Digital boosts marketing jobs to higher than pre-recession levels

The number of marketing jobs in the UK has risen to a higher level than before the recession hit the sector in 2008, boosted by demands for digital, according to a report.

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More than 94,000 new marketing jobs have been created since 2007, representing a 20% increase in the total number of marketers in the country, according to a report from marketing recruiter EMR, which also used data from the Office of National Statistics.

A separate report by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), has found that two thirds of digital budgets have increased this year and nine in 10 marketers are using digital to strengthen their brand online.

EMR says the “remarkable” growth has been driven by digital and is largely a result of the growing significance of social media, with one in three new marketing jobs now a digital role. In 2009 just one in six marketing jobs were digital.

Despite fears of a double dip recession and rising unemployment, Simon Bassett, managing director of EMR, claims businesses “are not only growing again, they are chasing growth again”.

He adds: “Employers and employees alike are increasingly optimistic about the future. That means employers are investing heavily in marketing functions and having to compete harder to get good people on their teams.”

The latest Bellwether report, the quarterly survey of marketing budgets, found that budgets are set to increase this year, the first annual increase in four years, despite a dip in spend and confidence in the second quarter.

EMR claims that the increase in the marketing sector’s full-time headcount has also led to bonuses increasing to an average of £9,000, or 17% of annual salary. In 2007, before the recession, bonuses were £4,420, 8% of marketers’ average salaries.

About two thirds (64%) of marketers received a bonus last year, but three quarters (75%) of people involved in digital marketing were awarded a bonus in 2010.

While bonuses rose significantly in the period, average marketing salaries have increased just 1.5% to £53,200 in 2010, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Bassett says: “Employers are investing more in marketing functions, certainly, but they’re still nervous enough to try to keep fixed costs as low as possible and use the bonus tool as leverage for greater productivity.”

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