The way companies evaluate and set salaries is evolving. Get the digital marketing salary trends business leaders and job seekers need as they plan for success.

2023: The candidate-driven job market isn’t over

Unemployment rates may be returning to pre-pandemic levels, but job candidates remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing where, when, and how they want to work in digital marketing.

The Great Resignation of 2021 saw 618,000 marketers leave their jobs. That restlessness continued into 2022, with 62% of marketers considering changing jobs and 24% actively looking for a new role.

2021 saw a 31% increase in the number of LinkedIn members in marketing roles who changed jobs.

With 92% of hiring managers saying they still face difficulties finding skilled talent, marketing leaders looking to grow their digital marketing teams in 2023 must be prepared to offer what top candidates are looking for. Explore the 2023 digital marketing salary guide, compensation benchmarks, and hiring trends you need to know to develop a winning recruitment and retention strategy—or attain your career goals.

Top 5 takeaways

1. The way businesses research and determine salaries is changing.

In an increasingly hybrid work environment, businesses now have to decide if salaries are based on HQ location, a worker’s location, or market trends. Your choice will impact your hiring success.

2. More companies are investing in and expanding in-house SEO skills.

A Conductor survey of marketers found that 59% of enterprise businesses have a dedicated SEO team, underlying business leaders’ prioritization of organic marketing resources as brands’ digital presence continues to take center stage.

3. Full-time and freelance digital marketing talent are in high demand.

Nearly 1.3M marketing jobs were posted to LinkedIn in 2021—a 374% increase YoY. This translates to a much more competitive hiring landscape for employers. As a result, searches for “freelance digital marketing” were up 313% in summer 2022 as hiring managers look for alternative, short-term talent solutions to fill critical talent gaps.

4. Hard times ahead for those hiring 100% on-site roles.

Today’s talent craves flexible work options. Our data shows a 650% increase in search volume for hybrid jobs and a 174% increase in search volume for remote jobs.

5. Employee engagement and company culture set enterprises apart.

Marketers are searching for an “inclusive work culture” (133% YoY increase) and a “healthy work life balance” (129% YoY increase) more often. An employee engagement strategy can help companies achieve both while attracting talent who view these as non-negotiables.

Download the full 2023 Salary Guide to dig deeper into these insights and gain access to exclusive salary data, hiring trends, and more.

Digital marketing team structures

Before we dive into digital marketing salary benchmarks, here are the best way to structure your marketing team for success in 2023. 

How many digital marketers does my business need?

The size of your digital marketing team will vary based on your company’s size. Compare your current headcount with the following headcount averages below to determine how many additional resources are needed. 

  • Start-ups: Often have 1 to 3 people doing all things digital marketing. They are likely to engage agencies and freelancers for support around specialized skill sets.
  • SMBs: Often have 5 to 12 people in various digital marketing roles while also engaging agencies and freelancers for support as needed.
  • Enterprises: Most commonly have 15 or more people dedicated to marketing, ranging from a CMO to managers, practitioners, and specialists. Enterprises collaborate with agencies and freelancers to scale as needed.

Key digital marketing roles 

Regardless of your company’s size, collaborating with thousands of global brands has shown us the importance of having an owner—or dedicated team—for the following marketing specialties to drive maximum ROI on your marketing spend.

Digital marketing

Responsible for developing and executing overall marketing strategies. Will maintain oversight over all campaigns and website content.

SEO

Responsible for monitoring search engine presence, visibility, and rankings, as well as developing keyword and organic marketing strategies that move your business closer to the top of search engine results pages for searches most relevant to your audience and business.

Content

Responsible for the entire content creation process, from ideation to execution, distribution, and ongoing evaluation. Includes oversight of blogs, emails, videos, eBooks, and other content.

PPC

Responsible for supervising, implementing, and tracking the results of paid digital ad campaigns on platforms such as Google Ads and on social media. 

Graphic design

Responsible for designing website content, digital ads, social media, and blog content in a way that engages audiences and promotes a company’s brand accurately and consistently.

Email marketing

Responsible for creating, executing, and measuring demand generation, sales enablement, and other email campaigns that engage prospects and deliver results.

Social media

Responsible for developing marketing strategies that promote brand awareness and increase engagement across multiple social media platforms.

SEO: Does it require a person or a team?

Is having one person responsible for SEO enough or is a fully realized team needed? Conductor’s survey of marketers in 2022 found that SEO is its own team 59% of the time at enterprise organizations. While 14% of marketers at enterprise organizations reported SEO is integrated with the content team in their organization, 19% said SEO sits with the IT team. 

The increase in organizations scaling their in-house SEO teams indicates the growing investment and prioritization of organic marketing from leadership. Coming out of the pandemic, brands realize their digital presence has to remain a priority to compete in the market.

Expect SEO to be one of the key growth areas within enterprise organizations and SMBs moving forward.

Where in Enterprise Organizations Does SEO Sit: Survey Responses Chart

National digital marketing salary guide compensation benchmarks for 2023

If you’re a hiring manager, how do you know what a competitive salary will look like for a social media strategist in 2023? If you’re a practitioner, how do you know that you’re getting a competitive offer for a graphic designer role from a potential employer?

To help you find an answer, we analyzed data from Payscale, LinkedIn, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Download the full 2023 Digital Marketing Salary Guide to access the full national average salary data for key digital marketing positions based on a candidate’s years of experience (early, mid, late).

