2018 Marketing & Sales Support Salary Guide

Marketing and Sales Support salary guide 2018 for permanent and contract roles in London showing mixed demand but increased confidence in banking and fintech.

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Commentary on Marketing Roles and Remuneration in UK for 2018


2017 was a fantastic year for the London marketing, communications and sales support market overall - in the face of adversity with the political and regulatory challenges in the industry. Professionals in this industry showcased increased confidence overall with growing numbers of job seekers searching for roles throughout the year

There are a number of highlights as we review the statistics for 2017 compared to 2016, such as a staggering 51% growth in permanent job opportunities as a whole. Throughout the year we continued to experience growth in the banking and FinTech sectors. The Morgan McKinley marketing team had over 115 roles in banking, 132 in asset management and 54 in wider financial services. These roles were predominantly in FinTech, FX and payments companies. Within the commerce and industry sector, there were 27 roles on a contract basis. Contract roles overall did experience a decrease of 39% year on year as many positions moved from temporary to permanent. This reduced the need to replace interim staff, which made for a more challenging year for project work and interim opportunities.

In summary, the results for 2017 are in stark contrast compared to the activity in 2016 when uncertainty in the market was more prominent. This has changed the behaviour of hiring managers to react more effectively and efficiently to retain staff by extending contract workers and giving permanent staff members more responsibility. There has been a wealth of hiring due to headcount growth or internal promotions with the minority of new hires being as a result of replacing leavers.

Positive & negative news

Areas of marketing that have seen growth year on year include events, internal and external communications and business development support. Other roles that have been consistent year on year include copywriting and content management across all industries but notably within asset management. There was consistent demand for investment writers and RFP specialists, although salaries have not seen such steep increases as in previous years.

Jobseekers were more confident and willing to move for change, promotions and greater responsibility in 2017. There was a great variety of roles available which meant job seekers had options to choose from in their search, forcing employers to make quick decisions to secure the most in-demand talent. At the start of the year, more jobseekers received buy-backs and counter-offers, which always pose a threat to future employers. This seems to be  the trend for very niche skill sets and they have not been readily proposed when individuals have resigned.

Within digital marketing, there has been a growing demand for social media specialists and those with video production skills, with employers extending their search outside of the financial sphere to get the right skills for the job. Politically, with Brexit as the main focus, it still is ‘business as usual’ for employers within marketing. However, employers looking to attract EU residents to the UK, particularly for their language skills or geographical expertise, are struggling to relocate these individuals as they cannot contractually guarantee long-term job security.

Outside of financial services, there has been a steady increase in service-based marketing roles that have almost mirrored the finance sector, such as social media managers, video production specialists and public relations managers. That being said, many companies across technology and retail have ramped up their hiring in acquisition marketing, e-commerce, brand display and paid social as well as search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) positions.

With various regulatory and governmental changes, namely: MiFID II, the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ring fencing and structural reform. The financial services industry has had to adapt and change quickly and from a regulatory perspective many businesses have had to change the way that they market and communicate both internally and externally. The marketing sector overall and sub-disciplines have had to consider the way they produce campaigns and advertising to cater to new legislation and ever evolving online technologies.

Qualities and skills in demand

Marketing teams are growing the demand for a diverse range of language skills (particularly French and German), geographical expertise and global experience.

In financial services, in all areas except digital, the most valuable experience to employers is previous industry-specific exposure and in-depth knowledge of products and services. This is mainly to ensure people hit the ground running, they understand marketing within the context of their industry and to ensure they are continually competitive.

In digital, employers are more interested in creative experience, system knowledge and passion new and evolving technologies in an attempt to help their business stay one step ahead. Certain digital experience and skills in demand are for software and systems like SalesForce, Adobe Creative Suites, Google Analytics, Marketo, Hootsuite, SiteCore, and video production tools like Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere.

For marketing or communications specialists, individuals that showcase a willingness to learn and develop are key. Qualifications such as, CIM, CIPR (PR) or other journalist qualification and marketing degrees will definitely help a jobseeker but it is not necessarily the most important requirement. The Investment Management Certificate (IMC) or CFA qualification will help in more technical, product-centric roles in financial services like investment writing, bid proposal writing and sales support.

Evidence of having attended marketing courses outside of work including Google Analytics and Adwords will also enhance a jobseeker's profile, especially with clients in commerce and industry sectors. Digital marketers need a firm grasp of Google products as well as ad optimisation tools, automation software and knowledge of payment services platforms. Overall organisations want individuals with people mentoring or management experience to help in growing teams. Companies have been hiring marketers from the agency-side who are looking to move client-side, provided they have had exposure to their sector.

Outside of work

Outside of an individual’s job description, to achieve salary or day rate increases, it is easiest to negotiate when you have a business case to present. It is advisable to keep an updated portfolio of your achievements and return on investment (ROI) noted from the work you have done.  Maintain a positive and professional demeanour in your team and wider stakeholder network which will help you before you have an honest discussion with your manager.

Individuals that are self-starters, entrepreneurial, willing to be both tactical and strategic are most valuable. Hiring managers are looking for a return on their investment, therefore a well thought-out plan of action as to what you would offer in return for a rise in salary is advisable. In order to maintain an engaged, healthy, productive and motivated team, hiring managers should look to give their teams opportunities to progress or take ownership of projects outside of their job description. Other factors to consider are a flexible working environment, like providing the opportunity to work from home or simply permitting flexibility in working hours. Additional qualifications are highly valuable to staff so that they are well-equipped to add value to marketing, communications and sales support efforts. If businesses can offer sponsorship for further study or opportunities to go on secondments internally that will also contribute to a happy workforce.

Notable trends

One of the key topics companies continue to focus on is gender diversity. Within marketing, there tends to be a slightly different gender balance compared to other disciplines, with 62% of teams being women and 38% men. Male marketing specialists appear to take more roles in PR, communications and digital roles, whereas female marketing specialists tend to prefer channel marketing and event management roles.

Long gone are the traditional, formal and interrogative interviews - with the interviewer controlling the conversation. Interviews are progressing to more creative, informal and personality-focused interviews over coffees.  Furthermore, globalisation of talent means employers are more flexible, offering the use of video conferencing facilities, Skype calls or Google Chat to conduct initial interviews to consider top talent from all over the world.


Overall, 2017 was an exciting year for growth in marketing and communications, with a number of new hires across financial services and commerce sectors. It has been a busy year and we expect continued growth for 2018 as marketing grows higher on C-suite executives’ agendas.

Emma Greaves's picture
Senior Manager | Marketing, Communications & Sales Recruitment


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