For richer, for poorer: mixed messages emerge from marketing salary survey

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  • 82% of private sector marketers received pay rise in last 12 months
  • Public sector marketers report pay freeze and poor promotion prospects
  • Gender pay gap has virtually disappeared at all levels

The latest marketing salary figures, released by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) *, reveal striking differences between the pay and rewards enjoyed by marketers in the public and private sectors. The research uncovered pay stagnation, poor promotion prospects and low job security in the public sector, while private sector marketers took home above-national average pay rises in the last year.

The Marketing Rewards survey, carried out by Croner in conjunction with CIM, showed that 82% of marketers working in the private sector received a pay rise, and that these pay increases averaged 4% – almost double the national average increase of 2.3%. By contrast, almost half (43%) of public sector marketers saw their pay frozen in the past 12 months, and those who did receive an increase enjoyed an average rise of only 3%.

Public and private sector marketers also reported differences in their promotion prospects and job security. Compared to private sector marketers, twice as many marketers in the public and voluntary sectors rate their job security as ‘poor’ or ‘bad’, and half (50%) of all marketers in the public sector are currently seeking to move job. Overall, 62% of marketers feel they have at least some prospect of a promotion – but among public sector marketers this figure falls to only 51%.

Despite these differences, the research found that public sector marketers’ annual basic pay still outstrips that of their private sector counterparts at three out of four management levels. The results therefore paint a picture of private sector pay and rewards catching up with higher, but stagnant, pay and rewards in the public sector.

The survey also highlighted positive attitudes across the industry in the face of continued economic difficulties. 85% of marketers feel that their pay is in line with or above the market, and 9 out of 10 reported fair to excellent job satisfaction. Furthermore, the gender pay gap – shown to be narrowing in last year’s survey – has now virtually disappeared at every level in marketing, and women make up half of all marketing directors who participated in the research. A pay increase of 3% across the industry is forecast for the coming year, and CIM membership was again shown to correlate with substantial salary benefits, with members earning an average of £5,000 p/a more than their non-member counterparts.

Surprising regional pay variations were also identified. In a marked change from last year, senior marketing managers in London and the south east earned less than those in north west, north east and south west.

David Thorp, Director of Research and Professional Development at The Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: “It’s clear that, as the public sector continues to feel the impact of a long and tough recession, the private sector is beginning to see the seeds of a recovery. That’s very positive news, and we hope that next year’s research will identify the same upward trend in the public sector. The can-do attitude and high job satisfaction show how rewarding a role in marketing is, and how our profession is well placed to lead the way out of recession. At the same time, it’s extremely encouraging to see that the gender pay gap appears to be finally closing in marketing – a fact reflected by the increasing number of women holding senior marketing roles.”

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