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Marketing professionals overworked but satisfied

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Marketing professionals work too many hours a week, spend too much time putting out "brushfires" and work in understaffed marketing departments-yet a majority are satisfied or very satisfied with their current level of responsibility.

Those are just some of the findings of a report published last month by the American Marketing Association and business consulting firm Aquent.

The study, "Compensation Survey of Marketing Professionals 2005," was conducted online by 6 Degrees.

According to the study, an overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that unreasonable or excessive workloads are a significant factor in their workplaces.

The study found that 60% of respondents work between 40 hours and 50 hours a week, and 27% work more than 50 hours a week. Just 13% said they work fewer than 40 hours a week.

Another significant finding was understaffing. More than 60% of respondents said that not having enough personnel to properly execute strategy is either "problematic" or "a severe problem" at their organizations.

When asked whether enough time was given employees to finish projects, a clear difference emerged based on level of management. Approximately 26% of executives strongly agreed with the statement that employees were given enough time to finish projects, while approximately 42% of middle managers strongly agreed with this statement.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, approximately 15% of executives disagreed that employees were given enough time to finish projects, while about half of middle managers disagreed.

Rich Vancil, VP of the CMO Advisory Service at research company IDC, said staffing marketing departments with people having the right skill sets is a key challenge for the industry.

"Many marketers have been doing the role of two or three people," Vancil said.

"As marketing continues to increase in importance, we're wondering if marketers have all the right skill sets they need, including market research, market segmentation and deep marketing knowledge needed to understand niches and segments."

The survey also found that marketing professionals' overall job satisfaction to a large extent is based on the perception of their company as socially responsible.

Of those marketing professionals who say they work for companies that are "socially responsible" or "ethical," 78% said they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their current level of responsibility.

Of those who say they work for companies that are "dishonest" or "corrupt," 55% said they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their level of responsibility.

The study also provided comprehensive salary information for marketing professionals across a range of jobs, looking at variables such as years of experience, size of organization, geographic location and industry.

For a marketing coordinator with three to five years of experience, the median salary is $38,000.

For a marketing manager with six to 10 years of experience, the median salary is $65,000. The median salary for a marketing director with six to 10 years of experience is $75,000.

Top marketing executives with more than 15 years of experience have a median salary of $150,000. 

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