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Oct 23, 2003

Salary Trends in Direct Response Marketing Revealed

SUMMARY: Every year, thousands of marketers use Crandall Associates' famous annual Salary Guide to kick their bosses into giving them a raise, or to decide when it's time to move on.

We called Crandall's President Wendy Weber to find out if wages are moving upwards, and which types of marketers are the best paid... (Yes, story includes a link to get your Guide at no cost).
For the past several decades, thousands of marketers have used their copies of Crandall Associates' famous annual Salary Guide to kick their bosses into giving them a raise, or to decide when it's time to move on.

We called Crandall's President Wendy Weber to find out if wages are moving upwards, and which types of marketers are the best paid…

-> Salary trends

"Database directors are far and away the most highly compensated sector," Weber says, with salaries ranging from 117K to 142K. "That's actually a wider than average range than other positions we survey."

On the other hand, salaries for catalog copywriters have seen better growth, but were more modest to begin with. Copywriters with four-seven years of experience can expect to earn between 43K-55.8K.

Internet marketing managers with less experience (one to three years) have received only modest increases, while more experienced managers have enjoyed more substantial increases. Their salaries range from 73.8K to 97.6K.

Add 20% to that base if you're looking in a major city, Weber suggests. Take away 5% for smaller markets.

-> Sexism and salaries - good news

According to Weber, the salary schism between men and women barely exists anymore in the direct response profession.

"This is a subject dear to my heart," she says. "I did a study on women in DM in the mid-80s, and only about 20% of women felt that their salaries were lower than men. I think that's because direct response is a quantifiable job. You can measure results, and salaries are commensurate with response rates."

-> Interviews and salary negotiations

With the job market still recovering, not much is negotiable, says Weber.

"These days the employer is still holding most of the cards. Employers don't feel they need to offer so much because there are so many qualified candidates. It'll change, the tide will turn back. But right now it's still a buyer's market."

That also means that employers expect more of candidates. "They can demand more than they could in the late 90s," she says. Enhance your professionalism by dressing the part. "The days of walking into an interview in khakis are over."

If you're interviewing, go back to the basics, she suggests: sit up straight, make eye contact, ask relevant questions, and wear your best suit.

One area that may be still be negotiable is relocation costs. "Employers in remote areas plan on paying at least some portion of relocation cost. In major metropolitan areas, they may expect that they can get a good candidate within their area. But in Jacksonville, Florida, they may expect to pay," she says.

Companies may also expect to pay for relocation if they have very specific requirements: for example, if they're looking for someone fluent in a second language or familiar with a specialized market such as motorcycles or quilting.

-> Industries and categories with more jobs

The financial category has been heating up, says Weber: banking, insurance, mortgage. Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are also hiring.

Weber has also seen a lot of merchandising positions opening up.

The Do Not Call registry has already had ramifications. "We are definitely seeing skittishness on outbound centers," says Weber. "They're not staffing up to the extent that inbound centers are. But those that are doing customer service or taking orders are still flourishing."

-> A final word

If you're offered a job, don't ask for too much time to think about it. By the time you go on an interview, the decision should already have been made, Weber says. "If the job is what the employer described and the salary was what was discussed, saying yes should only be a formality."

Overnight should be plenty of time, unless a relocation is involved. In that case, you can ask for a couple of days.

"It's insulting to ask for two weeks," says Weber. "It says that the candidate is holding out for a better offer."

FYI: Weber's contact info for you
Wendy Weber
Crandall Associates, Inc.
114 East 32nd Street Ste. 919
New York, NY 10016

Note: The Salary Guide mentioned above is complimentary if you put your info on file at Crandall, otherwise, you'll need to pay:
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