top of page
  • Writer's pictureTyler Swabey

Salary Snapshot- Product Marketing Managers

Let’s talk about money!

As a recruitment partner to Canadian 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 establishing a target compensation range for a new search, clients always ask us “What are you seeing in the market right now for a role like this?” Since we’re having these conversations on a regular basis, we thought we would pull back the curtains and share some insights to help you create a competitive compensation package. And if you’re on the hunt for your next challenge, we hope you’ll find this data to be useful in the negotiation process.

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

Teaser: Here are some interesting statistics that you’ll learn more about in this snapshot:

  • Senior PMMs earn an average of 45% more than PMMs

  • A wage gap of 14% exists between Male and Female PMMs

  • Canadian PMM compensation is lagging significantly behind what we’re seeing in the US market, with a broader gap present than most roles.

In this edition, we share some insights and analysis on compensation packages for Product Marketing Managers (PMM from hereon out). This is a step in a slightly new direction for us, as past editions of the Salary Snapshot series have focused on covering trends in broader leadership categories such as Sales and Engineering.

So what makes Product Marketers so special that they’ve elbowed their way into the elusive Salary Snapshot round table?

We’re in a unique position to gather data on market trends and insights as they’re unfolding through our conversations with leaders at high-growth tech companies. One such trend is the skyrocketing growth and importance of the Product Marketing Manager role within these organizations. Growing tech companies are seeing the value of this unique role to drive alignment between Product, Sales and Marketing organizations, which has driven compensation packages up substantially.

PMM hires are also quite often ‘Headhunted’ candidates (which falls within our specialty at Artemis Canada) despite this role not being a traditional ‘head’ of an organization that executive search firms typically specialize in. In fact, this is one of the very few types of roles we search for at Artemis outside of the Director to C-level due to the complexity of the role and the competition in the market. This is in spite of the huge application volume you may have seen on PMM job postings; these roles often require a targetted approach to hiring in order to get the right mix of product, marketing and sales experience within the context of your company’s domain and target market.

As you may have already guessed, compensation for PMMs is the highest among all marketing specialties - and one of the highest among all IC roles in the tech industry. With the complexity of the PMM profession increasing year over year, so too does the demand for talented individuals with incredibly diverse skill sets… and compensation always follows suit.

Let’s dive into the numbers

We’ve analyzed a spectrum of PMM compensation packages at the intermediate and senior levels, to share both the high-level summaries and some of the related insights to share how your peers are crafting plans with a mix of base and variable pay.

Below are snapshots for the two groupings of PMMs that emerged from the data, along with some very interesting insights.

Keep in mind: We support start-up and scale-up organizations, so most of these data points represent PMMs from organizations that have gone through a similar growth journey (start-up and scale-up leaders). We also look for the cream of the crop within this group - the best of the best. So our sample is from product-oriented tech companies with talent who've demonstrated staying power. Consider these numbers the top 20-25% of the market - which, in most cases, is exactly what you’re looking for.

*Click on the arrow on the image below to cycle between the two PMM levels

What are you looking at?

This data represents volunteered current compensation (CAD) aggregated at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles.

Each individual was part of a SasS startup or scale-up based in Canada or the US at the time they were in conversation with a member of the Artemis Canada team. USD salaries have been converted to CAD at a multiple of x1.29. Each datapoint was collected between January 1, 2021 and present day, from marketing executive searches completed by Artemis Canada.

The structure of compensation plans vary for Marketing Leaders, but we’ve seen the majority structured as base-heavy with a 5-25% bonus plus an equity stake. We’ve opted to show data as total on-target earnings rather than separate out variable incentives.

Deeper Insights

PMMs are among the most well-compensated individual contributor roles in the tech market, with median compensation packages exceeding other lucrative positions including Product Managers, Marketing Managers, and even Software Developers at comparable levels.

More notably, both the floor and the ceiling for PMMs vastly exceed those of other roles at the same levels within the Marketing profession. Recent projections from the 2023 Digital Marketing Salary Guide list Content Marketing Managers at an average of $75,000, Digital Marketing Managers at $88,500, and SEO Managers at $73,000.

The closer to a revenue stream you are, the more some splashes onto you.

The disparity in compensation between PMMs and other Marketing specialties can be explained fairly easily upon closer inspection. Generally speaking, the closer to a revenue stream you are, the more some splashes onto you. In Product-Led tech companies, functions that operate closer to the core product typically earn more than those on the periphery or support front, due to the model that attracts revenue on the back of product excellence. Because of this, it’s much easier to tie the PMM function to revenue and ROI compared to other Marketing functions. PMMs are responsible for go-to-market campaigns and closely track metrics such as conversion rates and sales/marketing qualified leads, and are more directly integrated into the sales organization. These experts are doing a lot of the heavy lifting connecting the dots between features and benefits to behaviours and personas; this work filters down directly to how the product is communicated in all forms, with the major implication being sales.

This of course isn’t the only factor influencing the market-leading compensation of PMMs. The title ‘Manager’ as a level can often be quite deceptive. Typically the IC Manager level indicates an intermediate level of expertise (such as Account Manager or Marketing Manager), but that isn’t usually the case with PMMs. There isn’t a true ‘entry level’ role in this specialty due to the complexity and experience required to influence the direction of a product and GTM initiative. As a result, many newer PMMs have already built lengthy and successful careers in other adjacent fields such as Engineering, Sales, CX, or most commonly other Marketing leadership roles. In many cases candidates have reached the Director or VP level in their field before taking on a PMM role. So, a PMM earning upwards of $200K is not always just a reflection of their current scope of work, but also a recognition of deep expertise in an adjacent field.

Ultimately, PMMs are typically paid well because their role is crucial to the success of a product. They are responsible for ensuring that a product is positioned in a way that appeals to the target market, and they must have a deep understanding of the product, the market, and the competition. They must also be able to communicate this information effectively to others within the company, including the sales team, to ensure that the product is successful. This is a highly skilled position that requires a combination of technical knowledge, business savvy, and excellent communication skills, and as a result, product marketing managers are often compensated well.

What about pay equity?

In our previous Salary Snapshots we’ve seen some disappointing trends with regards to pay equity between male and female candidates. Most notably, in our Marketing Leadership Salary Snapshot we observed a staggering wage gap of 26.5% at the VP level, a difference of 70K.

It appears that the PMM subset of the Marketing org is no better off, with female candidates earning 88¢ for every $1 earned by men (-13.8%), and 93¢ at the Senior level (-7.9%). This falls closely in line with what we’ve observed at the Manager and Director of Marketing levels, with female candidates earning 93¢ and 85¢ respectively for every $1 earned by males candidates at the same level.

If you are reading this and are in a position to influence hiring at your organization, please take a moment to review some of our best practices below towards achieving pay equity.

*Click on the arrow on the image below to cycle between the two PMM levels

What’s behind the data?

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

  • Each Salary Snapshot represents between 40 – 120 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 dollar value on equity.

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

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.

bottom of page