Marketing Salaries 2016

Paid more but influence still low

Over 400 marketers participated in this year’s PM Forum survey of marketing salaries. And it shows that UK marketing salaries are up by 6.1%.

Key findings include:

Average salaries for the PM Forum benchmark – UK marketing managers at non-global law firms – increased by 6.1% (from £46k to £48.8k) in the past year.

30% of marketers are entitled to paid volunteer time; 98% receive benefits; 59% receive a bonus, commission or profit share. Benefits and bonuses are worth less than 10% of base salary for all but a handful. 33% consider their firm’s bonus system to be ineffective at encouraging the type of behaviour sought by management.

93% have their base salary reviewed annually. This year’s survey explored periodic reviews in more depth: formal reviews are mostly six-monthly or annual; informal feedback is mostly monthly or quarterly; respondents would prefer more frequent reviews; previous objectives and job-based capabilities are the main inputs for reviews; most firms use self-assessment forms to collect data for reviews; only 61% of managers are seen as effective at agreeing objectives, with 27% seen as poor at discussing career development or linking remuneration to outcomes.

Respondents were asked to rank the most important aspects of the review process – the results were:

  1. Drafting my own goals in consultation with my manager
  2. The process being designed to help me identify and use my strengths
  3. Frequently receiving praise, positive feedback and public recognition for my contribution
  4. Those who conduct periodic reviews being encouraged to assume the role of performance coaches
  5. Leaders being encouraged to comment on whether I am wanted on their team for future projects
  6. Controlling the timing and structure of my performance appraisals, the data collected and the feedback providers
  7. Being expected to initiate the process of check-ins to receive personal coaching from my manager on nearterm work

What do marketers think about their remuneration? 41% believe themselves to be paid less than their peers with only 6% feeling that they are paid more. Statistically, this is an impossibility…

Professional bodies are still seen as the most reliable source of salary data, followed by recruitment consultants and peers, with line managers and HR teams no more reliable than the office grapevine.

Specific comments included:

On remunerations:

  • “Salaries remain quite high; positioning and influencing remain too low.”
  • “Marketing is grossly underpaid considering what we are expected to achieve.”
  • “Remuneration should be aligned to results, not process compliance. But unless partner remuneration is skewed this way there is little chance ours will.”
  • “In order to attract, retain and grow marketing talent, professional firms need to ensure that their salary scales are on a benchmark with wider B2B salaries.”
  • “I would like to see more transparency in gradings and of the market to help people have informed conversations.”
  • “My marketing colleagues openly discuss how ‘low’ assistant salaries are in front of me and other colleagues outside of our department in the office – I find this quite insulting.”
  • “At my firm, salaries are not equal amongst people of the same level, and within the same teams. This causes friction amongst peers and is unfair.”
  • “Often have to move jobs to get a decent salary uplift.”

On periodic reviews:

  • “Yearly formal reviews on performance are not as effective as they could be. Objectives do not relate to your day-today role and therefore are forgotten about throughout the year.”
  • “Unless linked to remuneration in some way, they are pretty much a box ticking exercise for the purposes of HR audits.”
  • “Periodic reviews are essential if you want to progress, where they often fall down in my experience is where a line manager will just see this as a paper exercise and not follow through on the importance of the content and objectives set.”
  • “More needs to be done to provide management with the knowledge to appraise properly.”
  • “Periodic reviews in professional services could be improved by benchmarking against other industries.”
  • “Our reviews – whilst being very important – are often at the bottom of the priority list and just ‘squeezed’ in.”
  • “Often the marketing professional is judged against what the partner wants to see and achieve rather than the innovation and professionalism that they bring.”

Download the 2016 ready reckoner