeks

IPA 3 (2)Two decades after direct marketing agencies started to hire data specialists, the penny has finally dropped in adland with the IPA’s latest Agency Census revealing the once derided pointy heads and geeks are now in high demand, especially in media shops.
Published today, the Census reveals media agencies are outstripping creative agencies and what it calls “non-media agencies” in terms of staffing up. Over the past year, full-time roles have declined by 0.7% from 14,885 to 14,780.
Meanwhile in media agencies the headcount has grown by 6.4% from 8,346 to 8,882. Over the past five years, the number of people working in media agencies has risen 42.4% , as the adoption of data-driven marketing gathers pace.
But a lack of suitable candidates has led to the IPA to join forces with recruitment agency Step to get hold of “hard to find” talent with a background in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
“The IPA and Step go to sell adland to students who may not have considered it otherwise,” the trade body said. Among the paid internship roles it is offering on behalf of its members are those such as data analyst, real-time media planner/buyer (ie programmatic), or econometrician.
Then again, they could always ask direct marketing agencies where they have been recruiting from since the late Eighties.

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