Salary survey 2013: The full analysis

The economic downturn continues to have a negative effect on salaries and promotions but there are other ways to keep employees happy.

Salary Survey 2013: How does your pay compare?

Use our new interactive calculator to see how your wages rate against other marketers by job title, sector, age and gender

If marketers needed any more evidence that this is the age of austerity, then the 2013 Marketing Week/Ball & Hoolahan Salary Survey provides it.

As household incomes are squeezed, 26 per cent of marketers did not receive a pay rise in 2012, while for 34 per cent any increase was less than 3 per cent.

The average rise expected this year is 3.6 per cent, but a quarter of marketers expect their salary to remain unchanged during 2013. Compare this to 2001 when average salary increases were a whopping 8.7 per cent.

But it is not all doom and gloom. Nearly one in 10 are enjoying pay rises of 6-11 per cent. Around 16 per cent work for US-owned companies, which traditionally pay better than UK companies.


If employers are reluctant to increase salaries, they need to look at alternative ways of keeping marketers happy – flexible working, for example, for which there is a strong demand. Nearly 75 per cent say flexible working is either important or very important to them, although only 14 per cent say being able to work more flexibly would be the main reason for changing jobs.

So far, only 62 per cent of companies have adopted flexible working and of those employers yet to offer it, 56 per cent are unlikely to do so over the next 12 months. But for PepsiCo European marketing director Lee Sargent, flexible working is crucial.

“It is a rising trend in marketing and you need to have an adult relationship with your staff – which means trusting them and giving them more control over how they deliver what you want them to.”

But there is a mixed picture regarding the kind of flexible working practices that are on offer. Just 36 per cent of employers that let staff ‘work flexibly’ allow part-time working and only 14 per cent provide career breaks, despite 41 per cent of marketers saying these are important or very important to them.

Citi’s departing global consumer chief marketing and internet officer, Michelle Peluso, says her priorities as a mother are critical to her. She works a four-day week and her high-powered job means that her regime is strict – she leaves the office at 5pm to spend three hours with her family. “I’m offline entirely during that period. If someone has a question they can call the home line but they know not to email me because I won’t see it,” she says.

Peluso spends 8pm to 11pm on calls around the world, mainly to Asia because of the time difference between there and her US location.

She also has rules about emailing, so that it does not distract from the job at hand. “During the day, I do almost no emailing. I have a policy where I say I’ll get back to you within 24 hours, so night-time is often spent trying to catch up.”

The number of companies allowing staff to work from home has fallen from 80 per cent in 2002 to 71 per cent this year, which is difficult to explain considering the move to more remote working fuelled by new technology such as smartphones and tablets. Also, one third of companies have implemented a hot desk policy, which encourages remote working as well as reducing central office costs.

Vodafone UK enterprise marketing director Peter Boucher says increasing flexible working is an inexpensive and easy way of boosting morale, job satisfaction and retention levels.

“Our research shows that access to flexible working options and an improved work-life balance are among the most important drivers of employee satisfaction today,” he says. “One way to do this is to introduce new processes and technology that create these better ways of working and enable employees to work from wherever they need to be.”

Boucher adds that younger marketers have a different view of the workplace and many organisations are offering graduates tablet devices to attract the best talent. Around one-fifth of Vodafone’s 5,900 head office staff, including marketers, work remotely and productivity levels have improved by up to 20 per cent, he claims.


The survey shows how the restructuring of marketing departments continues, although much of the root and branch reorganisation implemented when the economic downturn hit in 2008 has been completed. Marketers expecting reorganisation in their teams this year is down from 53 per cent in 2012 to 49 per cent. However, last year 61 per cent experienced a shake-up.

Of those marketers expecting more changes, one-quarter anticipate staff cuts, 24 per cent a reduction in marketing spend and 21 per cent a merger with other departments.

During 2012, there were major reorganisations. These included the overhauling of Ocado’s marketing team during a wider company restructure, Direct Line Group bringing

together product development and marketing and Royal Bank of Scotland implementing a new group marketing structure across its retail banking brands.

GlaxoSmithKline insight manager Loretta Quinn says restructuring is a regular part of life at large brand owners. “It can be disruptive but you get used to it as a marketer because you adapt your personal working style,” she says. “You must be proactive and able to manage yourself effectively, although too much restructuring can affect the morale of the team.”

Pay pressure

Average salaries for some job titles have slumped since the economic clouds began to gather in 2008. In 2007, marketing directors earned £82,300 on average. This year it is £75,345, down from £77,799 in just 12 months. For marketing managers the fall is equally as depressing at £36,767, down from £37,305 in a year and from the £42,950 average in 2007.

