Digital marketers often wonder how their salary stacks up to others in the industry, especially in difficult economic times.
Fair compensation for hard work means pulling back the curtain and adding some transparency to determine whether it is time to ask for a raise.
NP Digital will release a Salary Trends Report this week after surveying more than 3,700 digital marketing professionals across hundreds of countries to determine the latest salary trends in the industry. The survey aggregated responses from marketers working at firms ranging from mom-and-pop companies through Fortune 500 companies.
Mike Gullaksen, NP Digital CEO, said the participation in the report highlights the willingness of marketers worldwide to engage and share insights on a sensitive but an important subject.
"It underscores the widespread interest in benchmarking and comparing their positions in the field," Gullaksen said.
Digital marketing professionals from the U.S. had an average yearly overall compensation of $86,900, but globally the average dropped to $53,600.
The U.S. average may be higher based on a relatively small percentage of extremely high salaries, according to the data.
The biggest concern when it comes to equality in the U.S. -- although the industry does have more women overall -- is that men earned more across every level of seniority.
Men were also far more represented at senior levels. Freelancers had the biggest pay gaps, with men receiving higher pay.
The U.S. had, by far, the highest percentage of respondents who said they work remotely -- at 54.7%. India followed with 13.6%, and Canada at 8.4%.
Globally, those satisfied with their compensation packages cited flexible hours as their most valued benefit, followed by remote work.
Does the decision to work remotely or in-person impact compensation? NP Digital found that while remote work was more popular overall among U.S. workers, the largest percentage of remote workers were the extremes -- those making less than $75,000 and more than $151,000. In the middle-income categories, the split between remote and in-person work was closer.
Compared with other countries, the U.S. had a diverse compensation range for remote jobs, as you can see in the chart below.
Marketers in the U.S. also noted that the highest-compensated positions were growth-oriented roles, strategic and top-level management, and strategy-oriented roles. The lowest were ecommerce, social media, and copywriter.
Low salary or compensation was the most common reason globally cited by digital marketing professionals who left their roles. For younger age groups, lack of growth opportunities was also a major issue. Work-life balance and seeking new challenges or more interesting work were recurring issues that would cause people to leave.
Marketers with more experience command the highest salaries. The brackets for those earning $101,000 and above in the U.S. have disproportionately high percentages of marketers with more than 10 years of experience.
The three top-earning categories for overall compensation include growth-oriented roles with those who described themselves as “growth marketers” who have four or more responsibilities, strategic and top-level management, and strategy-oriented roles.
These positions are more highly valued within the U.S., and there is a substantial compensation gap between them. This also is true on the global level, especially for growth-oriented roles.
Positions like growth-oriented roles may demand higher salaries due to the perception of better ROI. In addition, it’s not feasible to outsource some of these roles compared with other roles. By comparison, the roles making the least, on average, are ecommerce, social media, and copywriting.
The average compensation, however, for these roles is much closer between the U.S. and the rest of the world. This suggests a more standardized perception of the value of these roles across all markets, according to the report.
In addition, the degree to which the U.S. values remote work could also indicate that the talent pool is a lot wider for these roles, driving the overall compensation costs down. It might be a seller’s market for some of these jobs.