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The 2015/2016 Strategist Survey Report

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The heinously late, slightly curtailed survey results from the marketing strategy community.

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The 2015/2016 Strategist Survey Report

  1. 1. 201 2016 strategist survey 5
  2. 2. imma let you finish… but first, a few things from the strategy community
  3. 3. Siftly is a new site, created by one of our own: Frank Striefler. It’s designed to streamline the hiring process for strategists. If you want to work in an agency or consultancy and you want to see all the available jobs, you can set up a quick profile on Siftly and receive notices of job openings that match your specifications, straight to your inbox.
  4. 4. The survey team’s own, Willem van der Horst, has started a fantastic podcast and newsletter. Head over to icecreamforeveryone.net to take part. Check out interviews with Cindy Gallop, Heidi Hackemer, and many more. Paul Savaiano is the new Head of Strategy for TAXI New York (congrats, Paul!). He’s always open to talking with nice smarties, such as yourself. He’s also working on a tool to help people embrace their biases and is looking for a fellow maker to collaborate on it. If this is interesting, send a message to paul.savaiano@gmail.com.
  5. 5. It’s my survey, I can push books if I want to. There have been some great ones published since the last survey. Make sure you’re keeping up. Thisonewaswrittenbyagirl. Ew,gross.
  6. 6. table of contents 7welcome 12 20 16 who took the survey sources of inspiration top findings 23us salary details 38uk salary details
  7. 7. welcome from heather Hello Strategist Friends, Welcome to the 9th edition of the survey. Well, let’s start with a disclosure that this report is not as complete as it’s been in years past. We have tried making changes over the years to both learn new things about our tribe as well as save our small, all-volunteer team time in analysis. We haven’t figured out how to make it easy just yet. If there’s something missing that you were hoping to see, I personally apologize. Since we last met, some countries and organizations (Sweden, Canada, VCU Brand Center) have started their own surveys which is great because they can more easily tailor their questions to— and chase completes from—their local community. Let’s keep doing this - UK, Brazil, you need your own surveys. I’m happy to help whoever hears this call. As for me, henceforth I will be exploring polling. Fewer questions, more often. If the salary knowledge is what gets you hot and bothered, consider this your call to take that on.
  8. 8. When I first started working, I wanted to be head of the department. I admired and looked up to my bosses. I was driven to learn, and as I did the job, it got more enjoyable. I traveled all over and once I got to that level, I finally…what? Did I really expect a job to satisfy me? Today, I find I most admire Faris and Rosie Yakob: friends of mine who created Genius Steals, a strategy consultancy that has no offices or home base. I admire Heidi Hackemer: a friend who started another consultancy, Wolf & Wilhelmine, with the express purpose of doing great work while having a life. These are people who are paying attention to what they read on all those open tabs: countless studies demonstrating that we can be far more productive working in more humane ways. I was just in New York and was fortunate enough to meet Cindy Gallop and receive an hour’s long pep talk to start my own business and create what I wish existed. While I don’t know what that is yet, in a month, my husband and I are putting our things in storage and switching to living nomadically. If I could be of some help on a freelance basis, I’d love to travel to you and work with you while I figure things out. If you want to start a business with me, let’s talk about that, too. Rosie, Faris, Heidi - they can’t be the only ones. I’d love to know about, and write about, more people who are changing the industry specifically to be more humane. Please be in touch.
