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Demand for technically skilled digital marketers will continue to grow in 2014, with salaries likely in tow, but employers are still trying to determine exactly which kinds of employees are essential to add first, a new report said Wednesday.
Thirty-eight percent of employers will be hiring more digital marketers this year than they did last year, according to the report from recruiter Mondo, which asked 300 senior marketing executives about their plans. Within the broad digital arena, a wide variety of fields are growing, Mondo said, including content marketing, big data, search engine optimization and search engine marketing, marketing automation, lead generation, creative, social media and e-commerce.
Half of all marketers hired this year will have some kind of technical background, Mondo said.
The increased demand is part of a scramble to snap up talent that is more quantitative, more focused on newer forms of consumer engagement and better able to institute automated marketing. "In the past 12 to 18 months, communication around this topic has exploded," said Laura McGarrity, VP-marketing at Mondo. "There's a sense of urgency, a 'We must have this right now' kind of feeling."
Big data analysts now command salaries ranging between $90,000 and $125,000, according to the report, which Mondo said based salary information on thousands of placements the firm made over the past year. Lead generation specialists fetch between $98,000 and $140,000, while directors of e-commerce earn between $100,000 and $166,000.
Chief digital officers took home the highest pay in the report, with salary totals ranging from $148,000 to $280,000. Chief marketing technologists earned $140,000 to $241,000, according to Mondo.
One rung below that, directors of creative services earned $75,000 to $175,000, directors of digital marketing earned $128,000 to $190,000 and digital content strategists earned $80,000 to $125,000.
The demand means employees are moving around more, Ms. McGarrity said. "Attrition's certainly gone up," she said.
But employers are still assessing which of these skill-sets are most vital to their interests, creating some uncertainty and sometimes unreasonable expectations.
"Marketers are still trying to figure out exactly what they need, and their demands are sometimes unrealistic," Ms. McGarrity explained. "They're trying out so many things right now."
Sometimes they're so unsure that it actually delays hiring, she added. "I would say that the lack of technical knowledge is trumping the urgency," she said. "That's become kind of the one point that's slowing people down."