Other job titles to see their average salary fall year-on-year include insight managers, down 5 per cent to £38,007 and brand/product managers, down 2.5 per cent to £35,166. Graduates have seen an improvement, with their average earnings rising by 5.2 per cent from £21,462 to £22,574.

Those who are less likely to have had their pay frozen are heads of category management/customer marketing, senior category managers, and senior brand and product managers. Among the most likely not to receive any pay rise are marketing assistants and those in communications roles.

Marketers with specialist knowledge remain in demand and can negotiate higher than average wages.

One reason for shortage of supply in some key areas is the reluctance of employers to look at an individual’s potential and take a risk on a candidate who does not have exactly the right skills for a job. In 2013, employers may have to change their approach as well as pay higher salaries for exceptional people, despite the economic difficulties.

Among the roles proving difficult to fill are those requiring FMCG brand management skills. The industry also needs more people with consumer insight and category management skills, while there remains a lack of depth of experience across the digital sector.

It does seem that marketers understand the economic pressure their employers face as 69 per cent of respondents are happy or very happy in their current business. Two-thirds feel they are getting a fair financial reward and 83 per cent are happy with where they are being asked to work. However, 47 per cent would like to work with more sexy brands and 50 per cent do not think their career progression requirements are being satisfied that well.

Andrew Dunn, managing director of luxury holiday company Scott Dunn, gave his marketing team a small salary increase and he is recruiting a head of sales and marketing.

“This is a senior post and the person will be paid well but there is certainly the attraction of working for a fun brand that enables you to travel the world. We have had 250 applications and are shortlisting at the moment,” he says.

Diageo’s Western Europe marketing director for Smirnoff, Louise McKerrow, says employees appreciate the varied career opportunities of working with high-profile global and local brands such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan. “There is always the possibility to move across categories, brands, markets and functions and this is attractive to our marketers who want to do brilliant work across Western Europe,” she says.


One route to earning more is having qualifications. Among those questioned, 54 per cent have a marketing-related qualification and 60 per cent of those feel it has increased their earning potential.

Overall, 55 per cent have an honours degree, 18 per cent a post-graduate diploma and 10 per cent a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Anne Godfrey, chief executive of the CIM, claims members enjoy salaries that are on average £5,000 higher than their non-member counterparts.

“Professional qualifications give employees a competitive advantage, which is more valuable than ever in the current jobs market,” she says. “It also reassures employers that they’re taking on someone who can do the job and will stay up-to-date with the latest marketing industry thinking. I’d expect to see the 60 per cent earning potential figure rise over the coming years.”

Money is not always the main driver when people look to change jobs. The survey reveals 44 per cent of marketers will be looking to move in 2013 with 71 per cent on the hunt for a new challenge and 64 per cent looking for more money.

Marketers are typically an ambitious bunch and more than half of senior marketing managers, digital executives, assistant brand managers and 50 per cent of CRM executives, communications executives and marketing assistants expect to change jobs this year.

Moving abroad is a possibility for many motivated marketers with 58 per cent saying they would work overseas, while 84 per cent will stay or very likely stay in marketing for the next five years, wherever they choose to work.

Don’t just read about salaries – you can compare yours against other marketers using our tool at


The Marketing Week/Ball & Hoolahan Salary Survey is an authoritative guide to pay and benefits in the marketing industry. It is a benchmark to marketers of their earning power and helps employers retain and attract talent.

The web-based survey was designed and conducted by Marketing Week and analysed by Fusion Communications with fieldwork carried out in November 2012.

There are 3,153 respondents, of which 92 per cent are in full-time roles. Forty-two per cent are working in the services sector, 19 per cent in manufacturing and 17 per cent in media.

The gender pay gap

The average marketing salary for men is £49,338 and for women it is £38,329, and the average pay rise for women was 4.1 per cent while for men it was 4.8 per cent.

Loretta Quinn, consumer insights manager at global healthcare company GSK, says it has become the norm to pay women less than men in some roles and this can be difficult to change. “Men are more direct in asking for what they want,” she says. “GSK has a lot of women in senior marketing roles but in many companies there does seem to be a ceiling, especially if you want to work part-time, which becomes a barrier to career progression in marketing.”

Indeed, men are often more confident about asking for pay rises and they remain more optimistic about what increase they will receive this year. They anticipate an average rise of 4.3 per cent compared to 3.1 per cent that women expect.