  9. 9. A message from me would not be complete without at least one semi-crazy idea. Remember, semi-crazy is in my DNA and it does tend to work out for me, whether it’s asking people to tell me their salaries or asking people if I can live and work with them. So here’s the idea: Maybe you caught the recent New Yorker article about co-living spaces on the rise in the US? Basically these are adult dorms. One called Common, had over 1,000 applications for their first eighteen rooms! So far, they are all designed as an alternative to the random, found-on-Craigslist roommate. None are designed around a theme. Wouldn’t it be interesting to found a co-living space for strategists? Or only women in the biz? Or people looking to start a business who don’t have an idea or co- founders yet? Who knows what sort of group it will be, but if the idea of having me as your house-leader/mentor/RA-type in New York, LA, San Fran, or Portland is at all interesting to you, please get in touch. Because I’m interested in living with you. Here’s that article: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/16/the-rise-of-the-co-living-startup
  10. 10. Oh yeah, the survey. Here’s the skinny: Participation is up 45% Are we planners or are we strategists is as useful a question as are we humans or are we dancers. This year we recast the survey as The Strategist Survey and we saw participation increase 45% over the 2013/2014 edition (the last time we fielded the survey). While that seems to be good news on the surface, a lot of the increase came from the US and we saw Brazil participation cut in half. Are strategists leaving the communications industry? Yes, but not in numbers large enough to compare salaries with those still in communications services. We also made a change in how we collect data in an attempt to minimize the massive volume of work that we put in to analyze your salaries: We made salary a closed-ended question if you’ll recall. And in so doing, we made the ceiling too low. If you make over $300K USD (or the equivalent) you will not find granular details on salary. But hey, you’re making bank and clearly you know how to advocate for yourself!
  11. 11. A final thought… as I travel around the world and meet with so many of you who do similar work, I see a rift developing between those who have left agencies and those who haven’t. The way I see it, we are better strategists because we are working for all types of companies on all sorts of strategic challenges. We will be better off if we can see ourselves as one community. A community that shares with and learns from each other. Good strategy inspires more good strategy. If you’re waiting for an invitation, consider this yours: Feel free to design ways for us to connect. To work smarter. To share more. You see, I have a soft-spot for you. I know a lot of you. You’re more capable than you realize. And now back to our regularly scheduled survey results. Love, Heather
  12. 12. who took the survey? This time 2,556 strategists participated from around the world. While that’s a hefty 45% more than the 1,776 who took it last time, unfortunately that doesn’t mean we have large pools of people from the same country we can analyze. ,55 USA n=1,008 Brazil n=137 UK n=294 Germany n=89 Canada n=88 Australia n=85 46% 1 14% 5 6% 14 4% 1 4% 2 4% 3 Netherlands n=54 3% 1 Spain n=46 2% 4 France n=44 2% 2
  13. 13. 45% are female 55% are male This is a total switch from the last report when we had 56% female
  14. 14. 21% are expats 79% are in their home country This is 4 points higher than last time. Yay for trying new countries!
  15. 15. we lean toward communications Our goal this time around was to include strategists of all types. Because we get calls from all sorts of companies trying to hire us, we wondered if this was an indicator of an exodus out of agencies. While the scale hasn’t tipped away from agencies entirely, we were intrigued to find a quarter of our respondents working outside of communications services firms. If you are growing brands outside of the agency industrial complex (as we affectionately call it), you’re not alone. Communications Services Started own consultancy Freelance Brand Marketing Business Growth Services Primary Research 76% 6% 5% 5% 4% 1% 1% Unemployed 2%Teacher/Student/ Intern Last edition we had 35 people who identified as unemployed. This time we have a mere 27 people. From our perspective, we’d likely label ourselves as freelancers before choosing to be labeled unemployed. But as you dig into the results and see that freelancers are getting quite a lot of work, it’s comforting to know that if you want work in this industry, it’s out there.
  16. 16. what kind of strategist are you? Brand Strategist is the moniker we like best: 69% of us chose it as our type. But we let you pick more than one, and we saw a lot of overlap. Brand Creative Communications Digital Business Technology Social Media Content 69% 58% 48% 38% 26% 24% 19% 9%
  17. 17. 45% are ‘somewhat likely’ or ‘very likely’ to switch jobs in the next year That’s almost half of your colleagues. Or your team. 30% have been laid off/ made redundant one or more times 35% of us have already changed jobs in the last 12 months 40% want to leave or have already left the agency world altogether
  18. 18. 95% have less than 20 years of experience Where do all the OG’s with their experience go?
