What brands like Nike, Expedia and Mondelez pay marketing employees

Christel Deskins

Top brands in consumer goods industries like apparel, packaged goods, and fast food continue to support the global ad ecosystem, even as traditional media outlets lose ground to online platforms. These companies remain top destinations for marketing professionals, especially as ad agencies shed thousands of jobs — and they recruit […]

  • Top brands in consumer goods industries like apparel, packaged goods, and fast food continue to support the global ad ecosystem, even as traditional media outlets lose ground to online platforms.
  • These companies remain top destinations for marketing professionals, especially as ad agencies shed thousands of jobs — and they recruit people from around the world.
  • Business Insider analyzed the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s most recent quarterly disclosure data for the biggest US advertisers to reveal what they pay their marketing employees.
  • Salaries range from $95,181 for a marketing project manager at Adidas to $600,000 for a chief marketing officer at Mondelez.
  • Subscribe to Business Insider to read the full story.

The media and advertising ecosystem has changed dramatically in recent years as consumers spend more time online, eroding the influence of formerly dominant media outlets like broadcast television networks.

But big brands still spend billions each year to promote their products across an increasingly complex array of platforms. And they pay their employees competitively at a time when ad agencies have shed thousands of jobs due to the pandemic and brands are taking more of their marketing in-house.

Like agencies, brands hire talent from around the world to fill top marketing jobs, and they’re required to list base salary rates when filing paperwork on behalf of all employees who received visas. The US Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification releases that data every quarter.

The brands in this story appear on AdAge’s index of America’s top 200 advertisers or are prominent brands in their industries and received visas for marketing jobs during the most recent quarter. The top spenders in some industries, such as auto and insurance, did not have relevant salaries in the visa data.

The salaries and ranges listed are based on “prevailing wages,” or the minimum pay required for the jobs in question. The Department of Labor uses these numbers to prevent international and domestic professionals from being exploited.

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

Apparel: Nike paid a global brand director $155,965 and The Gap paid a visual director up to $240,100

John Donahoe

Nike chairman and CEO John Donahoe.

Getty Images

Top apparel advertisers Adidas, Nike, and Puma have been negatively affected by the pandemic, with Nike’s total revenue down 38%, Adidas’s net sales down 19%, and Puma’s net profit down 61.6% year-on-year in the first quarter. 

But as the economy starts opening up, the industry has started to bounce back. Strong online sales helped The Gap offset a blow to its revenue in the most recent quarter, when year-over-year revenue fell about 18% to $3.28 billion.

With malls and stores opening again, retailers added 258,000 jobs in July, according to the Labor Department — offsetting job cuts announced by some national chains.

Here’s how some top apparel companies pay their marketing employees:


  • Senior manager, strategic marketing project management: $95,181

The Gap

  • Manager, search engine marketing: $116,792 to $125,00
  • Director, brand visual: $189,613 to $240,100


  • Manager, brand innovation: $95,181
  • Director, global brand communication: $142,408
  • Direct merchandising manager: $145,933 to $154,170
  • Global brand director: $155,965
  • Innovation insights expert: $164,450
  • Senior product manager, digital marketing data and analytics: $165,000


  • Head of brand creative, women’s: $145,933 to $155,000

Fast food: Burger King paid a senior digital marketing manager $140,000 

Fernando Machado   Burger King

Burger King CMO Fernando Machado.

Burger King

The restaurant industry is another that’s been debilitated by the pandemic, and is expected to lose $240 billion in sales in 2020 as a result. But transactions are slowly recovering, according to data from the NPD Group, with bigger fast food chains recovering faster than the rest of the industry, according to Bank of America.

Chains like Burger King and Popeye’s have kept their advertising running with campaigns like Burger King’s “Christmas in July,” which gave consumers the chance to “unwrap” a deal.

Here’s how much QSR chains including Yum! Brands, which owns KFC and Taco Bell, paid their marketing employees:

Burger King

  • Senior manager, digital marketing: $140,000

Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen

  • Senior manager, digital marketing: $140,000

Yum! Brands International

Finance: Citibank paid a regional head of marketing $215,000 and PayPal paid a director of global content $246,000

dan schulman

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Finance companies, which are traditionally some of the biggest advertisers, have taken different paths over the past six months.

American Express’s revenue dropped dramatically in the second quarter of 2020 as consumers stayed home and cut spending during the pandemic. Mobile payment startup Square, on the other hand, saw net revenue jump 64% year-over-year, and PayPal reported its strongest quarter since separating from eBay in 2015.

Two of the biggest names in the business have made big changes to their marketing departments in recent months. JP Morgan Chase promoted Leslie Gillin, who previously ran its co-branded credit card division, to CMO, and PayPal parted with both CMO Allison Johnson and chief creative officer Steve Simpson as it shifted focus to small businesses.

