From an “idea generator” to a “solution facilitator”: A study of the changing roles of advertising professionals in the social media marketing era

Pui Yuen Lee, Kung Wong Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The rise of social media marketing has brought significant implications for advertising industry and its organizations. The traditional role of advertising professionals had been changing from a clear identity to an unclear one. However, previous research has studied relatively little about advertising professionals’ roles and identities or how they may be changing in the social media marketing era. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative, interpretive approach was taken in this study. It involved 32 in-depth interviews with advertising professionals in advertising organizations differing in size, digital focus and ownership in different multinational full-service advertising organizations and digital organizations. Findings: The findings indicated that the role of advertising professionals is innovating from a traditional “idea generator” to a “solution facilitator” in response to the social media marketing. Originality/value: This study identified the key experiences of advertising professionals that they were found to have divergent role identities linked to their identification with traditional and digital organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-17
Number of pages16
JournalCareer Development International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2019


  • Advertising professional
  • Change management
  • Organization studies
  • Role identity
  • Social media marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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