  19. 19. wild card question do you consider yourself a growth hacker? Those who do say, why not? Those who don’t feel it’s just another term du’jour. 37% said ‘Yes’ 37% said ‘No’ 26% said ‘I don’t know’ We’ve read the book and some articles and it does seem like a lot of what we do has simply been recast to be more palatable for the startup scene…
  20. 20. sources of inspiration We asked for the one place you get inspiration that no one knows about. the most obvious the most fun Psychedelics, weed WARC, PSFK, Brain Pickings, The Account Planning group on Facebook, Iconoculture, springwise.com, slideshare.net Podcasts came up a lot. These specifically: Hidden Brain, Invisibilia, This American Life, Brain Matters, 99% Invisible, Planet Money, The Digital Human, On the Media the most auditory the most functional A lot of really helpful tools were offered up: The Noun Project (downloadable icons of almost EVERYTHING), unsplash.com (free high-res photos), iconosquare.com (Instagram analytics), Google Scholar the oldest a 1974 JWT guide to planning, the Bible
  21. 21. sources of inspiration (cont.) most likely already in your feed the most magazine-likeEntertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, Esquire Magazine, Wired Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Bloomberg Business Week, Harvard Business Review, New Scientist Magazine eConsultancy, The Next Web, TED talks Science Fiction, Comedy shows, Form a group of friends who don’t work in advertising the most like having a real life the most plannery MartinWeigel.org, juniorstrategy.com, Openstrate.gy
  22. 22. sources of inspiration (cont.) Davos - Not sure if this person meant the city in Switzerland or the Game of Thrones character Steven Johnson’s books Stumbleupon SXSW CNN.com - to remind me what America sees/reads The Alpine Review - an ad-free, independent magazine that puts the present into long-term perspective Kinfolk Magazine The Skimm (for writing style, they add) stratechery.com Journal of Personality and Social Psychology motherboard.vice.com Sub-Reddit: Shower Thoughts insitum.com aeroli.to - another innovation firm pemberleydigital.com - innovative web video production company Working once a month as an assistant in a job I’ve never done before Do Lectures Facebook affinity groups (moms group, makeup group, etc.) tvtropes.org - for thinking about archetypes John Oliver mymodernmet.com - a mixture of different art + inspiring stories Dezeen Magazine - architecture and design Indiegogo and Kickstarter as a measure of innovation Trivia nights I talk to my hairdresser and get her to ask her clients questions for me Benedict Evan’s mailing list Slack group by responsive.org Fraggl 99u.com - magazine, events and books for creative people digitaltonto.com - the blog of Greg Satell marketingritson.com - the site of professor and consultant Mark Ritson knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu producthunt.com - curation of the best new products And a mix of everything that might prove useful else since you lot can find inspiration in all sorts of places.
  23. 23. u.s. salary details
  24. 24. assistantstrategist(usa) 59 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $70,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 26 8 25 UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY $53,947 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 1.6 3.1 $46,050 $38,053 1.5 2.6 1.4 2.4 $32,000 SMALL MEDIUM LARGE $48,500 $42,192 $36,000 1.7 4.2 1.6 2.9 1.3 1.5 $60,000 $49,875 $41,333 2 3.3 1.4 2.1 1 1.3 $55,000 $48,730 $42,000 1.6 3.1 1.3 2.5 1.3 2
  25. 25. strategist(usa) 169 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $175,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 65 36 25 UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY $89,772 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 4.6 8.2 $67,614 $48,821 3.2 5.7 2.1 3.7 $38,000 SMALL MEDIUM LARGE $85,545 $69,904 $46,523 5.4 9.5 3.5 6.4 2 3.8 $97,000 $73,083 $49,250 4.5 8.8 3.4 6.2 2.6 3.9 $86,869 $67,223 $50,363 4 7 2.8 4.8 2 3.5
