Salaries in the Advertising and Marketing Industry

Salaries in the Advertising and Marketing Industry

What are we talking about in this article?

The marketing and advertising industry, among many others, has taken a hit following the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the scenario seemed grim, there were some businesses that were able to swim against the tide. How were they able to accomplish this? The enterprises that have managed to navigate through the ebbs of a hostile landscape have done so thanks to their exemplary employees, remarkable professionals with the right skills, industry knowledge, and market experience. 

Talent: the heart of the industry

Good, hardworking, and dedicated employees could be the difference between a barely surviving business and a profitable and growing operation. The best talent is usually acquired by the best agencies, the in-house tech industry departments, or consultancies. As we have previously discussed, high-ranking companies are offering some of the best benefits in order to keep creative talent. Agencies are taking steps into clearing some of the bad rep the ad and marketing agencies have, by offering more competitive salaries and improving their benefit plans. 

Certain types of professional service businesses are trying to keep up, like small operations or startups, but the sheer amount of hurdles they face could make it difficult for them to offer their talent the right compensation for their hard work. It is possible to make some structural tweaks in order to restructure operational processes and make better margins while taking care of the employees. If you want to know more about this topic, we have some advice for you.

Digital Marketers and the rising tide 

For now, we will focus especially on the importance of marketing and advertising positions: responsibility, average salaries, and some of the problems across the industry. 

Digital marketers have various duties, the main one being product and service promotion. They conduct this procedure through various mechanisms such as personal selling, social media advertisement, shows, and exhibitions as well as trade fairs. All these help in boosting the sales volume.

A marketing career is one of the positions benefiting from technological advances. This makes sense since digital marketing was born out of the rise of the internet. They are required to keep up with technology, trends, and market changes, in order to use this data to improve sales and conversion rates. It is a building block of many businesses, across vastly different industries. Through healthcare, technology, construction, farming. You name it, and most likely than not, a digital marketer has been involved in their operation. 

This type of work basically keeps all businesses afloat through its inputs and interventions. Marketing coordinator, marketing associate, advertising agencies, social media manager, content strategist, and director of marketing: every single job is important and can improve the conversion rate, and income of an enterprise. All these posts are acquired depending on the level of education of an individual, and the earnings for each post are determined by an individual’s years of experience.

Have salaries for marketers declined? 

The simple answer? No

Salaries for marketers have not declined based on the data obtained from the US Bureau of labor statistics in the past 10 years. However, the recent pandemic has compromised the marketing department in ways that are yet to recover.

Marketers normally get in contact with clients both online and offline but not all businesses have incorporated digital marketing strategies in their budget. This leaves offline marketing as the predominant marketing medium for companies that have yet to incorporate digital strategies.

Logically, these businesses rely almost entirely on offline interventions and campaigns. Which can still be very effective when done right! But since the implementation of measures of care against Covid-19, these offline campaigns were impossible to launch. Or even worse, they were set in motion, but could not yield any positive results. 

The pandemic also affected digital marketing, some verticals managed to overcome the difficulties and rise above their previous margins. Think about technology and e-commerce and how they thrived with really effective digital campaigns done at the right time. While other agencies took a great hit, for example, businesses that catered to tourism specifically, or had airlines as their biggest clients.

Before Covid-19 marketer salaries were on the rise, according to Glassdoor and Payscale. There’s been a slight pay decrease since the pandemic in certain positions, Marketing Manager being the most affected with a -7% along the last 5 years. While others had a rise in their salary, Marketing Associates for example had a 24% pay increase in the last 5 years. The survey reached November of 2020, meaning the data gathered was impacted by the pandemic, and it still shows a small salary loss. 

What does this uneven landscape mean for marketing professionals? 

When the marketing department is not productive under normal circumstances, most companies will consider limited options, either get new marketers that can perform better or revisit their marketing strategies. 

Although the market has been very volatile and uncertain, extreme measures like retrenchment and layoffs were not manifested in the data gathered last year. In a survey done by Orbit Media and the Agency Management Institute around June 2020, they reached out to 103 marketing executives in order to get a better picture of the effects the pandemic had in the industry. The all-around effect was negative, but here are some highlights in order the get a clear idea:

  • The problems suffered have an uneven distribution among the industry.
  • At the start of the pandemic, demand for marketing services declined all around.
  • By June 2020, more than half of the surveyed individuals still reported negative numbers, but one-third actually had a positive business impact since Covid-19 started.
  • Graphic Design, Branding and SEO were the most positively affected.
  • PR and Communications, and Social Media Marketing were the most affected in a negative way. 

