The digital advertising industry continues to shift hiring practices to trying before buying through consulting and freelance work. Attrition continues to rise as digital marketing evolves. Companies now offer more opportunities for those with technical expertise as well as higher salaries -- not just for temporary work, but also annual salaried employees. It has become more difficult to hold onto experts in digital marketing because the demand far outweighs the talent.
The number of contracts and amount of temporary work rose substantially within the past 12 to 18 months. About 38% of companies will hire more digital marketing professionals in the coming year, of which 50% will have a technical background in marketing, per Laura McGarrity, VP of marketing at Mondo.
"About 40% of the placements we've made in the past year have been for contract work," McGarrity said. "We will see something closer to 60% by next year."
McGarrity said contract and temp workers make a significantly higher salary compared with full-time employees. This depends on the demand and skill set and the way digital marketing continues to evolve. Many companies want a niche expert such as someone who knows how to build a cloud infrastructure because the brand marketers know absolutely nothing about the subject. This allows the contractor to dictate their own salary.
There are certain roles -- such as front-end Web site and mobile app development and even some positions in ecommerce and digital marketing -- that seem to be all about contract or temporary work these days, McGarrity said. It has become more acceptable for brands to bring in app developers as a temporary workforce -- three to six months on average -- rather than hire third-party companies to build the app.
Employees with technical expertise continue to command higher salaries. Chief digital officers came in at No. 1 on the list of the highest-paid digital marketing professionals at $148,000--$280,000, per a report from Mondo, digital IT and marketing resource provider. The company places about 2,000 digital marketers and 3,000 IT professionals annually.
The other two top-paying positions are chief marketing technologists (between $140,000 and $241,000) and chief marketing officer (between $142,000 and $230,000). The salary data is based on thousands of employee placements by Mondo for digital marketing professionals during the past year in New York City, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Denver, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Ft. Lauderdale.
Digital and interactive salaries hover above $100,000. Directors of digital marketing typically earn an annual salary between $128,000 and $190,000; director of eCommerce, between $100,000 and $166,000; and UI/UX Architect, between $103,000 and $155,000.
When it comes to creative services, Web designer brings in between $65,000 and $110,000 annually; creative services director, $75,000 and $170,000; interactive designer, $73,000 and $113,000; art director, $67,000 and $135,000; and graphic designer, $60,000 and $90,000.
Content creation and social media digital content strategies salaries range between $80,000 and $125,000; followed by content producer at $58,000 and $105,000; and directors of social media, between $42,000 and $105,000.
Florida and Dallas salaries were among the lowest supported by Mondo between April 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014. Chicago, Boston, D.C., Philadelphia, and Colorado were mid-range. New York and San Francisco were among the highest.