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The rise of digital marketing has been accelerating over the years, but never has it seen as much growth as it has this past 12 months.

With the whole of the UK having to adapt quickly to new digital processes and remote working, the need to perfect and advance digital tactics has become essential to business success. 

Now more than ever, it is important for marketing professionals to deliver campaigns that effectively drive growth, engagement, and return on investment.

Like many other industries, the marketing and creative sector took a huge hit at the start of the pandemic. Marketing strategies and budgets were instantly put under scrutiny, reviewed, revised and, in a lot of cases, cut substantially. Businesses have had to reduce their headcount and marketing teams have had to pull together to manage additional responsibilities.

Areas of growth in the marketing and creative sector

Digital marketing is no longer seen as a specialist skill, but an expectation of any strong marketer.

Influencer marketing, customer experience, digital and paid search, data science and analytics, and performance marketing are just some of the areas that are becoming stand-alone roles, as opposed to a skill set within generalist marketing positions.

There are likely going to be more opportunities for digital marketing professionals in 2021, especially those with data and analytical skills, due to the world becoming almost entirely remote. Leveraging accurate and clean data is essential for personalisation and targeting marketing messages to the right audiences, which is needed to cut through the increased digital noise.

Marketing and creative salaries and benefits

We asked professionals in the industry what company benefits they find most attractive and found that greater holiday allowance was the most popular, followed by remote/flexible working. Marketing is an industry that requires new ideas, teamwork, and creativity – therefore opportunities to learn and develop new skills are also highly desirable to candidates.

These benefits do not negate the need for competitive salaries, however, so businesses should look at their whole package and ensure it stands out from the competition in order to attract and retain the top talent.

What salaries can you expect?

Reed’s 2021 Marketing & Creative Salary Guide allows you to benchmark the most popular roles in the industry across 12 UK sectors.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is home to a variety of marketing and creative companies and jobs, with over 25,000 people working in the creative industries or in creative occupations. They are recognised as one of the key economic drivers for future growth in the region. This can be illustrated by the 2.2% industry salary growth, which is more than five times the average UK marketing and creative average growth of just 0.4%.

Digital marketing managers have seen a 3.3% increase in salaries this year and can expect a salary of around £37,700. While we have seen a rise in digital marketing, content marketing managers have also experienced salary growth (4.2%). However, UI designers in the region have seen a 3.5% decline in salaries this year.

South East

Marketing and creative roles in the South East are in high demand. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a flood of candidates from London who want a new lifestyle. Many roles in the region have seen growth in salaries, such as marketing executives (3.7% growth), communications/PR executives (6.1%), and performance managers (7.1%).

Reflective of the increased importance of digital marketing, digital directors can anticipate an average salary of £79,300, while marketing directors can expect a salary of £73,900.

Yorkshire and Humberside

The region has not seen a decline or growth in average salaries this year, however, there are individual roles where pay has risen. PR managers can expect an average salary of £38,300, which has increased by 3.5% last year. In addition, UX designers have seen a rise of 6.2% and should now anticipate an average salary of £44,400.

For more information on what you could be earning, or the salaries you should be paying, download Reed's free Marketing & Sales 2024 Salary Guide. The guide contains insight and salary data for the industry across the UK and will help you make informed decisions in the year ahead.