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UK - Bonus cheques double in post-crunch marketing uplift

30 September 2011

The average bonus for marketing professionals is now 9,050 Pounds or 17% of salary, according to marketing recruiter EMR. In 2007, before the credit crunch hit the sector, bonuses were just 4,420 Pounds or 8% of average salary. Following a survey of over 2,722 respondents, EMR said the growth in bonus payments has been fuelled by increasing investment by growing companies and a performance orientated remuneration structure that rewards high-fliers with rewards for success.


According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) carried out by the Office of National Statistics, 553,000 people are now employed in the marketing profession. This has grown from 459,000 in 2007.

Total full-time marketing professionals employed in the UK

Simon Bassett, Managing Director of EMR, commented "2011 has been a good year for marketers.  Businesses are not only growing again, they are chasing growth again.  Employers and employees alike are increasingly optimistic about the future.  That means employers are investing heavily in marketing functions and having to compete harder to get good people on their teams.  The 96,000 strong increase in the sector's full-time headcount translated into hard cash during last year's bonus season."


But while bonuses rose significantly, the ASHE showed average marketing salaries rose only marginally over the same period, from 52,425 Pounds in 2007 to 53,200 Pounds in 2010 .

Bassett said "total remuneration for marketing professionals, including bonuses and salaries, has risen 10% since 2007.  But only a tiny sliver of that is down to salary growth, the lion's share has been driven by huge increases in bonus payments.  Employers are investing more in marketing functions, certainly, but they're still nervous enough to try to keep fixed costs as low as possible and use the bonus tool as leverage for greater productivity."


Digital marketers are in particularly high demand, with one in three of the jobs placed by EMR this year having a digital focus. 73% of these positions are newly defined in their organisations. 

Overall 64% of permanently employed marketing professionals received a bonus last year. But 75% of people involved in digital marketing received a bonus.

Percentage of marketing professionals paid a bonus last year

Average pay is also higher in digital marketing with average salaries standing at 57,296 Pounds according to EMR's latest salary survey.

Bassett continued "the digital revolution is in full swing and marketing departments are adapting quickly. More than 27% of the marketing professionals we polled said there are plans to restructure their department this year to keep up with the demands of digital media. With new roles being created specifically to focus on social media and drive website traffic, it's clear businesses going through their post-recession hiring phases have decided to put digital development at the top of the agenda."


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