To attract and retain the best marketing talent, you must offer an attractive salary; after all, better financial remuneration is still the number one reason most marketers switch jobs.
Working out the average marketing manager's salary in SaaS or any other industry takes some work.
There are a lot of different variables to consider, including responsibilities, experience, location, and even emerging market trends. This article explores what marketing managers can expect to earn and what factors could swing the salary up or down.
Marketing Managers Salary Analysis by Role
First, we must consider the different types of marketing manager jobs and what that means for salary expectations. Businesses differ. A large organization like Salesforce is likely to have a lot more marketing roles than a SaaS startup, but broadly, marketing manager roles fall within these categories:
Marketing Operations Manager
These marketers are responsible for setting up marketing operations such as CRM systems and ensuring they run perfectly. This usually requires technical skills and knowledge of specific marketing software.
Typical salaries for marketing operations managers range from $82,000 to $108,000 annually for a marketing operations manager at a large company like Oracle.
Product Marketing Manager
This is a crucial marketing role that involves marketing specific products for the business. You analyze the target market, create product messaging, create the go-to-market strategy, and ensure product-market fit with customers.
Typical salaries for product marketing managers range from $124,000 to $157,000 per year for a role in a large corporation like Adobe.
Brand Marketing Manager
This is typically a more general marketing role, covering the promotion of the company and product brand. This entails driving the brand marketing strategy, creating messaging about the business, and building brand presence and loyalty.
Typical salaries for brand marketing managers range from $65,000 to $97,000 annually for a brand marketing position at a business like Microsoft.
Demand Generation Manager
Similar to sales, this marketing role is focused on generating leads for SaaS products and driving customer acquisition.
Typical salaries for demand generation managers range from $90,000 to $115,000 per year at places like Hubspot.
Content Marketing Manager
These individuals create and deliver content strategies that build brand awareness, drive customer engagement, and help close deals.
Typical salaries for content marketing managers range from $69,000 for small companies to $84,000 per year for a content manager role at a large organization such as Workday.
Account-based Marketing Manager
ABM managers are responsible for devising and executing marketing strategies to build relationships with decision-makers for target clients.
Typical salaries for account-based marketing managers range from $83,000 at the lower end to $105,000 at a large tech business like Dropbox.
Growth Marketing Manager
Growth marketers are responsible for creating and implementing marketing strategies to acquire new customers and build market share.
Typical salaries for growth marketing managers range from $67,000 for small businesses and startups to $90,000 for larger firms like Shopify.
Top Paid Marketing Roles
Considering the factors of location, experience, and company size, senior marketing managers (with 5+ years of experience) based in business hubs like New York with large tech companies tend to secure the biggest salaries.
Of the different types of marketing roles, product marketing managers often tend to be better paid than some of their marketing colleagues because their role directly impacts the sales of a specific product - a Senior Product Marketing Manager in New York can earn up to a whopping $234,000 according to Salary.com.
Let’s look in more detail at how location and experience affect salaries.
Location Variations in Salaries
According to Salary.com, the average salary for a marketing manager in the United States is $117,270, typically ranging from $102,747 at the lower end and going up to $134,422 at the top end. But that’s quite an extensive salary range, so which marketing professionals are taking home the larger salaries?
Location is a big reason for this range.
According to Indeed, a marketing manager in San Francisco has an average base salary of $100,448 per year (increasing with experience and qualifications). In contrast, a marketing professional in New York will have an average base salary of $87,840 per year.
When you compare this with marketing professionals in London who earn an average base salary of £60,000/$75,000 per year, you can see that location does play a significant factor in remuneration.
These are base salary figures - a marketing manager needs to have the experience to get the big bucks.
Experience-Based Salary Breakdown
According to GlassDoor, entry-level marketing managers with less than two years of experience can expect to earn, on average, $50,000 to $65,000 per year, subject to location and company size.
A marketing manager with 3 - 5 years of experience can earn between $87,000 to $100,000 per year.
Once they hit senior level experience (typically 5+ years), they move into the 75th percentile of earners with an average salary of $138,000, increasing to $150,000 depending again on the company, location, and individual experience.
That’s excellent news for marketing managers - within only five working years, these marketing professionals can expect to move up the ranks of the marketing team to double their salaries.
Salary Benchmarking with other Tech Industries
So, how do these figures stack up across other industries, especially in the tech industry?
After all, a marketing role in a consumer tech business like Apple will involve very different responsibilities and pay scales to a marketing manager role at a cloud computing CRM business like Zoho CRM.
Again, salaries vary according to location and company size, but according to an industry survey, consumer tech is the best-paid sector for marketers. That’s because consumer tech marketing managers are often directly responsible for driving product sales and securing market share.
Consumer Tech Industry
Marketing managers at tech product companies (e.g., companies like Apple that create consumer tech like laptops) make, on average, $124,125.
