Industry Insights

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Marketing Research & Consumer Insights 2020 Salary Report Highlights

October 20, 2020

This post is a summary of our recently-released 2020 Burtch Works Study for Marketing Research Professionals, which examines compensation and demographic characteristics of over 750 research & insights professionals.Burtch Works’ insights on the hiring market and The Burtch Works Studies, which are comprehensive industry reports, have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, CNBC, Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, InformationWeek, and many more. Burtch Works has also been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Recruiting Firms for the past several years.

Marketing Research Salaries for Supplier- vs. Client-Side Professionals

Supplier-side: The median base salary of supplier-side researchers at level 1 is $70,000 and increases, based on job level, up to $180,000 for those at level 4. Most professionals on the supplier side are bonus eligible, and the median bonus target varies from $2,000 to $30,000 depending on specific job level.Client-side: Marketing researchers on the client-side typically earn higher base salaries, are more likely to be bonus eligible, and have larger bonus targets than those on the supplier-side. Client-side researchers at level 1 earn a median base salary of $85,000, which increases to $145,000 for those at level 3, and $217,500 at level 5. More than 80% of all client-side researchers are eligible to receive bonus pay. Those at level 1 have a median bonus target of $7,750 increasing to $61,675 for those at level 5.

Salary Changes from 2019 to 2020

Small shifts in salary among uncertain economic times: When compared to 2019 data, median base salaries at most job levels showed only small shifts. On the supplier-side, changes ranged from a 4% increase at level 1, a 2% increase for those at levels 2 and 3, and a <1% change for those at level 4.For client-side researchers, median salaries also remained fairly steady. Level 2 showed the largest change with a 4% decrease while levels 1, 4, and 5 showed small increases.You can download the full report for free here to find additional information including:

  • Base salary variations of marketing researchers, segmented by job level, working for both supplier- and client-side organizations.
  • The proportions eligible for a bonus, and the median and mean bonus targets.
  • How base salaries have changed since last year’s study.
  • How salaries of marketing researchers vary based on several characteristics including job level, industry, region, and education.
  • Distribution of marketing researchers broken down by years of experience.

It is important to note that a significant portion of this year’s sample was collected during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic uncertainty. We at Burtch Works are continually monitoring the trends to help us understand and predict the hiring market for marketing researchers.To learn more about the impact that COVID-19 is having on the marketing research hiring market, you can read this post where we share insights on the developing trends we’re seeing so far.You can also view our webinar recording which shares report highlights, COVID-19 research, and additional insights such as 8-year salary trends examined by job level.