Tech marketing salaries revealed: What companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter pay employees, from creative directors to managers


Technology giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb have only increased their dominance in recent years thanks to their ability to change consumer behaviors and, in some cases, create entirely new industries.

One thing all these names have in common is a heavy reliance on marketing. Amazon overtook Procter & Gamble to become the world's top advertiser in early 2020.

Consequently, tech companies are top destinations for marketing talent at a time when ad agencies have shed thousands of jobs. And while they offer competitive pay, with an account manager at Twitter making around the same amount as an Omnicom employee in a similar role, the lack of $550,000 account lead or $880,000 chief creative officer jobs hints at a new sort of ad economy in which the traditional players no longer serve as gatekeepers.

These companies have not been immune to the effects of the coronavirus. Airbnb and Uber took major hits as travel declined, and Google will see its ad revenue decline for the first time ever. Yet they continue to dominate their respective industries and some — like Amazon and Microsoft — look to emerge even stronger and employ more people than before the pandemic.

The biggest tech companies also hire considerably more international talent than those in many other industries due to both their size and their need for people with unique skills. All are required to file paperwork for each visa-holding employee, including his or her title and salary, with the federal government. The US Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification releases this information every quarter.

The Department of Labor uses these numbers, which include "prevailing wages," or the minimum companies are required to pay for the jobs in question, to protect US employees' wages and prevent educated immigrant labor from being exploited.

Business Insider chose some of the most recognizable and influential tech companies by ad spend, revenue, and market share and analyzed the latest available data on permanent green cards and temporary H-1B, H1B1, and E-3 visas to compile a portrait of what they pay employees in marketing roles.

These numbers don't include every type of visa or any form of compensation beyond base salary.

Spokespeople for all the companies included in this story either declined to comment or did not respond to related requests.

Airbnb paid a global search engine marketing lead $250,000

Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-founder of Airbnb, listens to a question as he speaks to the Economic Club of New York at a luncheon at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. March 13, 2017.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.
Mike Segar/Reuters

Airbnb's business was decimated by the pandemic as travel came to an abrupt halt around the world, and in March the company suspended all marketing expenses as part of an attempt to save $800 million.

But the company still filed for its IPO in August after raising an additional $2 billion as the short-term rental market began to rebound, though its estimated valuation dropped from $26 billion to $18 billion. 

And while the company rarely runs big-budget broadcast ad campaigns, The Information reported in late 2019 that its marketing and sales budget had increased significantly in anticipation of going public, even as its losses doubled in the first quarter of that year.

Airbnb is still one of the hottest companies in the world, and it continues to pay marketing executives very well more than two years after the departure of its former CMO Jonathan Mildenhall, who has not yet been replaced. 

Some current salaries:

  • Growth marketing manager, marketing technology: $150,000
  • Creative director, growth and traffic: $215,000
  • Global search engine marketing lead: $250,000
  • Director, marketing financial planning and analysis: $280,000

Amazon paid a creative services specialist $118,500

Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Getty Images

Amazon was well positioned to benefit from the pandemic. The company's year-over-year profits doubled in the second quarter thanks to consumers shopping from home and stocking up on essential products, though it also said it would spend $4 billion on what CEO Jeff Bezos described as coronavirus-related expenses.

As a result of this boom, Bezos' personal net worth has also doubled to more than $200 billion.

Bezos said Amazon created 125,000 full-time jobs from March to July. Most were for warehouse workers, and a majority of the 5,700 visas Amazon received in the most recent quarter went to engineers and developers. 

But Amazon also became the largest advertiser in the world earlier this year and hired abroad for some top marketing jobs. These salaries offer a glimpse into the growing influence of disparate products such as Amazon's creative services team, its ad sales platform, and its gaming service Twitch:

  • Senior product marketing manager, Twitch Prime Live: $91,100
  • Marketing specialist: $95,000
  • Ads account manager: $100,000
  • Creative services specialist: $118,500
  • Performance marketing sales analyst: $128,800
  • Marketing specialist: $134,400
  • Ad sales representative: $141,930
  • Manager, ads account management: $143,300
  • Senior marketing and field enablement operations manager: $185,000

Apple paid a creative director $300,000

Tim Cook WWDC 2020
Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Apple

Unlike most brands, Apple has its own dedicated ad agency in Omnicom's TBWA\Media Arts Lab, which handles most of its advertising. The company regularly gets attention for its cinematic campaigns, but stopped disclosing its ad budget to investors in 2016 and dramatically decreased digital marketing spend in 2019.

Still, a number of the more than 3,500 visas that Apple received in the most recent quarter were for marketing jobs, from in-house creative directors and designers to content and communications managers.

The company also recently expanded its search ad service beyond the App Store, and its revenue increased slightly in the first quarter of 2020 thanks to the enduring popularity of the iPhone despite significant setbacks in both supply chain and consumer demand.

These are salaries and salary ranges within Apple's marketing department:

  • Junior art director: $92,000
  • Associate creative director, design: $152,800
  • UX designer: $162,000
  • Marcom art director: $170,000
  • Public relations manager: $174,000
  • Brand content manager: $175,000
  • Producer, director: $202,600
  • Art director: $176,600 to $229,300
  • Marketing manager: $240,000
  • Associate creative director: $252,000
  • Design director: $290,000
  • Creative director: $300,000
  • Ad platform sales director: $202,600 to $324,200

Facebook paid a Latin America agency director $330,000

mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Charles Platiau/Reuters

Facebook's marketing team is in flux with its CMO Antonio Lucio stepping down, but it still remains one of the biggest tech marketers. 

Of the nearly 5,000 visas Facebook received in the most recent quarter, dozens were for jobs related to creative services, ad agency relations, and monetization of Facebook's various products.

