Digital Salary Survey Fall 2014

Digital Salary Survey Fall 2014

Digital Media is King

The rise of digital media in the business and marketing realm is nothing new. It’s just now it seems that digital workers are getting some respect. But while some digital superstars are highly sought and well paid, salaries for others will not be all that great.


Bobby is a friend of mine in his 20’s. Well educated and multi-talented, he’s able to travel internationally as a copywriter for his company. His picture demonstrates his excellent creativity. Traditional pay and benefits will not appeal to Generation Y. They seek lifestyles.

If you’re an entrepreneur who desperately needs good digital marketing talent, you’d be wise to use a well-connected recruiter to find the best. Wasting your time and money on the big talking wannabees could cost you big time.

If you’re a digital worker, it might sound the alarm to be aware of skills development and knowing where the best digital niches are. Instead of jumping jobs, you may want to stay put, manage your employer’s demands, and build up to date skills they can leverage. Then it’s a win-win situation.

If you’re a medium-sized business manager, you may have the maximum flexibility to acquire the talent you need, pursue market niches, and provide the pay and benefits talent is looking for.  You’ll want to look at the talent’s skills and their growth potential as well. One benefit large corporations can’t offer is growth.

The 2014 Salary Benchmarks Survey

The 2014 Salary Benchmarks Survey conducted by Marketing Magazine is available in the November edition.  The report reveals that salaries are beginning to rival the levels of traditional marketing staff such as VP marketing and brand managers.

The list below lists salary levels according to the size of the firm.  Surprisingly, the strategist positions have lower levels of salary compared to manager positions. This might tell us that companies are still struggling with implementation and management of digital marketing initiatives. Performance is not yet high on the agenda as yet.  It appears companies are withdrawing funds from traditional media and throwing it at digital hoping it’ll stick somewhere profitable.

2014 digital jobs salaries

I think the best comment from the article was Mandy Gilbert, CEO of Creative Niche in Toronto:

“Agencies are facing an identity crisis as their clients increasingly build internal teams. The war for talent has intensified. The winners will be those organizations with great leaders and interesting business models, as well as flexible cultures that focus on getting out of the commodity game and communicating an incredibly clear vision for success in their market niche. The ones that will lose are those that take a dictatorial approach to leadership. Those cultures are generally unbalanced in terms of work-life balance expectations, and will continue doing business in the same antiquated ways. Many think that a beer fridge and one or two cool client accounts are all they need to retain talent. They’re wrong.”

My View of Digital Jobs and how Canadian Companies will compete:  smaller firms will need to find multi-talented digital producers who can fill several roles and offer more support to others on staff.  These could be personalities who don’t fit into rigid corporate cultures.

They’ll need to be very creative with providing benefits/perks which larger firms will not provide.  Work autonomy, vacation time, work hour flexibility and other benefits are proven to be what workers want. They’ll want to take a good look at what Google has done in that regard in the last 10 years.

Staffing Strategies Will Need to Evolve Fast

Filling their teams with specialists will keep salaries low. so they’ll be unable to keep the good talent they have. Many will be desperate, stuck using marketing interns to do work they can’t cope with. With big companies buying smaller ones and merging, the demand for good specialist talent will grow and they’ll raid the smaller firm’s staff.

Gen Y workers overall will become increasingly less loyal as they scramble to find good paying jobs, while employers will struggle with the decision to try to retain and train them. Oddly, while employers are ignoring headhunters and recruiters with assessment skills now, they may need them to find and determine which employees are worth hiring and hanging onto.

Salaries reported for copywriters, web designers, art directors, web developers, application developers,  and database managers are shockingly low, from $32k to $84k per annum.

Money seems to be attracted to positions where decisions need to be made and there’s control of a product.  The rise of mobile will create demand for mobile content producers and mobile advertising specialists.

Here are a few of the salary ranges reported in Marketing Magazine’s 2014 Survey:

  Large Companies Mid Sized to Small Smaller Entrepreneurial
  Start Top Typical Start Top Typical Start Top Typical
CEO 250 1,600 300 – 500 180 850 200 – 375 120 750 150 – 300
VP Marketing 110 300 180 – 225 90 225 165 – 190 90 200 110 – 150
Analytics Manager 70 140 80 -110 65 140 75 – 110 60 100 65 – 95
Social Media Strategist 50 150 70 – 110 40 150 55 – 90 40 150 55 – 80
SEO/Search Marketing Strategist 65 150 75 – 90 60 150 80 -90 60 150 70 – 90
Digital Product Director 100 225 120 – 160 70 200 100 – 120 60 175 85 – 110
Content Strategist 60 90              
Content/Editorial Director 100 225 120 – 160 70 200 100 – 120 60 175 85 – 110
Ecommerce manager 80 120 80 – 120            
Data Analyst 60 80              
Mobile Director 100 225 120 – 160 70 200 70 – 200 60 175 85 – 110
Statistics Courtesy of 2014 Salary Benchmarks©, Marketing Magazine

For more information on salaries, check out

Good luck with your staffing goals and objectives in 2015. If the economy does improve, the competition for the best will be intense.

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