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Digital Marketing & Media - Salary expectations vs reality

As a trusted (and reputable!) Recruitment Consultant, I am fortunate enough that my repeat clients come to me to ask my advice on an array of things, including market trends and salary expectations. With daily exposure to what candidates are being paid across the Digital Marketing & Media sector, I’m in a great position to advise clients on market trends and patterns, as well as candidate expectations.

The Digital sector is constantly evolving, which means the skill sets required within it are also constantly changing.  As the sector expands and develops, jobs are changing and the needs of businesses, both in-house and agency side, are growing.  This article is focused largely on in-house roles, however, when it comes to SEO and PPC specialists, the same principals apply to agency and, for the most part, you can make some direct comparisons.

Senior level (in-house) Digital Marketing professionals are now expected to plan and deliver effective digital strategies that deliver a ROI, keep up to date with the latest and emerging digital trends, manage and develop their teams (recognising and solving any skills gaps within) …….and, depending on the size of the company, they could be expected to do much of the implementation too!

In-house Digital Marketing Executives are expected to have an array of tools in their arsenal too; I often see advertised roles asking for an Exec. who can implement SEO strategy, set-up and manage PPC campaigns, design and deploy emails, manage social media activity, and take total ownership of all web activity.  Oh, and be responsible for the content strategy and creation too: All for £22k! This is just not realistic – there is a disconnect, and Recruitment Consultants should be taking responsibility, advising their clients and managing their expectations.

According to Glassdoor, the National Average for a Digital Marketing Executive is £24,360, and whilst London salaries may skew this a little, I’d say (depending on years’ experience) that’s pretty reflective of the Midlands too. A good Digital Marketing Executive with 3-4 years’ experience can command anything between £24-26k…and even up to £28k.

There is without doubt an element of supply and demand, and genuinely GOOD Digital Marketing resource comes at a price. It’s all too easy to put together a Digital CV full of buzzwords and additional online qualifications.  However, finding a candidate that is commercially-minded, and who can truly deliver on the buzzwords, is a whole different ball game (another reason to use a specialist recruiter #shamelessplug!).

To help both clients and candidates get a realistic feel for Midlands based Digital Marketing & Media salaries, I’ve outlined below some brackets for key Digital Marketing & Media roles. This data is based on several criteria, including roles I’ve successfully placed in the Midlands and National averages. Whilst there will always be anomalies - this is a realistic guide:

  • Digital Marketing Assistant (1-2 years’ experience) £18-22k
  • Digital Marketing Executive (2-4 years’ experience) £24-28k
  • Senior Digital Marketing Executive (3-5 years’ experience) £28-32k
  • Digital Marketing Manager (5-7 years’ experience) £32-37k
  • Digital Director (7+ years’) £40k+
  • PPC Exec (2+ years’) £24-26k
  • PPC Manager (3-5 years’) £30-35k
  • SEO Exec (2+ years’) £24-26k
  • SEO Manager (3-5 years’) £30-37k
  • Content Exec (2+ years’) £24-27k
  • Content Manager (3-5 years’) £32-40k

The list of Digital roles is endless, and the specific requirements within each role can vary. So, if you’d like to have a chat about salary expectations for specific roles, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on 01789 451516. 

By Emma