Marketing Salaries 2015

Salaries – modest growth

584 marketers participated in this year’s PM Forum survey of marketing salaries. Overall the results saw salaries stabilising with little movement from 2014.

Key findings include:

Average salaries for the industry benchmark – marketing managers at UK nonglobal law firms – have remained the same as January 2014 figures, compared with an increase of 3.2% in 2014.

North American firms consistently pay more than UK (non-global) firms. For example, those at manager level in North American firms receive 32% more – £58k v £44k (27% in 2014).

92% (98% in 2014) of marketers receive benefits. 59% of marketers are now getting a bonus compared with 64% in 2014, back to 2013 levels. Benefits and bonuses are worth less than 15% of base salary for all but a handful. This is unchanged from previous years. Bonus systems continue to be 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.

On a positive note, only 9% have a formal annual appraisal lasting less than 30 minutes with 51% lasting between 30 and 60 minutes. 24% (23% in 2014) of respondents stated they are dissatisfied with the appraisal process at their firm, unchanged from 2014.

What do marketers think about their remuneration? Again there has been very little change from 2014 with 44% believing themselves to be paid less than their peers with only 8% 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 and peers. Line managers and HR teams are seen as no more reliable than the office grapevine.

Specific comments included:

On salaries:

  • “My experience has been that professional services firms put more emphasis on salary transparency, increases and promotions for the feeearners rather than those considered service functions.”
  • “Being constantly referred to as ‘support-staff’ undervalues the contribution of business development teams. Pay gaps between fee earners and nonfee earners are getting wider. Also while their bonuses increase (dictated by the market) ours are small stagnant and secretly dealt with.”
  • “Salaries for Execs/Coordinators vary considerably based on experience – I have a great deal of experience in this role and my salary reflects this.”
  • “Seem to be little to no bonus schemes for more junior employees despite their hard work...”
  • “This is the first position in six years where I feel I am getting paid a good wage for the work I do and that is thanks to our BD Director who wants to foster a good team.”
  • “Firms need to appreciate the worth of BD and Marketing teams. They cut hard and deep during the recession – many firms are now struggling to claw this back!”
  • “I feel firms should look at soft rewards and benefits to ensure buy in from employees if cash bonuses are unavailable for whatever reason.”
  • “The on-going obsession with trying to convert our roles to more sales and BD focused is pushing many of us out of the professions and towards other sectors. I think it also has a major role to play in the stagnation of our salaries with many influencers at the top preventing our salaries increasing because they still view us as ‘those people who organise the golf trips’.”

On bonus system’s effect at encouraging the behaviour that management seeks:

  • “Bonus is not linked to individual performance – everyone gets it regardless and therefore doesn't encourage any type of behaviour.”
  • “I am a top performer in terms of my contribution which translates into bonus – but this only gives me 13% of salary. I'd expect more for this to be a true driver of performance.”
  • “Share scheme encourages a sense of ownership affecting everyday behaviours – particularly compliance with systems and processes; attitude and positivity, etc.”
  • “It seems that ‘performance based’ means “if the firm performs as expected you get x, if the firm doesn't perform you get 0, if the firm performs exceptionally you still get x”.”
  • “As with most firms marketing are seen as a 'bolt on' and as such are not rewarded appropriately for the value they add.”
  • “The firm seemingly has its priorities in the wrong order. The propaganda tells us the firm is doing exceptionally well (the best since the crash) yet pay rises and bonuses remain stagnant for marketing.”
  • “Bonuses should be more closely/clearly tied to firm profitability.”
  • “The average payout (let's say 5%) isn't enough to make up for the additional hours put in.”
  • “Each of the members of staff within the firm feel responsible for generating the bonus and therefore it encourages the drive of the staff members. No-one ‘expects’.”
  • “It doesn't influence my behaviour as I am employed to do a good job.”

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