Keeping the wheels on the wagon

Consistently rated the most reliable source of such information, the annual PM Forum marketing salary benchmark was completed in January 2018 by over 400 marketers in the UK and Ireland.

Salaries
Marketing salaries have increased by 2.7%, other than for marketing executives. Average salaries for the Forum benchmark – UK marketing managers at non-global law firms – bucked the trend to increase by 5.7% (from £47.7k to £50.4k). London-based marketers are paid 34% more than those in UK regions.

90% of members are entitled to either paid leave (85%), paid overtime (10%) or paid volunteer time (28%). 94% have their base salary reviewed annually.

What do PM Forum members think about their remuneration? 39% believe themselves to be paid less than their peers with only 7% feeling that they are paid more. See below the key stats for you to make that comparison, with many more in the free online ready reckoner.

Professional bodies continue to be seen as the most reliable source of salary data, followed by recruitment consultants and peers. Line managers and HR teams are deemed no more reliable than the office grapevine.

Gender pay gap
The gender pay gap for marketing directors is 20.5%. The UK’s gender pay gap is currently estimated by the ONS to be 19.2%, above the OECD average with the UK ranked 21st out of the 33 countries.

All UK organisations with 250 or more employees will have to publish their gender pay gap data by April 2018. The Big 4 already publish their data, with PwC at 13.7%, Deloitte at 18.2%, EY at 19.7% and KPMG at 22.3%. The Big 4 pay gap is largely driven by more men in senior higher-paid roles. However, this is not the case for marketing, with a 75% female balance irrespective of seniority. A 20.5% gender pay gap for directors and heads of marketing suggests that, on average, senior women are being paid over £20k less than male peers performing a similar role. Something to discuss at your next salary review….

Benefits and bonuses
Although 99% of members receive benefits (the most common are pension contributions and external training courses) and 65% receive a bonus, commission or profit share, the latter is worth less than 10% of base salary for all but a handful. 34% consider their firm’s bonus system to be ineffective at encouraging the type of behaviour sought by management.

Performance reviews
67% of firms use self-assessment forms to collect data for performance reviews, with ‘Previous objectives’ being the primary input. ‘Multi-source feedback’ and ‘Personal behaviour’ have increased in importance to now rank equal with ‘Job-based capabilities’ as secondary inputs.

Only 65% of line managers are seen as effective at agreeing objectives, with 27% seen as poor at discussing career development and 31% poor at providing clarity over remuneration outcomes. Formal performance reviews are mostly six-monthly or annual; informal feedback is mostly monthly. Members would prefer more frequent periodic reviews.

When asked to rank the most important aspects of the review process, the only change was the rise to 4th place for ‘Controlling the timing….’
1 Drafting my own goals in consultation with my line manager (1)
2 The process being designed to help me identify and use my strengths (2)
3 Frequently receiving praise, positive feedback and public recognition for my contribution (3)
4 Controlling the timing and structure of my performance appraisals, the data collected and the feedback providers (6)
5 Those who conduct periodic reviews being encouraged to assume the role of performance coaches (4)
6 Leaders being encouraged to comment on whether I am wanted on their team for future projects (5)
7 Being expected to initiate the process of check-ins to receive personal coaching from my manager on near-term work (7)
(Prior year rankings are in brackets)

Comments from members
These are typical of the hundreds received:

Marketing is still the unsung hero and should be recognised more for ‘keeping the wheels on the wagon’. It’s OK having great initiatives, but if it doesn’t get done by marketing it simply wouldn’t get done! We spin many plates and this is often unrecognised and unrewarded.

Marketing functions are sometimes their own worst enemies, failing to provide market data to back up annual budget requests, shoehorning people into existing open roles rather than taking the hard decisions and failing to be smarter about outsourcing low value tasks and use of technology.

Marketing managers are rarely praised for successful campaigns but are the first in the line of blame should new work drop off or there be other issues with new business, even if those levels are being controlled by macro-economic effects.

I’ve moved here from the US, and I believe professional service marketers to be undervalued in the UK.

I find there is huge variation, even within small teams – people doing the same role are on different salaries.

I think in the main salaries are good compared to FMCG but there is little guidance on progression and how to develop to the more senior positions and subsequent salaries.

I would like to see more financial incentives for BD professionals, especially those who work a lot on pitches (where we can work ridiculous hours, contribute to winning really high value work and get nothing in return) or do a lot of client acquisition work.

Although salaries remain moderate to high, partners adapting to change are stressed – roles are as much about life coaching as they are advising the managing partner in terms of business development strategy as at the end of the day we are all human beings, not human doings.

A free ready reckoner showing average salaries by grade, headcount, sector and location is available at www.pmforum.co.uk/knowledge/surveys.aspx