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  • Writer's pictureNiv Lobo Gajiwala

Director of Marketing Salary Snapshot (SaaS, TO based)

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

Let’s talk about money!

As a recruitment partner to Canadian tech companies, we’ve talked to hundreds of start-up and scale-up leaders about their experiences, their aspirations, their motivations … and their compensation packages.

We're often asked “What do you see as the market rate for this role?”. And since we know the answers - we thought we’d share our insights with you!

This is valuable (and often unavailable) information that can help your budgeting and can help you create a competitive compensation model. And if you’re on the hunt for your next challenge we hope you’ll find this useful in the negotiation process.

To start this series, we’ll begin with a Director of Marketing Salary Snapshot

Senior Marketing talent is in high demand across all areas of tech - a trend that we’ve seen with many Director-level Marketing searches over the last year. We’ve analyzed a spectrum of compensation packages and share both the high level summary and some of the related insights around how your peers are crafting plans with a mix of base and variable pay.


What are you looking at?

This data represents volunteered current compensation summaries from Sr Managers and Directors of Marketing in start-up or scale-up software companies in Toronto. Each individual has between 1 - 10 direct reports and is responsible for marketing activities that include top-line growth marketing, product marketing, and leading both marketing strategy and execution.

Deeper Insights

Total cash compensation plans ranged from from $110-150K with an average of $131K. About 50% of the individuals fall in the 130-140K band, with more than 25% of the total number earning a base of $140K.

The Bonus Question:

Of our candidate sample, 50% have a plan that is a combination of base salary and bonus (with the average variable pay of 12% of base and a range of 3.5-25%).

For individuals who are earning a bonus, this was typically a mix of personal performance objectives + overall business results. For organizations who are highly metrics oriented, measuring the results of a marketing leader were more straightforward. The younger the company, the less likely they are to offer a bonus - likely because it is trickier to establish and then manage metrics.

What about Start-ups and Equity?

Individuals who are part of earlier stage companies tend to be on the lower end of the range but receive a larger share of equity to compensate for a lower base salary. This is typical for all roles, not just marketing. Leveraging equity as a key component of compensation not only enables companies to conserve cash, but also ensures that your team is aligned around success. The downside of highly leveraged compensation plans is exclusion of great candidates who have financial commitments that preclude them from roles with lower than market salaries.


Our snapshots are not typical salary surveys - as they represent only the data we’ve collected from a handful of recent searches. We think it’s pretty useful though, as it represents current information from sample of individuals who we’ve carefully selected as having credible and validated experience, with successful local companies.

What’s behind the data?

Each Salary Snapshot represents between 20 – 50 sources.

Each source is an individual who we deemed a promising candidate for a role within a high growth tech company. Most are gainfully employed and many were recommended as exceptionally talented. As a result, our salary numbers might be skewed towards the top of the range.

We elected not to show compensation figures related to equity or options. Though this was a significant aspect of the comp package for many execs, it’s often tough to put an annual $ value on equity.

Specific details that would identify an individual or their employer will not be shared for obvious reasons.

If you're looking for further insight or a deeper understanding of the market feel free to reach out to me at


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