STEM, Finance and Business graduates – the new ‘Madmen’?

mad men advertising

Think advertising and media agencies and the traditional association is with arts and humanities students. After all, it’s all about being creative, right?

According to the media agencies making up GroupM, part of the WPP global advertising and marcomms group, there’s been a significant shift towards recruiting graduates from a broader range of disciplines. Whereas not so long ago there was an 80/20 split of humanities to other graduates, nowadays it’s more like 50/50. Why the change?

First it’s recognised that creativity comes in many forms and is not the exclusive preserve of the liberal arts. Plus technological advances have meant the nature of media and advertising is changing. With a focus on big data, analytical creativity and commercial savvy are increasingly needed.

So how does this work in practice? The visually and verbally creative teams at creative agencies come up with a marketing message for a client’s product. Then the media agencies pick up control of the marketing process, advising clients on how and where to advertise to make the most of their marketing budget. They ensure the message reaches the right people at the right time. It’s no use buying an expensive ad slot half way through a UEFA Champions League broadcast if the client’s target audience is 20-35 year old women into camping and yoga!

By capturing and analysing data from users across all digital devices (mobiles, PCs etc), media agencies are able to create very specific segments of audiences to target. They know how specific types of people can best be reached, ie, through which medium via which channels at which times. Which gives their clients more bang for their buck.

So, whatever form your creativity takes – verbal, visual, analytical or commercial – if you’ve got a passion for digital, the media world is interested.


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