In a situation where the collapse in marketing is felt globally due to a pandemic, one might be tempted to think companies might resolve to very drastic measures to remain afloat in business. But this has not been the case. 57% of the agencies reported they had absolutely no change in their team mix. Only 13% had to result in layoffs, while 19% actually increased their headcount.

This is only logical, since rearranging resources and opening different paths will be more cost-effective than simply terminating employees. When a storm is fast approaching you don’t throw sailors out the board, it will always be more efficient to repurpose their work and encourage them to work their best.

Has Covid-19 affected salaries in the marketing industry?

The effects of Covid-19 cut across almost every sector in business. According to Forbes Global 2000  2021, and their weighing metrics of the economic scale, it is evident that annual and monthly salary for most employees in most companies was reduced. In relation to the plummeting market value. Marketers are not an exception in the category of employees that had delayed salary or probably temporarily reduced salary scale. 

Most companies have had to cut down on their budget and this has resulted in employee salary reduction. Several resumes have been received from candidates who have lost jobs because the positions they used to hold have been eliminated on both the agency and the corporate sides.

Marketers in various businesses whose operations have been greatly disrupted by the pandemic have been greatly affected. We must remember that the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) in the US, and other types of state financial aid, had a huge impact on the data regarding salaries, especially the information gathered around April 2020.

The problems across the market are not to be taken lightly, but according to the already disclosed data, we can see that layoffs, specifically in the marketing industry, are not the norm. Marketing recruiters have seen a rise in candidates that suffered layoffs or had their corporate job eliminated from the hierarchy. These individuals had been working in industries that were greatly affected by the pandemic.

On the other hand, employees with specialized knowledge and technical skills are highly demanded right now. And there seems to be a convoluted climate around the search for talented employees, while other positions have been less positively affected. The marketing industry is enormous, and trying to fit such a big industry inside the same conclusion will only oversimplify the data to the point of error. 

Marketing salaries per job description

Marketing is essentially the busiest department in any profit-making organization. There are many types of positions inside the industry. Here are some examples of jobs, with their specific requirements in education and experience, and average salary. These are ranked as the highest-paying positions in the marketing industry, the salary will, of course, depend on the industry, country, and company. 

Corporate Communications Director

Their responsibilities include creating a brand or company’s message and supervising the delivery of that corporate communication through press releases, speeches, internal communication, media responses, and presentations. They oversee teams that must take care of writing, developing, and implementing strategies.

They must have broad experience with public relations, media, and communication. As well as a bachelor’s degree at least, MBA or advanced business degrees are also common requirements. 

The salary range goes from $77.000 to $173.000

Marketing Research Director

When promoting a product, you need to know everything about your targeted customer. For developing an effective marketing strategy you need to do a lot of research, cue the Marketing research director. Their job includes the supervision of a research team, which analyzes the company’s industry, foes, and customers. 

They usually juggle several teams and departments and are a key player across the organization. They communicate valuable insight to the corresponding departments, they recommend and develop guidelines for optimizations strategies.

On top of having a bachelor’s degree in marketing, at the very least, they need to be data-oriented, with a skilled mind and data analysis capabilities. This position usually requires experience in research and marketing analytics. 

The salary range goes from $74,000 to $157,000.

Director of Email Marketing

Everyone checks their email regularly, but hardly anyone takes a moment to go through mass emails. This is where an Email Marketing Director comes into play. They are tasked with the development and implementation of an effective email marketing strategy. Their goal is to connect with potential customers, return ones, increase brand awareness, drive traffic, customer engagement, and even sales conversion. Not an easy task. They supervise copywriting and analytics teams for improving strategies.

It could take up to seven years to reach the level of expertise needed to become a Director of email Marketing, with a strong base of content development and some experience in design and marketing analytics. 

The average salary range is from $58,000 to $161,000.

Director of Digital Marketing

The responsibilities of this position come in the form of a trident:

  • Developing a brand’s digital marketing strategy
  • Increasing their visibility online
  • Driving conversions and profit from each campaign

They are tasked with creating the overall long road a marketing strategy will follow. This includes digital ads campaigns, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, a start. And of course the supervision of each project’s implementation and success.

This position requires a lot of experience, over 10 years in the business working in varying areas. They need to keep up to date with the latest trends and technologies to improve their business. 

The salary ranges between $60,000 and $148,000.

Content Marketing Director

They supervise every type of content a company creates and its overall content ecosystem. Depending on the business model, this could be written content, video content, and social media posting. This includes developing content strategy, content production, scheduling, and content marketing. On top of managing content creators, which is a huge responsibility on its own.

