Beyond Money: First BMA Salary Survey Reflects Industry in Transition

January 17, 2013

Al Maag, chief communications officer-Avnet, initiated the first Business Marketing Association salary survey while he was serving as national chairman of the BMA. More than 530 industry professionals participated in the online survey. They shared information about their pay, their ambitions and their satisfaction with their current job roles. The results paint a picture not just of our pay stubs, but also of an industry in flux.

"The majority of the people who answered the survey were experienced," Maag says. "That reflects the membership of BMA. Those folks seem to be getting raises—and good raises."

In 2011, about 65% of respondents saw their paychecks grow, and 62%received bonuses, according to the survey. Respondents earned an average total compensation of $119,450. Company officers and vice presidents reported about twice the income of staff.

Respondents had a positive outlook for 2012. More than 60% expected to earn more than they had in the previous year. The average expectation for the increase rang in at almost 8%.

Moreover, 40%of respondents felt that their companies would be expanding operations. "The economy is getting better and opening opportunities for people to try new things," says Eduardo Conrado, national chair-BMA, who last week was named senior VP-marketing and IT at Motorola Solutions.

About 17% of respondents indicated that they were seeking new positions. More than 20% said they were considering a new job search, and more than 70% felt that their current positions would be secure.

That new confidence and the signs of improved mobility come as good news, because the survey indicated that current job satisfaction could use a boost. Less than one-third of respondents said they felt committed to their organizations. Staff members reported higher levels of commitment than their superiors did.

BMA members who viewed the report spoke with Buzz about market factors that could be influencing the numbers. They also shared insights to help organizations engage their employees.

"You're seeing an industry in transition," says Kathy Button Bell, VP and CMO-Emerson. "[People in the industry are] being asked to do five times what [they] used to do."

Industry veterans have seen significant change, she says. Marketing professionals are picking up new responsibilities. They may be gathering customer insights for research and development, for example, or developing sales enablement tools. Complex vehicles for corporate engagement have replaced the simple company newsletter. Mobile and web technologies require increased fluidity with technology.

"The salary report is a reflection of all of the new tasks," she says.

The economy also contributed to the unrest, says Gary Slack, chairman of integrated communications agency Slack and Co. "A lot of people stayed in jobs that they didn't like during the recession. The numbers don't reflect dissatisfaction with the profession but with the current role. A lot of people think they should be further along in terms of title, career and compensation."

People also may have stayed in positions that they had outgrown because they wanted job security, says Greg Vigil, VP-marketing and commercial services for Gates Corp. He oversees a tenured staff and found it challenging to recruit new talent during the downturn. "They are afraid to be the last guy into the company. If there are layoffs or job reductions, they become the first out."

Vigil works actively with his existing staff to build job satisfaction. "You have to engage them and let them pick projects," he says. "We've done team-building events and morale-building activities. We also help them set their own agenda as much as possible."

Creating an environment that engages employees and delivers job satisfaction is critical to the growth of a company, says Randall Rozin, global director-brand management and marketing communications for Dow Corning Corp.

He advises managers to be clear about the company's strategy and brand message and to link each employee's role to that strategy. "Helping employees see the connection between what they do every day and their impact on corporate strategy and on delivery of brand promises goes a long way [toward] creating a more engaged workforce. No job is too small to make this connection."

The BMA will be seeking input for its second survey later this year. The survey will become an annual feature. It will provide a snapshot of earnings, engagement and employment trends in the business marketing industry.


"Beyond Money: First BMA Salary Survey Reflects Industry in Transition."  BMA Buzz. 1/17/13.