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Majority of UK Marketing Grads Don’t Recall Performance Marketing Modules

Majority of UK Marketing Grads Don’t Recall Performance Marketing Modules


There’s no shortage of qualifications available for aspiring digital marketers, but the absence of those specialising in performance marketing continues to remain a point of concern within the industry - research by affilinet confirms worries.

As many as three-fifths of British marketing graduates have “no memory” of learning about the affiliate sector or performance-based marketing practices, according to a poll conducted by affiliate network affilinet. 

The commissioned research was conducted on 1,388 respondents who graduated with at least a 2:2 degree in marketing from a UK university since 2014, finding a “lack of understanding” among tutors to be the core reason cited for a shortfall in knowledge. 

While just 41% of graduates claimed to remember courses containing dedicated modules to affiliate and performance marketing, the majority of those (67%) stated that information related to affiliate practices was “outdated and unhelpful”. 

Career demands

Of those respondents who didn’t remember being taught about the practices, however, more than half (52%) admitted that they’d had to self-teach themselves on the subject because of their resulting jobs and career path, with 22% learning through courses later on. 

The remaining 26%, meanwhile, had no knowledge of affiliate practices whatsoever. 

Behind a lack of understanding among lecturers and professors (38%), key reasons cited by respondents for leaving with a lack of education included universities hesitance to change course to accommodate affiliate strategies (22%), the sector’s ever-changing nature (18%), degrees being already overloaded with information (12%), and the area being to difficult to assess knowledge on (10%). 

Barrier to growth

A lack of fresh blood entering the affiliate and performance industry is often cited as a key blocker to the channel’s growth and development, while its absence on course syllabuses can be seen to muddy its perception among mainstream marketing strategies, and as a result, serve as a potential barrier to advertiser spend.  

“Whilst it’s true that the affiliate sector is still a relatively new and ever-changing industry, the fact that such a high number of British marketers are leaving university without even a basic grasp of what affiliate marketing is is somewhat concerning,” commented affilinet’s senior marketing manager, Sophie Parry-Billings. 

“We need to work as an industry to ensure we are educating the next wave of graduates about the industry and the career opportunities it holds.”

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Mark  Jones

Mark Jones

Mark manages all aspects of editorial on PerformanceIN as the company's Head of Content, including reporting on the fast-paced world of digital marketing and curating the site’s network of expert industry contributions.

Going by the ethos that there is no 'jack-of-all-trades' in performance marketing, only experts within their field, Mark’s day-to-day aim is to provide an engaging platform for members to learn and question one another, helping to push the industry forward as a result.

Originally from Plymouth, Mark studied in Reading and London, eventually earning his Master's in Digital Journalism- before making his return to the West Country to join the PI team in Bristol.

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