Digital marketers earn more than traditional direct counterparts: report

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Digital marketers have higher average salaries than those specializing in offline channels, said executive recruitment firm Crandall Associates this week.

The burgeoning online channel has produced positions for which executives can “write their own ticket,” said Wendy Weber, president of Crandall Associates.

For example, SEO managers have starting salaries ranging from $52,000 to $64,000 per year. The survey's highest listed salary for the position is $131,000.

“Good SEO specialists are few in number and are in high demand,” said Weber. “Their value is quantifiable. So as long as somebody comes with a track record of success, companies would be hard-pressed to put a ceiling on what value that position has.”

The same can be said for e-commerce directors, whose starting salaries begin from a range of $89,000 to $99,000 annually. The highest reported salary in the survey for this position is $193,000 per year.

Crandall's 2011 Direct and Interactive Marketing National Salary Guide and 2011 Online and Interactive Marketing National Salary Guide, both released February 23, reveal the salary range and highest reported salary for more than 50 direct and interactive marketing positions. The firm determined the salary guidelines by surveying employers, conducting interviews with employees and analyzing information from discussions with job seekers. Weber said the firm spoke with more than 1,000 marketers for each survey.

Starting salaries for advertising creative directors ranged from $88,000 to $101,000, with the top salary reported at $265,000. Interactive creative directors earned about the same amount, but the top figure only reached $180,000. The report found that starting salaries for creative directors at catalogs fell between $62,000 and $77,000 annually. The top reported salary for that position was $150,000.

“We're seeing less pure-play offline direct mail positions,” said Weber. “That used to be a standard position within any direct marketing organization. With the exception of very large organizations with very high mail volumes, the positions are being enveloped into the marketing manager title.”

The report did not include the social media manager position. Weber predicted that most companies will add this position in coming years. Crandall also did not list salary guidelines for company presidents. Weber said there are too many factors to consider regarding pay for that position, adding, “We know presidents that make $150,000 and we know presidents that make more than $1 million.”

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