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Agency MD reacts to impact of interest rate rise and outlook for 2022

Agency MD reacts to impact of interest rate rise and outlook for 2022

Purpose Media Managing Director, Matt Wheatcroft reflects on the impact of the interest rate rise  and looks ahead with some useful insights for 2022.

When asked what they think about the current economic and political landscape there are no doubt plenty of business owners saying “it’s tough” - except most are probably using a much stronger expletive instead of ‘tough!’

The rise in mortgage interest rates is already leading to a more cautious approach from banks towards borrowing and credit limits which in turn will impact both commercial and personal customer spending. Couple this with the stresses of the employment market and the clouds of perfect storm are already forming.

Problems getting staff for roles in retail, logistics, food and drink and healthcare have been repeatedly highlighted, but the same issues are happening within the marketing profession as businesses battle to retain customers and market share.

The demand for people with specialist digital marketing skills and experience and the salaries being offered has gone sky high – in fact, it’s gone to another galaxy!

Companies which had already embraced digital marketing strategies within their marketing toolkit wanted more - and those who previously thought them unnecessary realised that lockdowns, store closures and people working from home required radical changes to their marketing approach.

Businesses have been forced to make changes in order to counteract the loss of in-store and face to face interactions and the brand profile lost from traditional sponsorship or advertising at empty venues. Those affected have simply had to embrace the use of websites to sell online or offer click and collect services, as well as use email marketing, social media and digital PR in order to communicate with customers.

Consequently, the battle for talent to meet this demand means that not a day goes by when marketing agency bosses don’t hear reports of a team member getting a call from a head hunter.

If the combination of these dynamics adds to the likelihood of inflation (which I think it will), I fear there is a risk is that employees who jumped ship for inflated salaries might find themselves the first casualty when their new employer looks to rationalise their overheads – regardless of industry sector.

So my advice to those looking to jump ship is to really consider if the grass really is greener on the other side? Would it be a better long term option to show a little bit of loyalty and stand by your current employer – particularly if they’ve treated you fairly over two of the worse years you will probably ever have experienced.

As a business our saving grace has been the fact Purpose Media did everything to protect the financial and mental well-being of our staff has strengthened employee and client relationships. Also, a key part of our recruitment strategy has been to develop and nurture a good proportion of our talent by offering apprenticeships.

The fact we can offer a structured career path has helped create a great place to work and lots of loyalty and many apprentices progress to be part of the senior management team. Offering these opportunities also gives me a lot of personal satisfaction as it is this generation of learners who has been most impacted by the last two years.

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