These are salaries that top brands in the finance and fintech spaces paid marketing employees:

American Express

  • Director, commercial marketing platforms: $141,312
  • Director, global media and marketing, travel services: $139,667
  • Manager, area marketing: $151,840 to $182,280

Citibank Group

  • Marketing segment and services senior specialist: $136,871
  • Senior regional head of marketing: $215,000


  • Principal, media and advertising: $76,066 to $122,004
  • Senior manager, channel marketing: $162,00 to $169,703

JP Morgan Chase

  • VP, marketing analytics manager: $140,000


  • Content strategist: $128,000
  • Manager, marketing programs: $135,000
  • Marketing manager $170,000
  • North American head of marketing analytics: $183,110
  • Director of global content: $246,000


  • Product manager: $142,000
  • Product marketing manager, payments: $148,600

Packaged goods: PepsiCo paid a PR director $172,400 and Mondelez paid its CMO $600,000

Ramon Laguarta

PepsiCo chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta.

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Many consumer packaged goods companies increased their marketing as demand spiked while others like PepsiCo tapped the brakes.

Here’s a snapshot into how some well-known CPG brands paid their marketing employees:


  •  VP, digital and revenue growth management: $222,760


  • Senior associate brand manager, Oreo: $114,100
  • Manager, global growth analytics: $115,000
  • VP, CMO: $600,000


  • Consumer insights analyst: $95,000 to $115,000
  • Market activation manager: $120,000 to $140,000
  • Packaging manager: $148,000 to $168,000


  • Designer: $75,000
  • Senior designer: $100,000
  • Ecommerce insights specialist: $100,000
  • Ecommerce data analyst: $130,000
  • Ecommerce data engineer: $140,000
  • Strategy director: $165,100
  • Communications director: $172,400
  • Design director, structural packaging: $186,945
  • Ecommerce senior data engineer: $190,000
  • Senior director, consumer insights: $196,400

Procter & Gamble


  • Global brand director: $189,613
  • VP, customer development: $323,000

Pharma: GlaxoSmithKline paid a global marketing manager up to $203,000 and Bayer paid a marketing director $235,520

Emma Walmsley

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley.

Fang Zhe/Xinhua via Getty Image

Pharma companies like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Merck are all among the top 50 US advertisers each year, and their marketing budgets show no sign of declining.

While some sales representatives believe revenue will be negatively impacted by the pandemic, other pharma marketing executives say the industry will ultimately benefit as new drugs continue to launch and find customers, with the help of marketing.

Here is a range of salaries for marketing jobs at the top-spending pharmaceutical and healthcare companies:


  • Manager, marketing analytics, immunology: $132,500 to $162,500
  • Global director, brand excellence: $190,000 to $200,000
  • Associate director, global marketing: $200,000 to $250,000


  • Senior manager, insights: $150,000
  • Global marketing director: $210,000


  • Director multi-channel marketing: $235,520


  • Director, personalization strategy: $152,275


  • Associate director, product management: $179,142


  • Global marketing manager: $151,840 to $203,000
  • VP, medical commercialization leader: $210,000 to $377,000


  • Senior product manager: $115,294 to $132,000
  • Associate director, strategy and operations: $151,840


  • Global head of digital customer experience: $225,000 to $325,000


  • Head of product: $250,000

Telecom: Verizon paid an associate creative director $155,000 and AT&T paid a product marketing manager $139,000

Diego Scotti

Verizon CMO Diego Scotti.

Araya Diaz/Getty Images for The Paley Center for Media

As Facebook and Google continue to dominate the digital ad industry and streaming giants like Netflix change entertainment, the biggest telecom companies are competing more directly on both fronts by simultaneously serving as publishers, ad platforms, and marketers.

The most visible examples are Verizon and AT&T, with the latter’s WarnerMedia division heavily promoting HBO Max. Charter Communications, which bought Time Warner Cable in 2016 and is now the second-largest cable provider in the country behind Comcast, also increased marketing to boost subscriber totals during the pandemic.

These salaries and ranges reflect pay for management-level jobs across the telecom industry:


  • Lead product marketing manager: $139,000 

Charter Communications

  • Database marketing analyst: $81,800 to $131,000
  • Director, ecommerce strategy and management: $140,000 to $168,000
  • Manager, marketing competitive analysis: $96,300 to $170,900
  • Senior manager, marketing research: $107,900 to $229,300


  • Commercial marketing manager: $120,000


  • Digital marketing manager: $128,000
  • Database marketing manager: $130,000
  • Associate creative director: $155,000

Travel: Expedia Group paid a director of marketing innovation up to $203,333

Barry Diller

Expedia CEO Barry Diller.

Michael Seto/Business Insider

Expedia, which includes properties such as Travelocity, Orbitz, and Hotels.com, has traditionally been one of the biggest global advertisers, spending billions each year on search marketing campaigns. But in April, CEO Barry Diller told CNBC that his company would slash its 2020 budget by more than 80% as travel plummeted.

The company had already announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs to simplify what Diller called a “bloated” organization before the pandemic hit.

Here’s what Expedia pays marketing professionals, as revealed by these salaries across its properties:

  • Mixed media content editor: $83,900 to $117,000
  • Senior marketing analytics manager: $86,500 to $117,000
  • Senior database marketing manager: $110,500 to $120,000
  • Analytics manager, digital media sales: $94,500 to $125,359
  • Senior mobile app marketing manager: $106,000 to $137,100
  • Director of strategy and marketing innovation: $156,500 to $203,333
  • VP, global talent acquisition: $180,000 to $267,000

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