​Covid Business Impacts Revealed
​Covid Business Impacts Revealed

Salaries affected but steadying; Positive hiring outlook; surge in preference for long term remote working; Marketing role more strategic; Diversity, room to improve.....

“From a marketing and a resourcing perspective, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, after a very tough year for businesses and for people personally. Some sectors have been hugely impacted and recovery will be complex. But others such as tech and retail have adapted, pivoted or benefited from the crisis. The picture that emerges now is one of a marketing industry that is resilient with a pragmatic but cautiously optimistic view of how 2021 and beyond will unfold.

Trading conditions are expected to pick up, a majority of respondents are secure or very secure in their positions and the hiring outlook is encouraging. The surge in popularity of remote working, with more than half of companies talking about a blended hybrid workforce, is a gamechanger. Companies who offer flexibility will be those who attract and retain the best.”

That’s according to Sandra Lawler, Founder Director of Alternatives (www.alternatives.ie), Ireland’s No1 Marketing & digital talent specialists.

She was commenting on the launch of the Alternatives 2021 Salary, Market Insights & Sentiment Survey, run by Alternatives in conjunction with the Marketing Institute of Ireland. It is the largest annual survey of its kind, with over 850 respondents from the marketing, digital and commercial community. The survey was conducted between 7th-31st January 2021.

Employee engagement / happiness, coping and working with Covid, gender profile and diversity, salary and market outlook predictions, hiring prospects and Brexit impact are some of the key areas where respondents made their opinions known.

Key Findings:

  • People rated their level of coping personally with Covid at 63 out of 100.
  • 97% are working remotely currently - 15% will work full time from home on on-going basis while 58% of companies will operate a blended remote / office policy in 2021 and beyond.
  • Employment has been heavily impacted, but it is better now than in the 6 months post March 2020. 75% of respondents remain secure or very secure in their current roles.
  • Salaries have been impacted somewhat but benefits remain similar to last year, despite the pandemic.
  • The hiring outlook is more positive and 65% will hire a little or a lot this year.
  • Covid impacted hugely on business. 70-80% negative impact at earlier stages in 2020. Now 49% of respondents reporting a negative impact. Sectors most impacted were the broad travel and tourism sector as well as motor, food, drinks, manufacturing and construction.
  • By contrast, Covid had a positive business impact on 1 in 5 of those in sectors such as Agri, Tech, eCommerce, Retail and Logistics.
  • 56% expect improved trading conditions in 2021.
  • The role of marketing is evolving to become more strategic and marketers are working increasingly with other functions to optimise areas such as lead generation, customer experience, business strategy and data analytics.
  • For many businesses, marketing resources are tight. 45% have marketing teams of 5 people or less and 46% work with budgets of €500k or less. 43% however will have budgets of €1m plus and 39% have teams of 10 or more.
  • 20% plan to increase spend, while 28% plan to decrease budgets this year. Key areas of spend include digital content, PPC/SEO and above the line communications.

David Field, CEO of The Marketing Institute of Ireland (www.mii.ie) said: “At a time when it is critical for businesses to rally their people and sustain performance, our survey clearly shows more junior employees are feeling more pressure due to the impact of Covid.

It also shows Covid has had a significant impact on the marketing industry, with both budgets and salaries being cut, but despite this, marketers have continued to play a key role in driving business performance and engagement with consumers.

Businesses wishing to maintain momentum, drive business performance and retain their talent would be wise to be aware of the pressures their teams are under and ensure they underpin their 2021 plans with supports and programmes to help their teams cope and get the best from their people. A critical component of this is providing your talent time and opportunity to upskill and continue to grow and develop in their roles.”

Download the Survey Results here
Download the Survey Results here
This is the largest annual survey of its type, with over 850 respondents from the marketing, digital and commercial community. It provides detailed, cross sectoral and benchmarked data on salaries, benefits and engagement.