Insight: Digital Greenlight research finds marketers feel overworked and underpaid

Marketers in the UK feel overworked and underpaid, according to new research commissioned by Greenlight Digital, an independent digital agency. The research reveals that digital marketers are working eight extra hours every week on average, with almost half (46%) of digital marketers feeling overworked and nearly a third (30%) feeling underpaid.

Greenlight commissioned the survey of 218 full and part-time digital marketing professionals to assess the current state of the industry. The 41 Hour Report looks at what pressures digital marketers face during the average week and what emerging trends could impact the industry over the next few years.

Gender pay gap persists as men receive higher salaries

Greenlight found that nine out of ten (88.5%) digital marketers work full-time, with the average digital marketer working 41 hours per week, despite being contracted to work just 33 hours weekly. Digital marketers take home around £46,573 per year on average, however men earn more on average and are more likely to receive a bonus than women.

On average men earn almost a tenth (9.5%) more than women, taking home £48,025 per annum, versus £43,864 for women. Around half (48%) of men in digital marketing earn more than the average, compared to just 31% of women. While 47% of digital marketers received a bonus in the last 12 months, this appears to be unevenly split; 54% of men received a bonus, compared to just 35% of women.

Digital marketers feel overwhelmingly positive about role

Despite feeling overworked and underpaid, more than four-fifths (84%) of digital marketers feel positive about their current role, while two-fifths (40%) feel very positive. Of those that feel positive, 41% said that they feel inspired while 40% are passionate about digital marketing. A further 38% said they are pleased because their role is understood, while 31% enjoy receiving recognition from their team.

Less than one in twenty (3.7%) marketers feel negative about their role, with just 0.5% feeling very negative. The key contributors to this negativity appears to be: a lack of inspiration (39%), a lack of tools (30%), and a lack of understanding or recognition by colleagues (27%). Greenlight found that one in four (26%) digital marketers feel unsupported by colleagues, while almost one in five (17%) said that they do not receive enough support from C-level executives.


Half of digital marketers find it difficult to secure budget

A lack of budget appears to be a key source of frustration for many digital marketers. Over half (56%) said that they find it difficult to secure the budget they need, while almost a third (32%) struggle to prove ROI to their bosses. Other frustrations include difficulty in hiring top digital marketing talent (31%) and trouble identifying the right technologies to invest in (23%), amidst so much hype and conflicting reports.

Commenting on the research, Andreas Pouros, COO and co-founder at Greenlight, said: “From tackling the latest technologies and platforms, to learning new skills and terminology, digital marketers face fresh challenges every day. While many thrive off this rapidly changing and innovative environment, our research suggests that digital marketers would like more recognition for the contribution they make. However, with almost one in three marketers struggling to prove ROI, this challenge is likely to persist. If digital marketers are to command the attention of C-level executives and secure a greater proportion of marketing spend to drive growth, the industry must get better at justifying and measuring investment in tools and talent, particularly when experimenting with new or unproven technologies and platforms.”

The 41 Hour Report examines the UK’s digital marketing landscape, assessing the emerging trends and developments that are impacting marketers today and are likely to have an impact in the future.

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