Survey finds it pays to be an online marketing specialist

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Despite today's multichannel world, in certain companies it pays to be an online marketing specialist.

This was a key finding from, "2007 National Salary Guide: Direct and Interactive Marketing," published by Crandall Associates Inc., an executive recruiting firm. The yearly guide also discusses salary ranges for a variety of positions in direct and interactive marketing.

"Perhaps the only channel in which it is currently desirable to be a specialist is in online marketing," said Wendy Crandall Weber, president of Crandall Associates, Port Washington, NY. "There, we see some companies incorporating online marketing under the umbrella of the marketing function and others breaking out online marketing by specialty, such as search engine optimization specialist, e-mail marketing specialist and Web site manger."

Ms. Weber said the salary ranges for specialized online positions also vary more widely than in traditional direct marketing.

"This may be a function of how large the company is, how extensive the online marking channel is utilized, and the expected financial return the company places in online marketing efforts," she said.

For example, although the guide presents an on-average salary for each position, an SEO specialist may be paid $45,000 in one company and $85,000 in another. In the first company, with one Web site, the position may be at a fairly junior level, such as a liaison with an online agency, Ms. Weber said, while in the second company, the position may require sophisticated knowledge of keyword phrases, site analysis or text writing for a company with 15 Web sites.

Salaries in the survey were determined by discussions with employers nationwide, from presidents to personnel officers, in companies varying in locale, sales and number of employees. In general, Ms. Weber said the salary ranges for all of the positions have not changed much from last year's survey. The full 2007 report, with 72 job descriptions, can be ordered online.

Despite the desirability to be an online marketing specialist, Ms. Weber said this year's guide reflects the importance for companies to take a multichannel marketing approach.

"In a trend that has been developing for quite some time, we no longer encounter companies that utilize a single channel approach," she said. "Virtually all catalogs have an e-commerce Web site... and even more traditional direct marketers such as financial institutions are utilizing e-marketing, even if only for retention."

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