Executive Shortages in Marketing, IP

Posted on 7/21/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

New research says executive-level marketing and intellectual-property skills are in short supply. Though the underlying causes for the shortage differ, market conditions are exacerbating recruitment problems.

Marketing and creative jobs, notoriously difficult to quantify in relation to impact on revenues, are typically the first to go when the economy heads south. At the same time, marketing and promotional activities spike, as consumers cut spending and companies have to work harder to retain market share. It is, therefore, not surprising that 70% of the 400 respondents to a recent Marketing Executives Networking Group survey said there was a shortage of qualified talent.

Some understaffed marketing departments are shifting employees from other business areas; others rely on consultants. The problem is most severe at the executive level: MENG found that many of the 400 members who responded to the survey could not find senior managers with sufficient expertise.

MENG attributes this partly to the dot-com bubble burst, which sent many young marketing employees packing in early 2000s. Now, they don't enough experience to rise to the level of chief marketing officer.

In addition, the longevity of a typical marketing executive is an average of 2.5 years at one company. MENG, which says it takes about half this time to understand a company or brand's positioning, concludes that employees don't give marketers enough time to learn the business. Many hire marketing executives to turn around a troubled company and promptly let go those who do not show immediate results.

Intellectual-property management is another recruitment headache. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, there is an urgent need for further IP-management education programs at business, engineering and law-school levels.

Last weekend's WIPO IP-management conference gathered attendees from 18 countries. Typical of the current climate of business and education chasing technology, attending experts stressed that IP concepts, such as patents, trademarks, designs and copyright, need to be integrated into graduate educational programs in the areas of business strategy, marketing and finance.

Here, executive shortage is due to skyrocketing demand for executive-level candidates among all types of businesses. "Intellectual-property management is the need of the hour," said executive director of the WIPO Worldwide Academy Yo Takagi. Executives with years of hands-on field expertise command salaries many aren't willing to pay in today's economic climate, while IP education remains in its infancy. WIPO found that IP-oriented business-management programs are scarce and do not adequately equip students with the needed level of knowledge and skills.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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