Some businesses are busier than ever. Others are basically shut down. It’s going to be a very uneven recovery.
The digital marketers we know are mostly very busy. But is that true across the board? We have some questions:
Has the pandemic impacted job opportunities for marketers?
What about salaries and compensation?
Every 18 months, we step back and look at the various marketing jobs, to see how both the roles (job descriptions) and the compensation (salary and benefits) have changed. This is our fourth Marketing Compensation Report.
Here are the updated marketing salaries, followed by the detailed job descriptions for each marketing job title.
The marketing salary guide
These marketing job salaries aren’t starting salaries. They are median total compensation numbers based on reports from two sources: Glassdoor and PayScale from 67,000 individuals in the US from the last five years, with various marketing job titles.
First, the data. Then, our commentary.
The data shows a drop in salary for all but one of the marketing positions over the last 18 months. Here are the trends for each of these marketing job titles tracked over the last four and a half years:
Marketing compensation varies widely Industry, company size, geography and experience are major factors. For example, Marketing Director compensation ranges from $42,000 to $162,000.
This is salary, not total compensation It’s gross income before taxes and deductions. It does not include benefits or bonuses. The total compensation (including paid time off) is generally 30% higher than what the employee sees on their paycheck.
Has compensation for marketers declined?
Not according to the US government.
To see a larger, more credible dataset, we looked at 10 years of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This has a lot more data, but it is not as granular. All kinds of marketing positions are grouped into a category called “Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers.” This likely includes most of the positions listed above, including the more senior roles, which may explain why the salary numbers are much higher.
BLS shows wage growth of 25% over the last 10 years. They also predict growth in opportunities, reporting that marketing jobs are projects to grow at a faster rate than other jobs: 6% vs. 4%.
The BLS data is for 2019, so it doesn’t include the 2020 recession. Monthly data specifically for marketing roles is not available. But the Bureau for Economic Analysis shows monthly income changes for the overall US economy.
Here’s what the 2020 picture looks like:
Stimulus payments aside, compensation hasn’t grown in the Covid era. But marketing seems to be holding on. In our own survey of 100+ marketing agencies, we found that headcount is holding steady.
We asked Drew McLellan if he’s spotted any job marketer changes for marketers in 2020…
“We work with and see the financials of about 250 agencies a year. I have seen no decrease in annual salaries due to COVID. Some agencies implemented temporary pay cuts or furloughed employees back in the spring, but almost all of them have reinstated full salaries and brought the furloughed employees back.
As agencies have hired in 2020, they’ve had a broader selection of candidates and felt like they didn’t have to inflate the offer just to be considered. It’s definitely easier to find qualified candidates willing to accept normal agency salary ranges. But I haven’t seen one agency deflate the normal salary ranges to get “a COVID bargain.”
We also talked to Lynn Hazan, a local recruiter who works with marketers.
“Overall, during the Pandemic, we have received resumes from candidates whose positions were eliminated on both the agency and corporate sides. Marketing has taken a hit. However, candidates with more technical skill sets are very much in demand. I anticipate that healthcare and technology will continue to grow.”
Marketers in businesses that have been disrupted have been badly affected. But it looks as though salaries are holding steady. And some employers are still finding it tough to find talent.
“Marcel Digital has been hiring for a number of positions all throughout 2020. We found recruiting in the first quarter to be relatively straightforward. There was a volume of resumes of targeted prospects. We were able to conduct interviews, communicate with references, make offers and onboard with little difficulty.
The next 2 quarters and even into Q4 have become increasingly challenging. We believe the job market in Chicago is crowded with agencies looking for talented individuals. Both employers and prospective employees are looking for the right fit in this new normal.”
Here is our take on a few more big questions:
Are more senior roles taking a pay cut?
It looks that way in the self-reported data on Glassdoor and PayScale, but there aren’t enough reporting to say for sure. It’s possible that some businesses that have laid off senior managers are hiring back at lower levels of pay.
How does experience correlate with titles and compensation?
As titles grow, so does compensation, even when the job descriptions are pretty similar. Let’s take a look.
Marketing job descriptions:
Here are the descriptions of the seven jobs above. Consider this a “swipe file” that you can use to grab template job descriptions. You are welcome to copy, edit and adapt these to fit your open positions. Each description is available as a Word download and Google Doc.
