Marketing & Customer Relations Pros Salary Trends

Marketing & Customer Relations Pros Salary Trends

The Gist

  • Stagnant salaries. Salary trends and pay rates remain largely unchanged across marketing, customer service and engagement roles.
  • Data dominates. Marketing pros focused on data analytics continue to see strong, consistent salaries.
  • Remote resilience. Despite challenges, remote and hybrid working models prove successful for customer service roles.

Marketing, customer service and customer engagement professionals looking for a big payday may have to wait a bit, as pay increases for these professionals have dwindled since the start of the year and wages are now largely flat. Let’s look at what salary trend experts are saying about what’s going on for marketing and customer relations professionals. 

“For all three disciplines, pay rates remain fairly stagnant,” said Sean McLoughlin, vice president of operations at HireMinds. “The heightened wage growth of 2021–2022 has cooled off. According to the Indeed Hiring Lab, year-over-year salary growth has hovered at around 3% to 5%.”

Salary Trend: Marketing Pros With Data Focus Will Fare Best

Of three job areas — marketing, customer service and customer engagement or experience — marketing pros will fare the best over the remainder of 2023 when it comes to payroll, especially if the worker has the right job focus — customer data and the tools used to analyze and act on it.

“Within marketing, product marketing, analytics and demand generation roles continue to see strong, sticky salaries,” McLoughlin said. “Customer service positions have been more of a mixed bag. Companies that view customer service as a cost center vs. a revenue center have often slashed roles. This has depressed wages and we are seeing the lowest growth here.” 

Customer experience and engagement roles tend to be a mixed bag as well, McLoughlin said. “Similar to marketing, roles that are tied to sales or revenue growth continue to be in high demand. CX roles involving technical skills are also seeing resilient wage gains.” 

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Salary Trend: Pay Rates Will Level off for the Remainder of 2023

If one can call it “good news,” for all three disciplines, the expectation for the remainder of 2023 is that wage growth will stagnate and pay rates will level off, but not fall.

“We’re not seeing or hearing about any actual wage reductions at this time,” McLoughlin said. “Economic uncertainty is an over-used phrase, but there seems to be a lot of ‘wait and see’ attitude when it comes to the market. So far, the tech slowdown hasn’t affected other industries, but given the potential of more interest rate hikes, a confluence of factors could cool the job market further.”

For marketers, the expectation is that the pay and benefit trends of the first half of 2023 will repeat, McLoughlin explained.

According to the 2023 salary study by MarketingProfs, the median pay for a corporate chief marketing officer in 2023 is $175,500. Median pay for a vice president of marketing is $154,500. Median pay for a marketing manager is $85,000. Glassdoor pegs the annual salary for digital marketing pros at $57,000.

Flexible Work Bolsters Marketing, Customer CX Roles

For customer service professionals, the expectation is to see an emphasis on onsite work versus remote work. “I expect the same pay and benefit trends to continue regarding wage growth in 2023,” McLoughlin said. The pay site lists the median pay for a customer service representative as $37,400.

“Even for CX professionals, the same wage growth trends from the first half of the year will mostly likely extend to the second half of the year,” McLoughlin continued. “We’re seeing clients put an emphasis on either front line sales and renewal growth or technical skills, and we expect that specialization and optimization focus to continue.” Online employment marketplace site ZipRecruiter lists the median salary for a customer engagement specialist at $48,800.

On the bright side, the nation’s economy has remained strong, and as the market picks up gradually, marketing and customer engagement professionals can look forward to pay rates going up.

In the meantime, one of the immediate benefits for many marketing and customer engagement pros has been a more flexible work environment.

“In customer service, the overwhelming majority of employees are agents. This has not changed, and the number of agents worldwide has not changed significantly over the past couple of years,” said Max Ball, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. “COVID obviously drove huge changes with the move to a work-at-home model. Before COVID, only about 10% of agents worked at home and this was considered a significant perk for the best performing agents.”

It turned out that contact center employees can work well in a remote structure, Ball explained. The most common approach now is a hybrid structure where some agents work remotely — some coming in two or three days a week — and others come in every day since they do not have a good working environment at home.

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