They usually have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum, and usually start as content creators themselves, rising through the ranks as they gain insight into reporting, team collaboration, and strategy implementation.  

The salary ranges from $56,000 to  $139,000.

Product Marketing Manager

Consumer education is a trend that looks as if it’s here to stay. New products are shown to the public, in order to increase excitement, as well as explain how that product will benefit its targeted audience. That’s the job of a Product Marketing Manager. They work on researching, positioning, messaging, and launching new products. They are also involved in continuing marketing actions.  Their tasks include developing and implementing strategies for communicating the functionality, features, and benefits of a new product. In a simple and easy-to-understand language.

This position is usually found in tech and certain vertical industries, which have a complex product that needs to be understood by their targeted audience in order to be acquired. They usually need a great understanding of the vertical market in which they work, as well as a degree in marketing or related areas. 

Salary ranges from $60,000 to $130,000.

Demand Generation Manager

Driving new leads with content campaigns, building excitement around new product lines, utilizing influencer marketing through partnerships, creating loyalty programs to encourage returning customers. These are some of the tasks for a demand Generation Manager.

This role requires a chameleonic quality, it crosses between several departments and areas. Their basic task is to generate demand for a service or product. They must have a multifaceted background and large amounts of experience in several marketing positions in order to rotate comfortably in different roles. This job does not necessarily require a degree, just the ability to produce good results, 

Salary ranges from $59,000  to $117,000

Brand Marketing Manager

Brand identity is a core value that can skyrocket sales, or lose many customers. You could have the best product in the market, but if your company seems unappealing or gives potential buyers an “off” feeling, you are done for. Branding is the perception of your enterprise in the global market. And Brand Marketing Managers are the ones tasked with keeping that perception up to date and up to quality standards.

They supervise brand strategy, taking care that every single aspect of the company is kept in line with the desired message to their target audience. This position requires a great deal of creative thinking, as well as data analysis, in order to drive the optimization of each strategy. 

They usually have a bachelor’s degree in marketing and 3 to 5 years of experience in junior roles in branding departments. 

The salary goes from $49,000 to $107,000.

Highest paying cities for advertising positions

What are the Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Advertising Jobs

In July of 2021, the average annual salary for advertising positions in the US was around $58,572. Since location is a big influence on the differences in salaries, we compiled a list of the cities with the best paying averages for the industry. 

  1. San Jose, CA $71,052
  2. Oakland, CA $70,244
  3. Tanaina, AK $69,956
  4. Wasilla, AK $69,955
  5. Hayward, CA $68,773
  6. Jackson, WY $68,699
  7. Norwalk, CT $68,518
  8. Seattle, WA $68,299
  9. Vallejo, CA $68,282
  10. Concord, CA $68,138

Every single one of these cities has a higher salary than the national average. However, the number stamped on a paycheck means nothing without context. You need to take into account the cost of living in a certain state or city, and how that affects your own personal bottom line.

Looking at the top 3 you can see there’s not much difference between them, but San Jose has a very active and growing advertising market, which is a hopeful prospect for someone who believes they need more space to grow. 

Marketing Salaries by Industries

As we have previously discussed, there are multiple factors that influence the overall payment of a job. This is especially true in the marketing and advertising industry, where agency positions are compared to the ones occupied by in-house marketing departments. Like we saw with the difficulties some industries faced at the start of the pandemic, it’s not only a matter of job description. 

According to Recruiter, these are the best paying industries:

  1. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services: $117,420
  2. Utilities $110,440
  3. Management of Companies and Enterprises $103,460
  4. Manufacturing $98,660
  5. Educational Services $97,450
  6. Information $96,300

We can see that professional service businesses are at the top of the list, meaning that agencies share the same percentile as software development companies, for example. The private sector is the highest paying area, followed in a close second by state government positions. 

What can we gather from this data? 

Marketing and advertising positions are not under attack and have not lost their benefits after the Covid-19 epidemic. Of course, there were more cases of layoffs and attrition amid the starting months of the pandemic, but this was the case for many companies, across many industries, vertical markets, and countries. 

Marketing and advertising positions are still in demand and can offer very competitive salaries. The information we will be gathering in the following months will be very valuable since it will take into account the beginning of the end of Covid-19 and the re-opening of several markets. 

The most important thing in today’s landscape is to make data-driven decisions and to research the importance of taking care of the talent pool. Here at COR, we take great pride in helping professional service businesses improve their operations. We believe in improving margins and increasing profit while taking excellent care of each employee. Find out how you can also reach this goal, and request a demo today.

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