Marketing Planning

What Does A Marketing Manager Earn For A Salary?

As one of the biggest departments in many companies, there are hundreds of thousands of marketing managers in the United States alone. As with any job, it’s hard to know if this…

Estimated Read Time:  5 minutes


As one of the biggest departments in many companies, there are hundreds of thousands of marketing managers in the United States alone. As with any job, it’s hard to know if this career path is right for you or if your salary is fair if you don’t know what a standard marketing manager salary is, to begin with! While it can depend on the size of the company, your education and a variety of other factors that we will talk about later, the range of salaries is relatively large.

What is a Marketing Manager?

The role of the marketing manager is incredibly vast and depending on the hierarchy of a company the day-to-day tasks that they will perform can differ greatly. However, in the majority of cases, the marketing manager is responsible for a team of marketers who they will lead. As a marketing manager, your goal is to please everybody, from the CEO and board of directors to potential customers and suppliers.

Huge decisions will pass through you, including pricing new products or services and deciding on important choices like new graphics and potential marketing techniques like Search Engine Optimization. But there is also the proactive side, which will involve reading reports, reacting to a changing market and reviewing the work of your team.

Overall, a marketing manager must wear many hats, and they must be competent in all of them. Typically you will have worked in marketing for many years before becoming a manager, and therefore you will be fluent in PR, off-line marketing, digital channels, company SEO and PPC. But to become a competent manager you’ll need to learn to step back, lead your team and let them be as creative as possible.

The Typical Marketing Manager Salary

The average marketing manager salary is about $62,650 per year, and this will depend on a variety of factors that we’ll discuss shortly. This figure is skewed downwards relatively heavily by the overwhelming number of small companies and startups who will often pay employees in stock options or will hire less experienced employees.

It’s not uncommon for marketing managers to make over $100,000, especially if they are working for a national or multi-national corporation and have years of experience. The title marketing manager is relatively broad, and they could either manage tens or hundreds of employees, or they could be the only marketing employee which is why the salary can vary.

What is a Marketing Director?

A marketing director is usually senior to a marketing manager and in most cases will be the most senior middle management position. The marketing director will have a team of marketing managers and usually report up to a VP or CMO who is at the executive level rather than in middle management.

The marketing director is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entire marketing department and is still in the trenches when compared to VP’s and CMO’s. For this reason, this role is often better suited to individuals who love marketing and who have less interest in executive management and the very different responsibilities that come with it.

A marketing director will usually have a decade or more of experience in marketing, having managed multiple teams they will be capable of delegating and making decisions quickly. Directors often spend large amounts of time in meetings and reviewing reports, rather than coming up with new ideas or creating designs.

The Typical Marketing Director Salary

On average a marketing director will make $83,258 each year although this number can be far higher in larger companies, especially when bonuses are included in the final figure. The marketing director is incredibly important to any business and will be responsible for the performance of the entire department and the marketing of the company.

Again, many small companies and startups use the title marketing director even when there are relatively few employees, which can skew this salary figure downwards. Similarly, the term director is sometimes used interchangeably with VP or Junior VP and therefore the responsibilities and salary can vary depending on the company and industry.

What Affects Pay and Salary?

The salary of a marketing manager and marketing director can vary greatly, as we’ve already discussed, but why is this the case?

  1. Talent and skill. Employees are often paid depending on their performance, and therefore more skillful workers will be headhunted by rival companies and therefore paid higher salaries for the same work. If you have a successful track record of improving the profitability of your company and successfully adjusting branding, you might be rewarded far higher than other managers, even if you have fewer years in the industry.
  2. As with many corporate positions, employees are sometimes paid different salaries depending on their level of education. The reasoning behind this is that my educated employees will have specialized knowledge and therefore can bring greater value to the firm.
  3. Marketing managers in rural Texas are likely to make less than half of what an employee with the same title might make in NYC or Downtown LA. The reason for this is because companies try to pay their employees a salary that allows them to live at a comparable level regardless of where they live.
  4. If you’re a marketing manager for a residential cleaning company, it’s likely that you make less than a marketing manager for an oil, gas or technology firm. The reason for this is complicated and is likely more to do with higher profit firms hiring more talented employees, rather than industries choosing to pay more than another for an arbitrary reason.

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