  26. 26. seniorstrategist(usa) 136 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $200,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 48 28 60 UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY $121,261 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 6.5 8.8 $96,842 $73,044 5.6 8 4.6 6.9 $49,000 SMALL MEDIUM LARGE $114,687 $92,425 $68,533 6.9 9.3 5.7 8.8 4.5 7.7 $126,666 $103,392 $82,400 5.8 8 6 7.9 5 6.7 $121,904 $97,258 $72,800 5.8 7.9 5.2 7.3 4.6 6
  27. 27. associatedirector(usa) 38 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $190,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 14 9 15 UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY $152,867 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 8.7 11.3 $122,488 $91,929 7.1 10.3 5.2 9 $70,000 SMALL MEDIUM LARGE $141,666 $112,187 $84,666 7.1 11 6.2 10.3 4.5 7.6 $157.500 $131,666 $107,000 9 13.5 8.7 11.8 7.5 9.5 $163,000 $127,055 $97,833 9.3 11.9 7.3 9.5 5.2 8
  28. 28. director(usa) 166 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $255,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 40 33 93 UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY$180,075 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 9.4 12.9 $144,044 $108,472 8.5 11.6 6.8 9.7 $70,000 SMALL MEDIUM LARGE $173,785 $138,700 $99,153 9.5 14.3 8.8 12.1 7 9.3 $198,333 $152,900 $118,545 12.8 15.2 9.6 12.3 9 10.7 $178,851 $143,460 $110,354 8.3 12.5 7.9 11 6.5 9.3
  29. 29. groupdirector(usa) 88 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $300,000+ MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 10 22 56 UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY$254,083 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 13 17.6 $192,083 $137,138 12 16.6 11.5 16.8 $77,000 SMALL MEDIUM LARGE $221,666 $181,700 $140,666 12.3 15.3 15.1 17.7 11 14.6 $223,875 $183,818 $142,571 11.8 13.8 11.4 16.5 9.6 18.3 $263,933 $197,576 $133,555 13.2 17 11.8 16.6 15.3 10.4
  30. 30. headofdepartment(usa) 71 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $300,000+ MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 27 18 26 UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY$286,818 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 14 19.5 $214,435 $145,826 12.9 18.7 11.2 17.7 $100,000 SMALL MEDIUM LARGE $255,555 $214,434 $121,125 15.5 17.5 12.9 18.7 13 23.1 $289,285 $223,888 $159,166 15.3 19.9 11.8 15.9 8.6 12 $291,250 $234,520 $167,875 12.1 18.8 13.2 20 11 19.4
  31. 31. globaldirector(usa) 9 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $300,000+ MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY$287,667 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 15.6 26 $243,111 $180,000 12.8 18.2 10.6 13.6 $135,000
  32. 32. chiefstrategyofficer(usa) 36 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $300,000+ MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 16 17 UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY$299,583 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 15.6 19.4 $234,529 $140,364 13.7 19.3 11.4 17.3 $90,000 SMALL LARGE $279,166 $197,750 $119,000 14.3 19.3 12.5 17.9 8.4 15 $300,000+ $260,666 $198,000 15.8 20.8 14.8 21.5 12.2 19.2
  33. 33. ceo/president/md(usa) 11 TOTAL RESPONDENTS $300,000+ MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY$300,000+ MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 21 27 $223,182 $128,333 18.9 30 13.7 34.3 $90,000 Ten of these 11 participants run small companies. And this is the first time we see 30+ years of experience.
  34. 34. freelancerates(usa) 8 AVERAGE SALARY ASST. STRATEGISTS + STRATEGISTS $143,167 SR. STRATEGISTS AVERAGE % DESIRE TO BE BOOKED AVERAGE % ACTUALLY BOOKED53% 53% $8,500$483 AVERAGE DAY RATE AVERAGE MONTHLY RATE 11 AVERAGE SALARY $128,636 AVERAGE % DESIRE TO BE BOOKED AVERAGE % ACTUALLY BOOKED65% 60% $8,464$943 AVERAGE DAY RATE AVERAGE MONTHLY RATE ASSOC. DIRECTORS + DIRECTORS 14 AVERAGE SALARY $118,231 AVERAGE % DESIRE TO BE BOOKED AVERAGE % ACTUALLY BOOKED65% 72% $13,077$796 AVERAGE DAY RATE AVERAGE MONTHLY RATE
