What kind of marketer does your business need right now?
A run-of-the-mill, reasonably competent individual who can serve as a warm body in a chair and help you keep up the status quo? Or a dynamic innovator that’s on the cutting edge of strategy and technology, improves everything around them, and will help you grow your business, grab greater market share and drive better ROI?
And if your business is too focused on internal equity to see the value top talent provides, you fail to attract difference-making candidates for your marketing…
All other things equal, you’d almost certainly choose the second. But as with most things in life, there are other variables to consider. In this case, the one that holds most businesses back is the price tag.
Today’s job market allows proven, top marketing talent to expect top compensation. And if your business is too focused on internal equity to see the value top talent provides, you fail to attract difference-making candidates for your marketing or advertising executive search. They’ll be drawn to competitors who fully appreciate the difference A players provide and are willing to compensate accordingly.
How it Happens
When it’s time to hire a marketer (or most any role), one of the first places organizations will look to determine the budget for the new hire is average and median salary rates.
They’ll examine what others in their company in similar roles are making. They’ll check national and regional salary statistics and reports. They’ll (over)pay compensation consultants to tell them how to reduce what they pay for their most valuable resource. And they’ll use their findings to decide on a tight range to pay their new marketer.
This is an incredibly effective method as long as you’re content with mediocre-to-average marketing. But great marketing requires great marketers to lead and operate it. And those marketers will be working with businesses that have greater flexibility and a more realistic understanding of what they’re worth.
The State of Today’s Marketing Job Market
One reason companies struggle to offer competitive compensation to top marketing talent is because their perspective of the job market is outdated.
Even just a few years ago, marketing jobs were relatively hard to come by and companies had their pick of a long list of exceptional talent for their marketing team placements and advertising executive search. From entry-level to experienced veterans, marketing manpower and expertise was relatively cheap.
But as the economy has stabilized, organizations have found themselves scrambling to rebuild their marketing and remain relevant in a rapidly evolving digital era. A boom in demand for experienced marketing leaders and digital talent has not been matched by growth in supply, and salaries have risen considerably in most fields.
Between this dynamic job market and inflexible corporate policies, many businesses simply haven’t been able to keep up with what it takes to put game-changing talent in the driver’s seat of their growth.
How to Know You’re Getting the Best Bang for Your Buck
Yes, the best marketers at all levels are now going at a premium. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a good steward of your budget, either. It’s one thing to confidently invest into quality talent you know will deliver, and quite another to throw money at someone promising the moon and hope for the best.
It’s difficult to distinguish a good marketer and a great one, especially if the people in charge of hiring aren’t on the cutting edge of marketing themselves. What made a phenomenal marketer three or four years ago is much different from what characterizes one today.
It’s difficult to distinguish a good marketer and a great one, especially if the people in charge of hiring aren’t on the cutting edge of marketing themselves.
The cost of making the wrong hire is high; even more so if you take a risk and offer well above market average. It’s understandable why anyone would be way of committing extra resources to an individual that might not provide a proportionate return on investment. Yet settling for continued mediocrity is just as bad of an option.
So how can businesses be sure they’re getting the right marketers that will lead their company to sustained growth? They need to rely on their internal recruiters to get with the times when it comes to modern marketing or rely on an external marketing recruiter with daily experience finding top marketing talent to properly vet candidates and know what kind of salary to offer.