Marketing Coordinator supports external teams through project support, program execution, collateral development, project support, sales programs, as well as via ad hoc requests.
Development and implementation of marketing strategies, including advertising campaigns, content marketing, product positioning and other projects
Monthly reporting on marketing data to aid management in making decisions
Manage and track social media accounts
Provide product/service support
Support day-to-day operations including marketing campaigns and promotions
CRM management: Maintain databases of prospects, clients and vendor databases
Robust repertoire of sales approaches across various channels
Trade show and live event marketing and management
Experience working with agency/client partners
Graphic design skills (InDesign, Photoshop, etc.)
Proficiency across various social platforms and management tools (Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, etc.)
BA / BS / MBA Marketing, Journalism, Communications, Finance or equivalent work experience
The median Marketing Associate salary in 2020 is $53,851.
Social Media Manager
Engage with communities and clients through social media channels, with the goal of web traffic, lead generation and revenue. Create, execute and revise social media strategy and social media marketing blueprint.
Search optimization knowledge: strategy, gatekeeper, manager of voice and brand.
Social media expert: determine / manage what types of content works best on what platform, optimizing content accordingly, as well as understanding the different nuances of each platform; know how to engage an audience through social media posts and interactions, and should, hopefully, find some joy in doing just that.
Customer service: know how to best communicate with customers and audience members; handle all customer interactions; social media presence is your brand’s face online.
Social media management: know how to use leading online tools to direct marketing strategies.
Copywriting skills: Creativity; convey ideas in a clear and precise way.
Visual intelligence: knows what images will work, and when; have general knowledge of design in order to create visually appealing graphics to coordinate with appropriate posts; video an ever-increasing component of social media strategies.
5+ years of experience in social media strategy and execution
Strong understanding of the various audience types and best practices to optimize social engagement and drive traffic
Excellent written and editorial skills
Strong analytical skills, especially with respect to experimental design and analysis
Familiarity with social platforms and popular social media management tools (Hootsuite, Sprout Social, etc.)
Strong understanding of direct response marketing principles and methodologies
Proven experience growing engagement organically
BA / BS / MBA in Marketing, Journalism, Communications or related discipline required
In addition, the content strategist works closely with business partners to consult on long-term and short-term online content strategies.
The responsibilities of the content strategist range from the highly tactical (sometimes making minor content corrections or updates) to the highly strategic (leading design teams or facilitating sessions with executive staff to discover creative solutions to business problems).
5 years experience working in interactive design environments as a content strategist, copywriter or related position
Deep familiarity with user-centered design principles
Superb communication skills: this means the candidate will be able to articulate clearly — verbally (in large group settings as well as one-on-one) and in writing — the primacy of the user-centered design as well as the specific contribution of the content efforts
Experience creating content strategies and writing copy for public-facing websites
Prior experience as an online content strategist/producer or directly related experience
Excellent organizational and project management skills with experience managing multiple projects with competing priorities
Strong knowledge of web development technologies
Able to work independently, solve problems and translate complex business requirements into actionable project goals
Good attention to detail with strong written & oral communication and presentation skills
The median Content Strategist salary in 2020 is $65,732.
Manage brand messaging via marketing, advertising and promotional activities. Ensures relevant metrics are measured, benchmarks met, staff performance enhanced, and managed communities enriched through assigned goals and objectives.
Oversee the delivery of optimized media campaigns across all platforms, content and advertising, online and offline
Measure performance of marketing activities using Google Analytics and other reporting tools
Demonstrates company values at every opportunity
Coordinate marketing campaigns with sales objectives
Oversee creation and delivery of press releases, advertisements, and other marketing materials
Design online/print ads and publications
Work closely with departmental heads and external agencies to ensure and implement consistent brand deliveries across all channels
Manage marketing vendors, spending and budgets
5-10 years of marketing experience
Strong analytical and project management skills
Proficient with basic office and productivity software
Excellent written and verbal skills, time management, decision-making, presentation, organizational and problem-solving skills
Experience with enterprise software solutions and large, complex organizations
Experience in all aspects of developing and maintaining marketing strategies to meet organizational objectives
Experience in developing and executing integrated new business, cross-sell, upsell, and retention campaigns
BA / BS / MBA in Marketing, Business or Communications or equivalent experience
The median Marketing Manager salary in 2020 is $65,732.