  35. 35. freelancerates(usa) DEPARTMENT HEADS + CEO/PRES/MD 6 AVERAGE SALARY $169,667 AVERAGE % DESIRE TO BE BOOKED AVERAGE % ACTUALLY BOOKED73% 70% $22,500$1317 AVERAGE DAY RATE AVERAGE MONTHLY RATE GLOBAL, GROUP, AND REGIONAL DIRECTORS 6 AVERAGE SALARY $161,500 AVERAGE % DESIRE TO BE BOOKED AVERAGE % ACTUALLY BOOKED65% 75% $32,000$1,617 AVERAGE DAY RATE AVERAGE MONTHLY RATE
  36. 36. gendercomparison(usa) 40 20 YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING AVERAGE SALARY ASST. STRATEGIST $45,425 1.6 2.8 $46,894 1.6 2.6 STRATEGIST SR. STRATEGIST ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FEMALES MALES DIRECTOR 94 $67,404 3.7 6.3 66 $69,378 3.5 6.2 97 $97,451 5.8 8.7 37 $96,594 5.6 8.4 21 $121,105 7.3 11.2 25 $124,826 6.1 8.8 84 $137,617 8.7 11.3 76 $151,500 8.5 12.3
  37. 37. gendercomparison(usa) GROUP DIRECTOR HEAD OF DEPARTMENT GLOBAL DIRECTOR CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER 32 52 YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING AVERAGE SALARY $188,900 12.6 17.4 $192,720 11.7 16.1 FEMALES MALES 31 $216,967 14 19.4 37 $206,944 11.8 17.8 4 $233,750 12 19.2 4 $241,250 12 15 9 $223,125 12.1 18 23 $244,565 14.4 19.4 Mot interesting is the shift in participation as we look at the more senior roles. There is large representation of females among younger strategists, then male participation overtakes. There was only 1 female CEO participant compared to 10 males.
  38. 38. u.k. salary details
  39. 39. assistantstrategist(uk) 14 TOTAL RESPONDENTS £28,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY £27,667 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 2 2.7 £26,250 < £25,000 1.4 2 1.7 2 < £25,000
  40. 40. strategist(uk) 79 TOTAL RESPONDENTS £105,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY £61,100 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 3.9 9.2 £39,829 £27,000 3.3 6.2 2.5 3.8 < £25,000
  41. 41. seniorstrategist(uk) 29 TOTAL RESPONDENTS £92,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY £76,857 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 7.7 14 £55,966 £34,429 5.7 11 3.3 6 £26,000
  42. 42. associatedirector(uk) 12 TOTAL RESPONDENTS £86,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY £83,333 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 14.7 16.7 £54,750 £33,333 6.8 11.1 3.3 7.3 £28,000
  43. 43. director(uk) 36 TOTAL RESPONDENTS £145,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY£114,556 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 15.3 21.6 £86,389 £60,000 9.3 14.1 5.8 11.4 £47,000
  44. 44. headofdepartment(uk) 38 TOTAL RESPONDENTS £175,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY£136,600 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 14.9 18.2 £98,211 £60,800 12.5 18 9.1 15.7 £45,000
  45. 45. chiefstrategyofficer(uk) 11 TOTAL RESPONDENTS £250,000 MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP UPPER QUARTER LOWER QUARTER AVERAGE YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING ANNUAL SALARY£227,333 MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY IN GROUP 22.7 25 £154,909 £74,000 19.2 22.5 15.3 20 £40,000
  46. 46. gendercomparison(uk) 11 3 YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING AVERAGE SALARY ASST. STRATEGIST £25,909 1.5 2.3 <£25,000 1.3 1.6 STRATEGIST SR. STRATEGIST ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FEMALES MALES DIRECTOR 35 £36,886 3 6.4 44 £41,535 3.5 6.1 10 £57,500 5.6 11.3 19 £55,158 5.7 10.3 4 £51,500 4.8 12.8 8 £56,375 7.9 10.3 11 £78,455 8.6 11.9 26 £89,880 9.3 14.8
  47. 47. gendercomparison(uk) HEAD OF DEPARTMENT 8 28 YEARS IN STRATEGY YEARS WORKING AVERAGE SALARY £93,375 17.3 20.6 £99,821 10.7 17 FEMALES MALES
  48. 48. the team This report was made possible by generous contributions of limited spare time from these awesome people: Megan Averell Heather LeFevre Paul Savaiano Julia Lee Sam Chotiner- Gardner Emma Brooks Willem van der Horst Bori Toth Jon Evoy
  49. 49. 201 2016 strategist survey 5 thank you for playing

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