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Despite the residual signs of the economic recession in 2010, marketers have some reason to be optimistic: 53% of marketing professionals say their salaries have increased in 2010 from a year earlier, according to the annual salary survey from the American Marketing Association (AMA) and Aquent.

However, nearly two in five surveyed marketers (38%) say although their compensation has increased in 2010, that increase has been less than 10%.

Below, other findings from 2010 Trends in Marketing: Salaries, Strategies, and Beyond, by the AMA and Aquent.*

Concerns Over Meeting Goals

Along with compensation levels, marketing budgets have also edged up slightly: 38% of marketers say their 2010 budget is larger than it was last year; 30% say their budget has dropped below 2009 levels.

Still, many marketers are skeptical they can meet their 2010 marketing objectives: Only 16% strongly agree they have the necessary staff for meeting their organization's marketing objectives; 58% say they are unprepared given the resources they now have.

And only 15% of marketers strongly agree their teams are well-equipped to handle new trends and technologies that affect their business.

Confidence in general is also waning: Only 32% strongly agree their marketing strategy can make a positive financial contribution to their organization in 2010.

Marketing Strategy Trends

Social media and social networking were used by roughly half of all marketers in 2009 and that level is increasing in 2010: 80% of marketers say they will increase their focus on social channels in 2010—and nearly two-thirds (64%) plan to use mobile media.

Marketers expect to devote fewer resources to many traditional media vehicles in 2010, as follows:

  • Newspaper advertising: 34%
  • Consumer magazines: 30%
  • Radio: 25%
  • Trade magazines: 24%
  • Television: 22%

Compensation, Benefits, and Perks

Six out of ten marketers (60%) say 401(k) contributions, or something similar, are part of their compensation package—the single most common component outside of base salary (95%).

Despite difficult times, 44% marketers say they received an end-of-year bonus and 40% count a cell phone as part of their organization's compensation plan.

Some 26% say they have a telecommuting arrangement.

Flextime Top-Rated Perk for Job Satisfaction

Adding flexibility to the work environment via flextime was rated as the perk that would have the greatest positive impact on job satisfaction: Nearly one-half of marketers rated it so.

Another 31% of marketers cited "clear opportunities for advancement" as the single most important element driving job their satisfaction.

That component is even more important to those age 30 and younger: 40% of such marketers say advancement opportunities are the biggest driver of their job satisfaction, outside of compensation.

Professional Development Tools

Webinars are the most popular resource for professional development in the marketing community: 50% of marketers say they attended live webinars in 2009, and 29% took part in a pre-recorded, on-demand webinar.

Association websites are also a popular source of marketing information: 48% used such sites to educate themselves in 2009, followed by whitepapers (35%) and online videos (30%).

Other findings:

  • In 2009, salary freezes were in place at over half of all marketing organizations, and 26% of marketers reported a lower salary in 2009 than the previous year, with many reporting a drop in overall compensation greater than 10%.
  • The hardest hit marketers in 2009 most often worked for the smallest organizations (less than $1 million in revenue): Such marketers were nearly twice as likely to report a 2009 drop in salary of 10% or more; however, they are also the most likely to report an increase in compensation of 10% or more in 2010.
  • Across all sizes of organizations, senior level marketing leaders were the most likely to report large drops (10% or higher) in 2009 compensation and large expected gains for 2010.

*The Aquent/AMA survey results can be accessed via an interactive tool that lets marketers choose a job position and a geographical location across the nation to find out what people are earning.

About the data: Findings are from a survey of 5,298 marketing professionals, ranging from senior-level executives to entry-level marketers, from companies of various sizes and industries. The survey was conducted from April 13 to May 17, 2010 by Inavero for Aquent and the American Marketing Association (AMA).

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