Average salary range for marketing coordinator, digital marketing strategist, digital marketing manager, SEO specialist, SEO analyst, SEO manager

The impact of geographic location on digital marketing salaries 

Where can you find the highest SEO specialist salary, content creator salary, or other above-average pay rates? Despite fully remote roles on the rise, major metropolitan areas like New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle remain hiring hotspots that offer the most competitive salaries to digital marketers—at least for now. 

Companies looking to hire talent in these regions in 2023 will need to adjust compensation offers accordingly to net the most experienced talent. To better understand how these hotspots impact salary ranges, we analyzed the average salaries for three of the most in-demand roles by specialty across the top 10 hiring hubs in the U.S. Download the 2023 Salary Guide to see the results.

Map Showing Average Salaries For Top Marketing Roles Across the U.S.

Digital marketing managers in San Francisco make nearly 31% more than the national average.

Digital marketing hiring trends

If you’re seeking digital marketing talent, you want to know how surging demand will impact your candidate search. If you’re a job seeker, you want to know which roles offer the best opportunities, and which skills you’ll need to secure the job you want. Let’s look at the overall market.

Demand (and competition) for digital marketing talent is on the rise for 2023

Skilled digital marketing talent continues to be in high demand. More than 1.3M marketing jobs were posted to LinkedIn in 2021, accounting for an enormous 374% YoY growth. This is great news for job seekers heading into 2023, but employers will have to work harder and make offers more attractive to win over candidates who are likely to receive multiple offers.

Employers having trouble filling mid to senior-level digital marketing roles are not alone. Global talent shortages across all industries have reached a 16-year-high, with 3 in 4 employers reporting difficulty in finding the talent they need, according to the 2022 Global Talent Shortage report from ManpowerGroup.

The good news is that, while demand for digital marketing talent is rising, more workers are seeking digital marketing jobs than ever before. Digital marketing ranks as one of the top 3 skills American workers learned in 2022.

According to Conductor data, year-over-year search volume is up across the board for most digital marketing job titles—proving that talent is out there and looking for the right opportunity:

Table of the search volume increase YoY in digital marketing and SEO job searches

Hiring freelancers? You’re not alone. Searches for “freelance digital marketing” were up 313% in summer 2022

  • Translation: Demand for outsourced digital marketing talent is growing rapidly, making it that much harder for organizations to stay agile and scale as needed without securing full-time talent.

Learn how to attract and retain top marketing talent in 2023

The recruitment and retention strategies organizations embraced pre-pandemic have changed. Some benefits, such as remote work and better work-life balance, remain in high demand from a talent perspective, while others are leveling off. 

What talent wants: The benefits job seekers value most 

It’s a given that employees seek jobs that offer them a robust benefits package. But in 2023, the specific benefits you offer will play an even greater role in your ability to recruit and retain experienced digital marketers.

Here’s why: Searches for “best employee benefits” increased by 650% YoY.

Specifically, our research showed increases in marketers seeking “companies with unlimited PTO” (up 190% YoY) and a “pet friendly office” (up 57% YoY)

Download the 2023 Salary Guide for a deeper dive into the latest digital marketing benefits trends to help inform your benefits packages and attract today’s most sought-after talent.

93% of organizations surveyed by SHRM offer a telemedicine or telehealth benefit to their workers, a 20% increase from 2019.

Can AI help you recruit talent? See what search engine data reveals about HR automation trends in our B2B SaaS Market Leaders & Tech Trends 2022 report.

How to retain top digital marketing talent in 2023

The late Peter Drucker, a respected management consultant and educator, once said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Nowhere has that statement held more truth than it does going into 2023.

A company’s culture is the deciding factor between those that retain their most talented digital marketers and those that don’t.

Conductor search data confirms this, showing an 85% YoY increase in searches for “employee engagement in the workplace.” Search trends also help to identify the specific aspects of corporate culture that appeal most to potential hires. The top item on digital marketers’ minds: an inclusive work culture (up 133% YoY). Followed closely by “healthy work life balance” (up 129% YoY).

Discover the top reasons Gen Z and Millennials chose to work for the current organization to learn what these generations prioritize most from employers by downloading the full 2023 Salary Guide.

Top Reasons Millennials And Gen Z Work For Their Employers

On-site vs. remote: Is the 100% on-site digital marketing job dead?

Elon Musk made big news earlier this year when he told all Tesla workers to return to the office full-time or resign, sparking a big debate: what will the future of work look like? Is remote here to stay, or is a return to fully on-site workforces coming?

Clearly, on-site digital marketing roles haven’t gone away entirely. But with today’s employees prioritizing opportunities that provide flexible work options, it will be increasingly difficult for employers with 100% in-office roles to compete for talent.

64% of the workforce would consider finding a new job if they were required to return to the office full-time.

LinkedIn’s survey of global marketing leaders revealed:

  • A 121% increase in remote job share in North America from 2020 to 2021
  • An 83% increase in jobs mentioning “flexibility” from 2020 to 2021

Conductor data shows that search interest in “remote jobs” grew even stronger in January 2022 as more companies began implementing hybrid or fully on-site requirements. For complete access to the search trend analysis and the difference in MSV between remote jobs and hybrid jobs, download the 2023 Salary Guide now.

Chart Showing Search Volume Interest for Remote Jobs Over the Last 5 Years

Plan your 2023 hiring budgets or job search with confidence

With the number of U.S. marketing jobs expected to grow 10% by 2030, job seekers can expect plenty of opportunities, while hiring managers will face intense competition to hire experienced talent.

Download the 2023 Digital Marketing Salary Guide & Hiring Trends Report for access to:

  • Exclusive salary range benchmark data
  • In-depth hiring trend research
  • Additional recruiting trends and retention strategies
  • And more