While it wasn't always a big spender, Facebook has considerably increased its ad investment over the years to rebuild consumer trust after a spate of controversies regarding privacy and misinformation on the platform. The company spent $9.8 billion on marketing and sales in 2019 versus $7.8 billion in 2018, per its 2019 annual report, and even ran its first Super Bowl commercial this year.

Here's a selection from the approved visa applications that Facebook made on behalf of its marketing team:

  • Marketing manager: $123,000
  • SMB marketing manager: $128,152
  • Creative strategist: $133,902
  • Communications planning manager: $138,354
  • Growth marketing analyst: $146,000
  • Marketing researcher: $154,000
  • Partnerships marketing communications manager: $164,322
  • Product marketing manager, gaming monetization: $174,000
  • Marketing science partner: $195,000
  • Creative strategist: $180,000 to $200,000
  • Product marketing lead: $203,102
  • Team lead, partner management: $197,434 to $217,434
  • Marketing research manager: $230,318 to $250,318
  • Agency director, Latin America: $330,000

Google paid a director of product marketing $315,000

Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Yves Herman/Reuters

In a stark illustration of  the pandemic's effects on the business world, eMarketer predicted that Google's US ad revenue would drop by about 5.3% in 2020, its first-ever annual decline. CEO Sundar Pichai told investors on the company's first quarter earnings call that business had already started to slow, and in an April memo to employees he said Google would reduce hiring in many areas for the remainder of the year, including "non business essential marketing and travel."

Yet the company will remain the single largest player in the digital ad world, and it also received more visas in the most recent quarter than any other company on this list at nearly 11,000, quite a few of which were for international talent in marketing roles. 

These are salaries and ranges from across the company's marketing division:

  • Associate product marketing manager: $101,000
  • Marketing associate: $104,000
  • Marketing events manager: $123,900
  • Product marketing manager: $133,000
  • Marketing analyst: $144,000
  • Agency business development lead: $150,000
  • Marketing and analytics lead: $156,000
  • Product marketing manager: $164,000
  • Creative technologist: $191,000
  • Account marketing manager: $201,000
  • Creative lead: $260,000
  • Creative director: $290,000
  • Director, product marketing management: $315,000

LinkedIn paid a product marketing group manager between $186,989 and $238,000

Ryan Roslansky
LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky.
Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for LinkedIn

Microsoft acquired the jobs-focused social network in 2016, but it continues to operate nearly independently, as Digiday recently reported.

Still, the platform continues to evolve into a robust business with its registered user base growing from 400 million people in December 2016 to 706 million people as of July 2020, and its revenue growing by 10% year-over-year in the most recent quarter. 

Here's a range of what it pays its marketers: 

  • Associate digital marketing manager: $109,554 to $116,000
  • Marketing operations analyst: $135,000 to $150,900
  • Product marketing manager, field transformation: $102,000 to $159,000
  • Product marketing manager: $124,315 to $159,000
  • Senior digital marketing manager: $138,606 to $202,000
  • Group manager, product marketing: $186,989 to $238,000

Microsoft paid a business development manager $240,000

Satya Nadella Microsoft
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Reuters

Microsoft, like Amazon, has proven resilient during the pandemic, thanks in large part to the increased use of Teams and CEO Satya Nadella's focus on its cloud business. Software is still Microsoft's core product, as reflected by the fact that most of the 6,500-plus visas the company received in the last quarter were for programming and engineering jobs.

But Microsoft's ad spend has remained more consistent than some of its competitors during the downturn thanks in part to a large campaign promoting Teams — and dozens of the aforementioned visas were for jobs in its vast marketing department.

These are salaries and salary ranges for Microsoft marketing positions, which include disparate pay for jobs with similar titles:

  • Product marketing manager: $118,000
  • Senior marketing communications manager: $125,500
  • Art director: $130,000
  • Communications manager: $130,000
  • Senior graphic designer: $157,000
  • Account technology strategist: $185,000
  • Group product marketing manager: $185,955
  • Channel marketing manager: $188,802
  • Business strategy manager: $190,000
  • Product marketing manager: $198,126
  • Business development manager: $240,000

Twitter paid a senior director of global growth and product marketing $347,000

Jack Dorsey
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

While Twitter too initially took a hit from the pandemic with the advertising landscape coming under pressure, the company buoyed itself with a surge in users, and more users engaging with its ads in the second quarter of 2020

Twitter's ad business remains significantly smaller than that of other household tech names, and it received around 360 visas in the most recent quarter.

But its marketing team will only have more work on its plate down the line as the company explores a subscription model and additional streams of revenue.

Here are some current salaries:

  • Client account manager: $94,806
  • Lead, marketing manager: $180,000
  • Communications director: $250,000
  • Senior director, global growth and product marketing: $347,000

Uber paid a senior marketing manager $185,000

Dara Khosrowshahi
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

After a major overhaul of its marketing function last year, Uber's marketing team seems to have found its footing under SVP of marketing and public affairs Jill Hazelbaker and her deputies Mike Strickman, who handles growth and performance marketing, and Google vet Thomas Ranese, who leads product and brand marketing.

While the company dukes it out with the state of California over a labor law that requires "gig economy" companies to reclassify their workers as actual employees on the one hand, its food delivery business has been booming on the other.

Here's a snapshot of how much the ride-hailing company paid for marketing roles:

  • CRM marketing specialist: $90,640
  • Senior marketing manager: $99,910
  • Market research manager: $113,531
  • Product marketing manager: $124,140
  • Senior performance marketing manager: $135,000
  • Senior creative operations manager: $155,736
  • Senior brand manager: $184,600
  • Senior marketing manager: $185,000