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Salary is a marketer’s top priority: New report from iknowho

Salary has overtaken workplace culture as the number one priority for marketers, according to the latest figures from marketing recruitment agency iknowho’s annual Salary & Market Insights Guide.

The report finds insights into what is impacting marketers across both agency and in-house, from salaries, to benefits, to key workplace trends.

The 2024-2025 report found that the past 12 months have seen significant shifts in the job market due to challenging economic conditions, high interest rates, and increased cost of living.

At a senior level, there is a high volume of available talent due to widespread redundancies, leading to increased competition, with some candidates willing to take up to 15% pay cuts.

At the junior to mid-end of the market, the quest for quality candidates that meet budget limitations is a key priority, as teams are becoming leaner, there is a higher demand for candidates strong in execution. Counter offers and promotion incentives are on the rise at this level, with retention being another key focus.

It found that marketers (50%) are placing greater value on salary when considering new job opportunities, and for the first time, it has overtaken company culture in the number one spot.

Workplace culture now sits as the third most important priority, following flexible working in number two.

65% of the research’s respondents said they value defined career pathways, while 61% felt they are rewarded by their employers when given exciting projects to work on – three times more than if they were to receive a formal review scoring.

92% of marketers said the best recognition would be via a bonus, followed by career advancement (84%), new projects (61%), public acknowledgement (34%) and review (22%).

“The supply & demand pendulum really shifted this year for senior marketers in response to the economic climate. Clients have their pick of top talent and are being more prescriptive on background and tenure,” said senior talent partner at iknowho, Bec Godkin.

“Generalist marketers are gaining more traction, with clients requesting a more wholistic 360 solution to build out their teams.”

Sheryn Small, lead talent partner at iknowho, said: “Across agency land, we have seen marginal increases in salary bands, but it has stabilised compared to the last few years.

“With fewer opportunities available, candidates need to ensure they stand out from the competition. Agencies are looking for senior marketers who are hands-on, agile, have a breadth of experience, and most importantly, are strong commercially.”

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