How much should I pay our marketing manager?

How much should I pay our marketing manager?

Marketing plays a pivotal role in the success and longevity of any organisation. 

In today’s digitally driven and competitive market place, structuring an organisation with qualified marketing people who have the right skill sets, has never been more important. 

Recently, Sustainable Marketing Services was asked by a board member of a large not-for-profit organisation, what salary they should pay their marketing manager.

There is a lot more involved to this question that meets the eye.  To answer it accurately, we considered:

  1. What the average salary range is for marketing roles in Queensland
  2. What activities the marketing manager was undertaking
  3. How well the marketing manager was performing in their role

An analysis of the organisation’s current situation, revealed that the marketing manager was largely undertaking the role of a graphic designer and currently didn’t have the skill set to perform strategic marketing management.  

The skill set of a marketer manager is different from a graphic designer and commands a different salary.  A marketing manager needs a strategic and analytical skill set to create marketing plans, manage and report on the performance of marketing activities.

Issues identified.

An analysis of the orga­nisation’s current situation, identified the following key issues:

  • The employee is overpaid for the graphic design role being performed.
  • The employee doesn’t have the expertise to perform the marketing manager role.
  • There is no one in the organisation to mentor the marketing manager.
  • There is no strategic marketing management within the organisation.

The impact of this situation is that there is no strategic marketing plan to support the objectives of the organisation.  A person with inappropriate skill sets was recruited.

The cost.

The money invested in marketing resources (people and activities), are focused on sub-optimal activities.  It is likely that more money (and time) is invested in marketing than necessary. The return on marketing investment would also be sub-optimal.

When marketing is structured inappropriately or resourced with inappropriate skill sets there are three key issues:

  • Increased marketing costs with the organisation not having the strategic marketing expertise to know where to focus their marketing dollars
  • Lower return on marketing with the wrong mix of marketing activities and poor execution of marketing activities
  • Lower levels of sales and growth with activities not the best activities to support the objectives of organisations.

Example:  whether internal or external, hiring the inappropriate marketing resource can be costly. Recently we were appointed as the marketing team for a services business.  The previous marketing company achieved 20 digital leads over a two-year period.  In our first month, we achieved 20 phone leads and five form leads via the website (all tracked), and we are just warming up.  

What does a marketing manager do?

A good marketing manager will be able to use their marketing qualifications and industry experience to elevate your brand, engage with your customers through a range of channels and drive sales and growth for your organisation.  

They will have:

  • a minimum of 5 years’ experience in creating and managing strategic marketing plans that support the objectives of an organisation in your industry
  • strong experience in managing the implementation of branding, marketing communications, marketing campaigns, digital and social media
  • the ability to brief and manage external suppliers such as printers, designers, PR agencies and media companies
  • excellent ability in managing multiple projects on brief, on time and on budget
  • have tertiary qualifications which teaches them best practice models to reduce the risk involved in marketing.

What are the salary ranges for marketing roles?

The current average salary range for marketing roles in Queensland (as generated by Seek Analytics as at March 2018) are shown below:

  • Marketing Management – Avg salary 101,881
  • Marketing Communication – Avg salary 79,963
  • Digital and search marketing– Avg salary 76,032
  • Marketing Assistant/Coordinator – Avg salary 57,628
  • Graphic design – Avg salary 61, 260

Potential solutions

Having looked carefully at this situation, Sustainable Marketing Services considered three potential options, that will help the not-for-profit organisation successfully move forward.

  1. Formal training.

Organise for the marketing manager to undertaken formal training in strategic planning and management of marketing and hire a graphic designer.  

The organisation would first need to assess the marketing manager’s interest in undertaking additional study as well as determining whether they have the natural skills and aptitude to become a good marketing manager. 

The down side of upskilling and training the current marketing manager, is that the performance of the company’s marketing campaigns will be impacted, while the marketing manager is gaining these necessary skills over a period of one to three years.

This lack of internal marketing expertise, means there will be no one to guide the marketing manager during this period.

  1. Marketing Mentoring

Hire a marketing consultant to undertake a strategic marketing plan and progressively mentor the marketing manager to improve this person’s marketing management skills over 12 months and hire a graphic designer.  

In our experience, external mentoring can work well where the employee has formal marketing qualifications and at least three years marketing experience, otherwise the likelihood of the mentoring process being successful, can be small.

It takes around three years to mentor a university graduate and around 6-12 months to externally mentor a marketing coordinator to a mid-tier marketing manager level.

  1. Recruit a Marketing Manager

Hire a marketing manager with the right expertise and experience and hire a graphic designer (either internal or external). 

For the short and long term success of this company, option three is the most viable. This option will result in a more strategic approach to marketing, delivering a better return on marketing investment, sooner.  

There will also be less downtime that would have been associated with waiting for the current marketing manager to upskill.  The downside is that the organisation will need to address an inappropriate recruitment decision.

In conclusion, this company may have originally thought they were saving money with the current marketing manager by bringing up the person through the ranks, but their situation, will cost in objectives, both in the short and long term. There is also a cultural cost with the need to exit the current marketing manager.

Importance needs to be placed on structuring an organisation with the right marketing resources and skill sets, so that you have high performance marketing, that delivers results.

We would highly recommend they get assistance from a qualified and experienced marketing consultant who can:

  • Look at the right structure for their team 
  • Develop a job description, write the job ad, and consult on the recruitment process to ensure they recruit the right resource
  • Help set up the marketing structure and settle the new marketing manager into their role.

How can Sustainable Marketing Services help?

Sustainable Marketing Services have a proven track record in creating strategic marketing plans that work and then successfully controlling the implementation of a diverse range of marketing activities.  

Maria Anderson, our Managing Director, has experience in structuring marketing teams, identifying the necessary skill sets, recruiting and mentoring marketers.

We help clients elevate the profile of their brands, generate leads and sales, and help grow and protect their client base.

Award winning, we can develop marketing, public relations, digital marketing and social media tailored for your professional services organisation.

Book a complimentary meeting with us.  
Call us on 1300 699 085 or email us here.  

Where to from here?

Feel free to give us a call on 07 3821 3939 or email us to discuss your project and how we can help you.

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About Us

A Brisbane marketing agency that achieves more.

Sustainable Marketing Services (Australia) Pty Ltd is a multi-award winning, strategically-led Brisbane marketing and public relations services company.

We use our know-how to deliver practical, reliable and results-orientated integrated marketing and public relations strategies for growing businesses in Australia and internationally.

Informed thinking. Practical marketing. Reliable results.


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