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‘Tug of war’ over marketing salaries – are you getting a pay rise this year?


‘Tug of war’ over marketing salaries – are you getting a pay rise this year?


More marketing professionals will receive a wage increase this year than last, but it will be a less significant increase than they hoped for, according to the 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide.

Based on a survey of 3400 organisations, the report predicts 90% of employers will increase their marketing staff salaries in their next review, up from 87% who did so in their last review.

However, the value of these increases will fall. Almost two thirds (65%) intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3% or less, up from 57% who did so in their last review.

At the other end of the scale, just 4% of employers, down from 9%, intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%.

The number of employers who will increase salaries at the mid-level – between 3-6% – remains unchanged at 21%.

Professionals prioritise a salary increase

For their part, 27% of the professionals Hays spoke to expect no increase whatsoever and a further 41% expect 3% or less. Yet while these professionals anticipate little or no increase, they’re not going to sit idly by and accept it.

In fact, more than half (57%) say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year. Of the sample, 46% intend to ask for a pay rise, while others are looking elsewhere – 41% of jobseekers say an uncompetitive salary is what provoked them to look for other jobs.

Tug of war over salaries

“Evidently, the aggregate effect of several years of sedate salary increases is taking its toll and we’re now seeing a tug of war over salaries,” says Hays Marketing and Digital regional director Eliza Kirkby.

“Looking ahead, marketing and CRM professionals with experience using automated AI customer relationship management platforms are in growing demand. While salary pressure is not yet widespread, we expect salaries to increase next year in response to the competition for these professionals and movement of candidates across industries.

“On the one hand, we have professionals telling us they’ve prioritised a pay rise and are prepared to enter the job market to improve their earnings. On the other, employers tell us they want to add to their headcount and are being impacted by skill shortages, yet they plan to curtail salary increases.

“There are of course exceptions. Employers are increasingly looking for campaign analysts and market insights analysts to drive more sophisticated customer profiling, impact measurement and ultimately lead to more precise and accurate decision-making. However, supply fails to meet demand and as a result, salaries are becoming very competitive in this area.

“Content specialists are another area of high demand, sought to work alongside marketing analysts and digital channel managers to deliver to the increasingly complex campaign requirements and in the assessment of performance and progress. We’ve seen salaries increase for those who specialise in data science, analytics or content.

“In a continuing trend, content managers and communications executives with content writing and video production skills are a growing focus of demand. While technical content producers, such as those using a CMS to manage and publish content, have not seen any salary increase, creative content specialists are receiving an increase as employers look for people with exceptional writing skills along with technical nous.”

In other key findings, the 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide found:

  • Flexible work practices are the most common non-financial benefit offered (83% of employers) ahead of ongoing learning and development (70%) and career progression opportunities (62%)
  • 67% of organisations offer flexible salary packaging. Of these, the most common benefit is salary sacrifice, offered by 55% of employers to all employees. This is followed by above mandatory superannuation (offered by 37% of employers to all their employees), parking (33%), bonuses (27%) and private health insurance (26%)
  • of the benefits offered to a select few employees, private expenses tops the list, with 70% of employers offering it to a hand-picked number of employees
  • 68% of employers said business activity had increased over the past year, with 70% expecting it to increase in the next 12 months
  • 43% intend to increase permanent marketing staff levels over the coming year – this far exceeds the 11% who say they’ll decrease marketing staff levels
  • 70% say skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their business or department in either a significant (28%) or minor (42%) way, up from 67% last year
  • 54% of employers are restructuring to keep up with changing business needs – the key driver of these restructures is a change in the required skill sets, and
  • in skill-short areas, 57% of employers would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas candidate.


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Image Credit: VanveenJF

Rob Hay

Rob Hay is a writer and editor and owner of Voom Media

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