Tech Infrastructure Industry
Marketing managers in the tech infrastructure industry (e.g., companies manufacturing networking hardware like Cisco) range from approximately $90,000 to $130,000 annually.
Tech Services Industry
In the technology services sector (e.g., businesses like IBM that provide a wide range of tech services like cybersecurity and cloud computing), a marketing manager can earn between $80,000 and $120,000 annually.
Marketing managers in the ecommerce industry for businesses such as Shopify and Amazon can expect to earn between $100,518 and $134,670 annually.
Comparing SaaS vs. Non-SaaS Marketing Salaries
As mentioned above, the average salary for a marketing manager in the US is $117,613, while marketing managers in the SaaS industry can earn around $135,457 annually.
To understand why SaaS marketing managers command slightly higher salary estimates than their non-SaaS marketing counterparts, we need to look more closely at what exactly SaaS marketing roles involve.
The SaaS business model is a recurring revenue model, and the marketing function is core to the model's success by acquiring new customers and minimizing customer churn.
In non-SaaS marketing roles, the marketing team doesn’t always play such a business-critical role, which is why SaaS marketing managers roles can often expect a higher salary.
Factors Influencing Marketing Manager Salaries in SaaS
Location and experience aren’t the only factors that impact what you’ll pay your SaaS marketing manager. It’s important not to overlook the impact of qualifications, company size, and even market trends - let’s look at these in more detail.
Impact of Market Trends and Economic Factors
Just like in any job, marketing roles are affected by market trends and the general economic environment. Market trends can take the form of new technology or new regulations, for example, the introduction of data protection laws in the US and Europe.
When the EU adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, it forced businesses to change how they used and stored consumer data.
Marketing professionals who had the skills to navigate these new changes were in high demand and were able to get better salaries as a result.
Another recent market trend affecting salaries is the rise of flexible working following the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses now offer flexible working arrangements or even fully remote positions, but a salary reduction often offsets these benefits.
Lastly, no industry is immune to the economic climate. During the financial crash of 2008, many businesses could not offer pay raises, and there was a slowdown in the job market, which meant salary growth stalled.
In recent years, as unemployment has dropped and demand for marketing expertise has increased, recruiters such as Freeman+Leonard have reported strong growth in recent marketing manager salaries.
The Role of Education and Certifications
Gaining industry certifications is a surefire way to increase your salary as a SaaS marketing manager.
The more demand for a particular skill set, the more likely it is to boost pay. For example, a Google ads certification can be invaluable for marketers who are responsible for digital advertising channels. Likewise, gaining a Salesforce Pardot Specialist Certification could increase pay if the business uses Salesforce.
It’s not just specific certifications; any further education relevant to the business can increase expertise and result in a higher salary. Joining communities for marketers is a great way to learn about the relevant certifications.
For example, I studied for a Chartered Institute of Marketing diploma (a UK qualification for marketing professionals). Once I had the diploma, I could apply for more senior marketing roles with higher salaries.
Reading marketing management books can also be a good way for marketing managers to boost their skills in various areas, from content and email marketing to public relations.
Company size will impact potential remuneration. Generally, the larger the business, the higher the earning potential. That’s because bigger firms usually have higher budgets and greater expectations of the marketing team.
A Marketing Manager at Salesforce, the world's largest enterprise software firm, can expect to earn over $159,000.
According to Glassdoor, a marketing manager at Hubspot, a publicly traded marketing software company, can make a yearly salary of around $244,279, clearly far above the general average. In comparison, marketing managers at smaller SaaS businesses or startups are far more likely to be paid at the lower end of the scale.
Future Outlook: Trends Shaping Marketing Manager Salaries
So what’s the outlook for Saas Marketing manager salaries? The answer lies in the emerging technologies shaping the SaaS industry.
Emerging Technologies and their Impact on Salaries
Marketing is constantly evolving. AI is an example of an emerging technology that is revolutionizing marketing processes, offering a chance for companies to create highly personalized marketing campaigns.
Marketing managers who know how to use this technology to acquire more customers will be in greater demand and able to secure better salaries.
Data analytics is another area that is increasingly crucial for all businesses, particularly SaaS businesses, which rely on vast amounts of data. Marketing managers skilled in analyzing and leveraging data to make strategic marketing decisions that boost customer acquisition and retention can expect to make a good salary.
Predictions from Industry Experts
Recruiter Robert Half argues that the outlook for marketing manager salaries is strong, forecasting that marketing managers in the industry will earn between $107,325 and $149,850 in their 2024 report.
A consistently competitive hiring market will drive these substantial salaries, with businesses investing in marketing expertise to drive growth. Being at the forefront of emerging trends like AI and data analytics will help marketing professionals secure the highest-paying roles.
Staying Ahead in the Evolving Landscape
By getting skilled in emerging marketing technologies and adapting to new trends, marketing specialists can secure the best opportunities and additional cash compensation.
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