Marketing Salaries 2014

Salaries – modest growth

PM Forum members were asked to complete our annual online survey of marketing salaries in January 2014 with 549 participating. Overall the results confirm that salaries show modest growth after a year of flat lining.


Key findings include:

Average salaries for the industry benchmark – marketing managers at UK non-global law firms – increased by 3.2% on January 2013 figures, compared with no growth in 2012.

North American firms consistently pay more than UK (non-global) firms. For example, those at manager level receive 27% more – £62k v £49k – in North American firms (40% in 2013).

98% (93% in 2013) of marketers receive benefits. 64% of marketers are now getting a bonus compared with 58% in 2013, back to 2012 levels. Benefits and bonuses are worth less than 15% of base salary for all but a handful. This is unchanged from prior years. Bonus systems are more tailored with only 17% of respondents considering their firm’s bonus system to be ineffective at encouraging the type of behaviour sought by management compared to 35% in 2013.

On a positive but still depressing note, 30% have a formal annual appraisal lasting less than 45 minutes, remaining unchanged from 2013’s results. Perhaps, unsurprisingly 23% (25% in 2013) are dissatisfied with the appraisal process at their firm.

What do marketers think about their remuneration? Again very little change from 2013 with 45% (43% in 2013) believing themselves to be paid less than their peers with only 7% (8% in 2013) feeling that they are paid more. Statistically, this is an impossibility…

As in previous years professional bodies are seen as the most reliable source of salary data, followed by recruitment consultants, peers, magazine surveys and online job banks. Line managers and HR teams are seen as no more reliable than the office grapevine.

Specific comments include:

On appraisals

  • “Feedback gained isn’t shared, you get a general overview that ‘all feedback was excellent’ but I would like to hear partner feedback so I can act on it.
  • “A structure needs to be put in place for promotions so that employees have something to aim for.”
  • “Clearer measures on which performance is appraised are needed, in line with firm’s strategic objectives.”
  • “Consistency of reviewer and the decision regarding promotion to be decided after the review not before so that people can make their case.”
  • “Ours is pretty good in that we separate the appraisal and goal setting from the salary. Salary is set at market rates. Bonus is paid based on performance of the firm and meeting individual goals.”
  • “The process is very indepth and requires you to get feedback from others you work with for your appraiser to look at. I don’t think it could be improved!”
  • “Receiving a bonus or raise with no communication is similar to having a birthday present thrown at you as if the giver is only acting out of obligation. The first reaction is to throw it back.”
  • “Those who got bonuses only learned of them when they checked their bank accounts. This was such a wasted opportunity to tell employees how much they are appreciated.”
  • “Appraisals actually taking place would be a good start!”

On salaries

  • “My impression is that salaries have crept up over the last year, particularly in markets with tighter talent-pools, there is definitely price pressure on recruiting in these markets.”
  • “Professional services marketing salaries have always been fairly top end and generous compared to other areas of marketing. I believe it’s still broadly the case.”
  • “We must find a more equitable way to compare marketing salaries, starting with responsibilities, authority and titles. Too many firms in lieu of pay rises attribute the title of ‘Director’ for a coordinator’s duties and it renders it meaningless.”
  • “Even if one exceeds at appraisal it does not have bearing on salary increase therefore demotivating.”

On recognition

  • “Marketing is a core function of any organisation, yet is still relatively misunderstood and therefore undervalued by many businesses.”
  • “If they get a more junior person into the team they make up a more junior sounding title, eg. ‘trainee’ or ‘clerk’ instead of offering those that have been here a while a promotion (even after a very good performance review).”
  • “The recession had a negative effect on the marketing teams where the effect of marketing projects is misunderstood and as such, budgets tightened. Now that the economy is starting to gain more confidence hopefully the marketing teams will reap benefits.”

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