Director of Marketing
Demonstrate leadership and expertise in marketing. Be savvy in various forms of online and offline demand generation. Charged with leading a wide range of community experiences and becoming the brand voice.
Ownership of all marketing functions and resources
Set marketing strategic and tactical direction in collaboration with senior management and sales leadership
Govern all marketing project, activation, and go-to-market plans
Routinely provide management with detailed reporting which includes – but not limited to – customer behaviors and sentiment, market/competitive conditions, industry/economic trends, product performance and campaign performance (ROI)
Manage marketing-related budget items
Manage the onboarding and development of marketing staff
Oversee the creative/branding process, ensuring all benchmarks are met and systems enforced
Maintain a library of marketing collateral, ensuring content is authentic and with certification or royalty-free
Manage and support all partner and vendor relations associated with the organization
Collaborate, when necessary, with industry leaders to achieve ‘best practices’ and strategic alignment
Stay current on digital and strategic marketing trends and adjust strategies accordingly
A minimum of 10 years of work experience in marketing and communications, with a focus on building and executing industry-specific marketing programs
Strong creative skills and proven track record of design oversight and maintaining brand standards.
Experience with architecting and designing campaigns
Proficiency in content management systems and content governance process.
Experience managing online advertising campaigns
Experience developing integrated demand generation strategies and executing campaigns with a proven record of supporting sales to meet and exceed pipeline and revenue targets.
Experience A/B Testing, Analytics and marketing automation
Excellent communicator with proven ability to clearly convey complex ideas and data in written, presentation and spoken formats to a variety of audiences including executive management.
Detail-oriented team player with cross-functional project leadership and strong team management skills.
Proficient with creative software, such as PhotoShop, Illustrator, PowerPoint, etc.
Ability to use data for decision-making in combination with intuition, common sense and judgment
Ability to work independently, take direction from others, solve problems with limited supervision, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines
A collaborative work style, innovative thinking, strong work ethic
BA / BS / MBA in Marketing, Journalism or Communications or equivalent experience
The media Marketing Director salary in 2020 is $99,913.
VP of Marketing
Responsible for determining and leading the strategic direction for the organization’s marketing functions including positioning, brand awareness, driving demand generation and lead nurturing.
Devise and oversee market research and intelligence needs and work closely with colleagues to implement initiatives
Oversee and guide partner marketing, creative and communication strategy
Proactively conceptualize and develop cross-promotions with other divisions
Develops unique value propositions, business partnerships, category management, as well as call to action-oriented advertising and content targeted toward key customer segments
Achieves targeted results, ensures timely and effective execution of marketing tactics and promotions, and develops benchmark criteria to measure/analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of those promotions.
Conducts and analyzes market research to determine competitiveness, identify insights and implement actions.
Measures the effectiveness and of the marketing department and implement improvements as required.
Data-driven and creative
Carries out managerial responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws.
Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; development and succession planning; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving any problems
Proven experience in a Marketing Leadership role with a track record of driving financial results in highly competitive markets.
Extensive experience (15+ years) of increasingly more challenging marketing management responsibility including industry specific experience
Minimum of ten (10) years progressive, professional level industry experience, including a minimum of seven (7) years in a management, senior/ executive position
Strong market planning experiences which include evaluation and sizing markets, segmentation markets, development of value propositions and designing winning processes to achieve marketing objectives.
Track record of successfully leading a high growth potential operation while building significant business value and controlling costs
Demonstrates a strong customer orientation
Experience conducting global market research, marketing or advertising with an international focus
Experience with brand and communications strategy development and implementation
Experience designing and executing research projects to identify consumer habits and practices, satisfaction levels, product concept development, usage and awareness, purchase drivers, and branding and positioning
Experience in product marketing, new product development and product launch marketing research
Creative collaborator and skilled facilitator
Broad industry knowledge of emerging markets and technologies highly desired.
MBA in Marketing, Advertising, Sales or other business discipline required
The median VP of Marketing salary in 2020 is $145,914.
The marketer’s career path
A career in any field is rarely a straight line, but there is a progression in job titles, from junior to senior. The job titles are listed in order of seniority. And since this is a content marketing blog, we’ve added a few jobs that are specific to digital.
Note: Notice how the salary data shows very little distance in salaries between the first two job titles, Marketing Associate and Marketing Coordinator. According to the data on Payscale, they are both more junior roles, which most often lead to a Marketing Manager position.