The Other Reason the First-Class Marketers You Need Aren’t Taking Your Jobs

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We’ve already discussed why Gamechanging Marketers Aren’t Applying to Your Jobs. Simply put, they’re typically already employed, committed to their job and too busy to notice your opening.

But what about the instances where you do get some quality applicants, only for them to lose interest when they hear the details of the job?

One common problem we’re seeing is that many organizations are lagging behind rapidly-changing compensation standards. And without a competitive offer, you’ll never attract the difference makers that will really help your company grow.

The Difference 5 Years Makes

If you haven’t gone shopping for top-level marketing talent lately, today’s going rates might take you by surprise. The price tag for marketers—especially those in high-level leadership positions or with a strong digital background—has risen substantially over the last few years.

Compensation consultants are still using old data to set benchmarks  and are off the mark with increasing frequency in the marketing space. And it’s not because they’re bad at their jobs; they simply have a hard time keeping up with fields and positions that crop up in marketing on a monthly basis. The research they have to act on is often outdated by the time they get it.

If you haven’t gone shopping for top-level marketing talent lately, today’s going rates might take you by surprise.

As a result, companies who rely on their projections are falling behind others who understand the value of an exceptional marketing leader and are willing to offer the real market rate.

Just a few years ago the story was different. The economy was uncertain, marketers had been laid off in droves from departments and agencies, and those companies who were hiring typically had the pick of the litter when it came to high-end talent.

That’s no longer the case. Several factors have built on each other to push up average salary rates at the highest levels of marketing:

  • Marketing is changing, once-reliable strategies and skills are now all-but obsolete. But not all of the marketing industry has kept up with the pace, shrinking the pool of up-to-date, modern candidates. Marketers with talent that is relevant right now are rare and go at a premium.
  • Smart marketers have unprecedented ability to prove their value, show what works and demonstrate the ROI they’re driving. As more tools, strategies and marketing disciplines have evolved around attribution and analytics, the industry’s best minds are able to show how they’re contributing to growing business. That grants them considerably better leverage when negotiating comp.
  • Smart companies are more receptive to these innovations and hungry for any kind of talent that not only has the ability to improve their marketing the skills to prove it.

Updating Your Perspective

So how can you tell if your comp package is what’s holding back the future of your company?

One reliable, if inefficient, method is to judge candidates’ responses when you mention your range. If it’s consistently somewhere between silent judgement and outright laughter, that’s a good sign what you’re offering is outdated.

Of course, that could scare off your best applicants and damage your employment brand if they start spreading the word you are out of touch.

Take into account all the factors that contribute to a high-performing marketer’s decisions:

  • What is the growth potential of your company as a whole and the position in particular?
  • Is it located in a “hot” part of the country that people want to work in?
  • Will you be able to find the talent nearby, or relocate someone from out of town?

The answers to those questions will affect how you’ll need to adjust your offers.

Additionally, you can consult your professional network to evaluate how your comp range stacks up against others’,  or consult someone who works in a world with top marketing executives,  who understands what is happening in the market on a real-time basis (like, say marketing recruiters) to get a gauge.

Getting Your Money’s Worth

It’s true; you can’t expect someone with the experience, drive and skillset to thrive in today’s marketing environment to come cheap. But they’re well worth their weight in gold.

If you have a strong understanding of the personal and professional requirements to succeed in the role and hire accordingly, then you should have no problem seeing great returns.

If your ability to fill an essential role is being held back by a few percentage points of salary or benefits details, then the marketers you need will go to someone who has that flexibility and help them get a competitive edge instead. Is that what’s holding back your future? Make sure you have a realistic idea of the value of an experienced, proven marketer or risk getting left behind.

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