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Kununu: Marketers are worried that automation will claim their jobs

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Marketing technology is causing problems within marketing, according to new data released today.

That’s not the only eye-opening statement being made by Kununu — an insights platform for employer reviews and ratings. In addition to martech concerns, it turns out that marketers — those who have the task of communicating a brand’s message, image, and values — are the worst at communicating. Well, internally at least.

The company has crunched 12 months of data in partnership with Monster, taking in over 2 million data points and more than half a million reviews to find out what makes marketers tick.

First the good news. Or bad news, if you don’t like to battle competitors for your job.

Marketing continues to be one of the most sought-after careers. Despite long hours, high accountability, and aggressive competition, marketing ranks among the top 10 of the 42 industries Kununu monitors.

The data also shows that technology startups rank high, coming in at number five in the list of most attractive places to work. The problem, it seems, is when you combine the two. Marketing technology is, according to Kununu, causing issues throughout the industry.

Of the 18 traits scored by Kununu, job security is at the rock bottom. Kununu CEO Moritz Kothe believes marketing technology might be one of the driving forces behind this.

“Marketing technology is evolving rapidly and has been for a while,” Kothe said. “These changes have resulted in a shift in priorities and focus and CMOs have been challenged to keep up. Based on our data, this also clearly affects the employees lower down that have to shape their expertise around the technology required to succeed. This can become frustrating and confusing, pushing an employee to decide to leave or be let go for an individual who has a stronger, more aligned skill set.”

The CMO already has the shortest average tenure of anyone on the executive board, and while that’s much longer than the average White House Director of Communications, it would appear marketers at all levels are concerned about their jobs.

Of course, marketing technology — and the stresses of demonstrating that marketing can positively affect the bottom line — isn’t the only issue highlighted in the data.

The report also reveals some real concerns for marketers. The inability to communicate internally is one surprising result.

“Communication scored 16 out of 18,” Kothe said. “You’d think that would be higher on the list, but it shows that there is an improvement that needs to be made across the board to improve transparency to keep employees in the loop and on the same page.”

As well as a lack of internal communication skills, the report shows that marketers don’t believe they are given much autonomy to make decisions and take action, and they don’t rate career development opportunities very highly. That’s another piece of bad news for a group of people who like to be creative by nature. Company culture, however, does rate highly for marketers. Is there any relation here?

“Company culture in marketing is not primarily linked to autonomy or career development,” Kothe said. “We tend to find that marketing positions hinge on teamwork and co-development. Companies constantly need to refresh their marketing messages to succeed as audience dynamics continue to evolve. Teamwork is at the core of finding new ways to solve problems or to think outside the box. This leads to a company culture that is driven by fun, creativity, and team effort.”

So marketers have a good time, even if they aren’t feeling empowered to make their own decisions on the road to success — a road that is seemingly paved with knives, if the data is to be believed. You see, the lowest item on the list — by a long way — is job security.

“It also goes without saying in marketing that job stability can take a turn at any point in time,” Kothe said. “Companies that are struggling may choose to remove the marketing team if they feel efforts need to be shifted elsewhere.”

Indeed, even a slight downturn in any industry affects all roles, especially those that identify as cost centers and those that can’t prove they are returning on the investment. While marketing is an essential part of the revenue machine in any business, it is often not perceived that way.

There is some more good news in the report, however. Gender equality scores highest for marketers, with teamwork ranking second on the list of traits. Inclusivity, diversity, and work/life balance all scored in the top seven positions, with higher-than-average ratings.

If only marketers could better communicate these flashes of good news internally, things might be better for them.

The data, released by Kununu today, is available on its website.

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