Survey of Marketers and Branding Professionals Reveals Pandemic Impact on Creativity, Productivity and Career
Thursday, December 17th, 2020
Nearly three-quarters of marketers have been working from home since March, but do they believe their creative work, productivity or communications with team members have suffered or thrived in the new normal? Turns out, the answer depends on who you ask, according to a new survey from global creative platform 99designs.
For example, while about a third (32%) of marketers believe their productivity has improved, Account Managers and Brand Managers are almost twice as likely to have experienced improved productivity levels than their senior leaders when working remotely (44% vs 25%). Conversely, younger marketers have found creative collaboration significantly more difficult working remotely when compared to their older colleagues.
However, some unexpected benefits have also emerged: one in five marketers believe opportunities for career advancement have actually increased during the pandemic, and 42% of managers said communication with their teams has also improved while working from home.
Another point of difference? More than half (56%) of agency employees would actually prefer to return to the office full-time, compared to just 38% of their in-house counterparts.
These are just a few of the findings of the 99designs study conducted with research firm Corus to coincide with the launch of 99designs Studio and Select: two new services to help brands and marketers access and collaborate with remote freelance talent. The company surveyed hundreds of marketers and brand managers at all levels about how the pandemic and social unrest in 2020 have impacted their work, careers and the industry as a whole.
"Holding important strategy sessions in sweatpants while our kids homeschool in the background is quickly becoming the new normal," said 99designs Head of Marketing, Shayne Tilley. "Pandemic, climate crisis, social movements, civil unrest – each month of 2020 has brought something new to test us, both personally and professionally.
"No industry has been spared some level of disruption, marketing included. Although the upheaval has been shared, what's interesting is that the effects have not been one-size fits all. Factors like age, seniority and whether you work in-house or at an agency all seem to play a role in how our work and careers have been affected. While we're certainly not out of the woods yet, the good news is that we're starting to see some silver linings emerge from the chaos that have the potential to positively impact the industry for years to come."
Impact on the Industry Moving Forward
Many marketers also predict big changes to the industry as a whole, for example:
- 1 in 5 marketers expect fixed retainers to become obsolete in a post-COVID world
- A quarter of agency executives anticipate retainers will disappear altogether compared to only 14% of in-house marketers
- 39% of marketing professionals expect there to be a shift in demand towards project-based work
- 1 in 3 agency workers believe they will hire more remote freelancers in the future to bring flexibility to teams and project delivery