Hays UK jobs and employment blog


Which marketing jobs saw the biggest salary increases in 2021?

By Clare Kemsley, Managing Director of Hays Marketing, Retail and Sales, UK&I

The pandemic wreaked havoc on not only our health and personal lives, but on our professional lives, too. Many lost their jobs during the crisis, and many companies were forced to close their doors, but now – as we take steps to recover across all sectors – the future is looking brighter. In fact, marketing employers in particular are buoyant about the economic climate and the opportunities this could bring.

In the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2022 guide, we asked over 800 marketing employers and employees a number of questions around their predictions for the future. We saw a huge increase in the positive outlook of marketing employers – with 64% saying they are optimistic about the wider economic climate and long-term employment opportunities, compared to just 33% in 2020. Marketeers are following the same trend, too, with only 53% saying they are concerned compared to 81% last year.

Skills shortages and hiring challenges

Despite these positive statistics, we are experiencing skills shortages across many specialist areas, which includes marketing. In fact, 80% of marketing employers say they have experienced skills shortages in the past year, and 72% are expecting a shortage of suitable candidates over the next 12 months.

The reason behind the lack of skills the sector is experiencing boils down to multiple factors, with the first being slow movement in the jobseeker market. 58% of marketing employees plan to change jobs in the coming 12 months, a slight decrease on last year, that also coincides with increased hiring plans from employers: 81% plan to recruit in the year ahead in comparison to 67% last year.

Other factors to take into consideration are IR35 reforms and Brexit. In fact, 29% of marketing employers believe the UK’s departure from the EU has contributed to their difficulties hiring the right people.

Skills in demand

Due to the issues outlined above, skills shortages have become extensive within marketing. Productivity is one of the largest areas of concern, with 40% of employers reporting that this is the area that has been impacted the most, followed by creativity at 36% and innovation at 35%.

The top soft-skills employers need within marketing include communication and interpersonal skills (71%), the ability to adopt change (56%) and problem-solving (54%). However, the skills marketing professionals most want to develop are people management (54%) and negotiation (41%) – evidence of a disparity between employers and employees regarding which skills are most needed.

Salary increases to attract talent

One of the methods being used currently by marketing employers to attract new staff with these much-needed skills is offering higher-than-expected salaries for their vacancies. Marketing salaries rose by 2.1% over the past 12 months, and our research shows that 53% of marketing employers increased their rates of pay.

The top 10 roles within marketing that are receiving the highest pay increases are:

  1. Senior Marketing Executive
  2. CRM Manager
  3. Social Media Manager
  4. Marketing Executive
  5. SEO/PPC Manager
  6. Marketing Analyst/CRM Analyst
  7. Customer Insight Analyst
  8. Marketing Assistant
  9. eCommerce Manager
  10. CRM Executive

Salary is not the only consideration

Although responding to skills-shortages with salary increases might seem like a logical solution, our research shows that this is not the only winning factor for potential new recruits. Professionals are increasingly looking to work for organisations that prioritise social responsibility, with things like volunteer days and supporting good causes being prime factors of consideration when individuals are looking at joining new workplaces. In fact, 92% of marketing employees say a company’s purpose is important when seeking a new role. Other factors to consider are work-life balance, which has improved for many workers in the marketing industry compared with pre-pandemic life: 38% now say it is the most important factor when considering a new role (excluding salary). In addition to this, employees are reporting that they’d appreciate greater support from their workplaces, with 44% saying they would prefer more focused support on mental-health; flexible working at 77%; work-from-home at 57%; wellbeing at 42% and training at 40%.

Find out how salaries and employment trends are changing in the marketing profession by requesting access to the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2022.

About this author

Over her last ten years at Hays, Clare has developed a detailed understanding of creative and customer focussed industries and the talent they need to succeed. She is a believer that great behaviour drives the culture of the business and allows the customer experience to be one of the highest quality.


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