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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gallant

Salary Snapshot: Marketing Leadership

Updated: Jul 2

As a recruitment partner to North American tech companies, we’ve had the opportunity to talk with hundreds of high-growth start-up and scale-up leaders about their experiences, aspirations, motivations, and of course…. their compensation strategies!

When setting a target compensation range, clients often ask, "What's the current market rate for this role?". Given our frequent discussions on this topic, we've decided to share some insights to help you build a competitive compensation package. If you're searching for your next opportunity, this information should be valuable during your negotiation process.

Note: Be sure to subscribe to our Artemis Update and check out our archive of past issues for updates on big leadership moves and opportunities in tech!

In the past year, we've seen a surge in searches for marketing leadership in tech. With a cooler market and tighter VC funding in 2024, we've noticed tech companies focusing more on boosting revenue from current products rather than building new product lines. This shift has sparked many questions about hiring marketing leaders, including optimal timing, the right mix of strategy vs. execution skills, essential tactics, and compensation. We're here to address these queries and assist in navigating the evolving tech landscape.

The TL;DR:

  • Remote Work Trends: The majority of marketing professionals (53%) work entirely remotely, with 41% in hybrid setups, and only 6% fully office-based.

  • Female Representation: Marketing shows a significant female presence, with 58% of marketing professionals identifying as female, making it one of the highest functions for female representation, just behind HR at 88%.

  • Gender Pay Disparity: Male non-executive (IC, lead, manager) level marketers earn ~16% more than their female counterparts. At the executive level, the gender pay gap narrows slightly, with male executives earning ~6% more than female executives.

  • Equity Distribution: Equity agreements are significantly more common at the executive level (61%) compared to non-executive levels (11%).

  • Bonus Structures: Average bonuses vary by level, but overall we see a higher proportion of senior roles having a bonus structure to their compensation: IC (5%), Lead/Manager (6%), Head/Director (11%), and VP/C-Level (17%).

Let’s dive into the numbers

Below is the breakdown of salary distribution within our sample, which includes Individual Contributors (ICs), Leads, Managers, Heads, Directors, VPs and C-level. This sample reflects marketing professionals within start-up or scale-up companies throughout Canada.

What are you looking at?

The bar graphs below represent average compensation by level, including base salary and bonus/variable compensation (on target earnings or "OTE").

US and Canada Data Comparison

Although the majority of our salary survey data is Canadian (and therefore the data represented here is Canadian), it should be noted that we do work on U.S based searches, and more specifically, U.S based marketing searches. Anecdotally, we have seen a large compensation discrepancy for marketing leadership hires based on location. For example, a 2022 VP Marketing search with a US focus has an average OTE of $258k USD, which is $352k CAD when converted. In contrast, our 2024 data has VPs at Canadian organizations earning $256k CAD OTE on average, an almost 100k difference.

What about Equity?

Since our 2022 Marketing Leadership Salary Snapshot, we've observed that equity distribution has remained consistent, with 61% of Executive-level respondents receiving equity as part of their compensation packages.

What about Bonus?

Across all levels in marketing, the average bonus stands at 14% of base salary, with VP/C-levels having the largest bonuses (17%).

Inaugural Salary Survey Results

In March 2024, we embarked on our first-ever Salary Snapshot Survey, to enrich our existing collection of salary information and offer even more compelling insights. Here's what we found:

Compensation by Gender

  • Higher Female Representation in Marketing: In contrast to the male-dominated Sales Snapshot, marketing shows a significant female representation. Within our sample, 58% of marketing professionals identify as female, making it the second-highest function for female representation (behind HR, at 88%).

  • Leadership Equity Progress: At executive levels within marketing, the gender pay gap narrows considerably, with female executives earning $225K compared to $212K for males. This suggests a trend towards more equitable compensation in higher leadership roles, reflecting a broader market shift towards valuing diversity in leadership positions.

Remote Work

Marketing leadership ranks among the top roles most likely to be fully remote, alongside Sales and Customer Experience (CX). According to our survey, 53% of respondents work entirely remotely, 41% follow a hybrid model, and only 6% are based full-time in the office.

What’s behind the data?

Our snapshots provide valuable and current insights, derived from a select sample of individuals with verified and noteworthy experience in successful Canadian companies. This data, gathered from our recent searches and our newly launched Salary Survey, offers a more focused and relevant perspective than standard salary surveys.

  • Each Salary Snapshot represents between 60 - 140 sources.

  • Sources analyzed within the snapshots are aggregated from both direct conversations with candidates as well as our invitation-only tech salary survey of over 400 responses.

  • Each source is an individual who we deem 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 dollar value on equity.

For privacy reasons, we will not disclose any specific information that could reveal the identity of an individual or their employer

Sharing is caring!

In the dynamic landscape of employment, salary data transparency acts as a transformative force benefiting both employers and job seekers alike. For employers, it provides a strategic advantage by aligning compensation packages with industry benchmarks, fostering equity, and enhancing recruitment appeal. Job seekers, armed with this knowledge, navigate their careers more strategically, negotiate effectively, and make informed decisions, contributing to a more open, fair, and empowered job market.

We believe that our Salary Snapshots are an effective delivery method for this data with our 4 T’s model:

Targeted: Specializing in the tech and innovation industry, our data reflects the compensation landscape of tech companies, making it directly relevant to your world.

Timely: Unlike traditional reports with multi-year lags, our 2023 salary data is up-to-date, providing you with the latest insights.

Trustworthy: Unlike free crowdsourced data, our information comes from one-on-one conversations with candidates actively involved in searches for our clients, ensuring reliability and accuracy.

Trim: We're agile and focused, offering a concise snapshot of current compensation trends, avoiding lengthy reports while retaining all the essential contextual information and analysis.

Please share this, or any of our other Salary Snapshots with your network!

Subscribe to our monthly Artemis Update to receive future Salary Snapshots directly to your inbox + more great content including our Industry Insights, Leaders on the Move, Humans of Tech, Dear Artemis and Tech Women on the Move series.

Created and published in June 2024


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