Sector differences

The sector you work in will have a bearing on the salary you earn with a particular job title.

Marketing directors are paid an average of £93,472 in financial services, £93,000 in telecoms and £87,188 in FMCG, but in the charity (£61,177) and publishing (£59,944) sectors, salaries are much lower, perhaps reflecting the status of the marketing function in these industries.

Working on high-profile brands can boost your salary as a marketing manager. The average pay in FMCG is £41,807 and in alcoholic beverages £52,500, while in financial services, brown goods, publishing and charity, salaries are in the £30,000-£40,000 pay band.

Among the top 10 per cent of earners, marketing directors in FMCG earn an average £109,773 and £98,333 in healthcare.


More than 62 per cent of those who took part in the survey work in London and the south east, which remain a draw for talented marketers from around the UK and further afield.

While the average salary is £46,161 in London (down slightly from £47,963 last year), it falls to £32,987 in Scotland (£36,000) and £34,064 (34,674) in the north-east. The sample for Wales is relatively small but it does show a slight rise year-on-year to £34,050 (£32,915) whilst it is £37,940 (£41,417) in Northern Ireland.

By job title, marketing directors in the West Midlands have caught up with those in London according to this sample with an average salary of £74,375 compared with £74,612 in the capital. Marketing directors in the North West are averaging £69,687.

Marketing managers in Scotland may soon head south to boost their average earnings of £30,367 which compares with £37, 657 for those in similar posts in the south east and £39,603 for those located in London.


Employee benefits continue to beef up salary packages particularly in the large blue chip organisations.

Nevertheless there is evidence companies have become much more selective about who gets what. The latest survey reveals that 68 per cent of marketers receive benefits above their basic salary but in the 2003 survey it was 81 per cent and in 2002 93 per cent.

The gender differences apply to benefits with 72 per cent of men receiving additional benefits compared to 66 per cent of women. This may be because more women replying to the survey are in less senior roles.

With money tight, 43 per cent of people say it is very important to have a higher base salary and fewer benefits.

About 60 per cent of people receive a contributory pension but new pension auto-enrolment rules will take money out of marketers’ pockets this year unless they opt-out. Employers are still relatively generous with their pension contributions, with 41 per cent of respondents saying that between 3 per cent and 8 per cent of their salary is the company’s contribution.

Some 45 per cent of marketers are being motivated by a performance-related bonus which averaged almost 10 per cent in the last year while 48 per cent get a company-related bonus. For those guaranteed a bonus it represents 9 per cent of their salary.

The traditional company car is still offered to almost 12 per cent of marketers, most of who are over 50. In 2002 44 per cent still took a car as a benefit. Today 19 per cent prefer to take a car allowance, although only 9 per cent say this is very important to them, while 54 per cent receive private medical insurance and 17 per cent child care vouchers.

Share options have lost their appeal since the financial crash with only 10 per cent regarding these as very important.

Marketers’ viewpoints

Why brands must offer flexibility

lee sargent

Lee Sargent
European marketing director, enjoyment brands at PepsiCo

Flexible working is a rising trend in marketing and you need to have an adult relationship with your staff, which means trusting them and giving them more control over how they deliver what you want them to.

The complexity of the job these days means most marketers are content curators and editors so there has to be more collaboration and stimulus, which does not come from sitting behind a desk five days a week.

We offer location and hour flexibility at our sites so people can come in late or early and leave at different times. We have launched two flexible desk locations in London that have PepsiCo facilities with our artwork on the wall and our products in the fridge. All the equipment people need to work effectively is there and staff can book a desk online.

The effect of a restructure

claire parlour

Claire Parlour
Ex-channel development & insight director at Brakes; now freelance marketing & innovation consultant

My current position is a result of a marketing department restructure and after more than 25 years of industry experience for

brand owners such as Northern Foods, Premier Foods and Mars, I am pragmatic about it.

Change is the only constant in a marketing team. Consumers are constantly evolving so our departments must too, but perhaps the speed of change is accelerating.

Salaries may be flat or falling but I was surprised that almost three-quarters of people did have some kind of pay rise last year. What we are seeing is individuals differentiating themselves through performance-related bonuses that keep them committed and motivated.

People with specialist skills are certainly in demand, which is why I am looking forward to freelancing. I have a broad marketing background but my last role was focused on insight, and brands need marketers who can turn data into real business actions.

We will see more flexible working as technology enables marketers to work remotely. Employers know their staff can be contacted virtually any time these days, so the quid pro quo is that marketers can work more flexibly when they need to, as long as they deliver the output expected.