Salaries within creative agencies are continuing to increase according to the latest Alternatives Group salary survey which is carried out in association with the Marketing Institute.
According to Alternatives, the Top 3 most lucrative average salaries in the agency sector are Head of Strategic Planning at €138,000, Creative Director at €132,000 and Chief Digital Officer at €108,000. Traditional agency roles such as Client Service Director at €89,000 and Head of Research at €82,500 remain well paid while Senior UX/UI Web Designers at €72,500 and Digital / Online Managers at €56,500 represent “new” agency roles, according to the survey.
The survey also notes that “with the introduction of digital strategy, data analytic skills, CRM expertise and in-house production facilities you can no longer definitively distinguish between agency services – what was a digital agency yesterday is now full TTL and what was a media planning and buying agency has now added data analytics and digital consultancy to its skillset.”
This is borne out by survey results with agencies now stating that they have responsibility for a number of differing services in addition to brand and communications. Over 50% state they have responsibility for business strategy, customer experience, digital and sales/lead generation for their clients. One third have responsibilities in data analytics and insights; 22% work on product management.
“And they are taking on all this extra responsibility with very small teams. Over 70% of the agency sector sill have teams of less than 10 reflecting the constant fragmentation of the marketing services sector (although 8% do have businesses with over 40+ employees),” according to Alternatives.
“The key trend within this sector from an employment perspective is the rise in freelancers across all disciplines. Previously the only area for freelance (contracting) workers was within the creative departments, however, now there is high demand for freelance account management, data analysts, digital strategists, UX/UI designers, content writers/ managers. This model reflects the ‘project’ based nature of a lot of this sectors’ work and enables the agencies to flex up and down on resources as clients’ needs also fluctuate. It also protects them from high resource overheads that has been the downfall of a number of agencies over the past decade or so.”
The Alternatives survey is now in its third year, according to Charley Stoney, group managing director. “With the marketing industry virtually back at full throttle, this third annual salary and sentiment survey by Alternatives Group and the Marketing Institute of Ireland casts a spotlight on the opportunities and issues facing employers and marketing professionals in 2016 and beyond.”
“With more than 1,000 marketers polled, it is the largest survey of its type in Ireland and – for the third year running – provides in-depth, reliable insights and benchmarks into the salaries & benefits, sentiment and strategic focus of the Irish marketing community. Marketing itself is evolving rapidly, taking on additional responsibility in the digital and customer arena and seeking to achieve real clout within organisations through greater boardroom representation” said Tom Trainor, Chief Executive, The Marketing Institute of Ireland.
As the providers of marketing creativity, strategy, planning and project management, this sector is under a lot of pressure to maintain thought leader status and lead the way for their clients. The traditional agency model has therefore undergone huge change over the past number of years as technology has enabled in-house solutions and online marketing has become an imperative.
However, it remains a buoyant and optimistic sector with 71% stating improved client sentiment compared to last year and over 90% predicting that trading conditions will remain the same, if not improve next year.