Marketers forced to take on more responsibility without an uplift in pay, survey finds

Exclusive data from Marketing Week’s 2024 Career & Salary survey shows marketers are increasingly overworked and underpaid.

A significant number of marketers (40.1%) are being asked to take on more responsibility without seeing a sufficient increase in remuneration, according to Marketing Week’s exclusive 2024 Career & Salary Survey.

Our annual study of more than 3,000 brand-side marketers shows that CMO/marketing directors are feeling this most keenly, with 42.6% of senior marketing leaders reporting a rise in workload without an appropriate salary bump.

It’s a problem, which is widespread irrespective of seniority though. With two-fifths (40.7%) of marketers in management roles and 38.4% of junior marketers also reporting an increase in workload without salary keeping pace.

Perhaps surprisingly, marketers at larger firms are feeling more overworked than those at smaller businesses. While 38.7% of SME marketers agree their workload has increased without an uplift in pay, this increases to 41.5% for marketers in larger businesses.

The problem is equally pronounced across all types of organisation too. Marketers at B2B firms feel most stretched (42.3%), but those at B2C businesses (38.6%) and companies with a mixture of B2B and B2C (38.9%) are not far behind.

Increasing workloads

As to what responsibilities are being added to marketers’ workloads, the answers are as wide as they are varied.

Some of the responsibilities marketers have been asked to add to their remit include media relations, corporate brand management, tech updates and digital strategy, as well as leading on recruitment for junior marketers and marketing apprentices. Perhaps it’s little surprise that one middle manager simply wrote: “Genuinely? All of it. Past burnout.”

Another marketing leader said they’d absorbed the CX and web functions in addition to running the global marketing team, while a number of respondents said they’d been asked to manage a second brand.

It’s not just affecting senior and middle managers either. One junior marketer despaired that despite essentially doing a “manager-level role” they continued to be paid an assistant’s salary.

Marketing Week will be publishing a series of features exploring this topic in greater detail over the coming week. From an analysis of how the industry got into this situation and testimony from the ‘stretched middle’ to a look at the disparities between men and women – and what can be done about it.

Over the coming weeks, Marketing Week will be publishing a series of exclusive news and features based on the findings of the 2024 Career & Salary Survey, including the impact of tightening budgets, pay disparities and the state of marketing salaries.