The Planner Survey 2012/2013

Thanks for your patience. A lot of interesting things to share in this year’s report.

If you’re new to these, this is the 8th installment of the survey. The intent is to get a read on what is on our mind and how much money we are making to keep things transparent. If you’re not being paid fairly, these are the pages you take to your boss and ask “Don’t you think I’m at least average?”

But money isn’t everything. I hope it’s only an annual consideration and that the rest of the year we are all growing and learning. After meeting more planners around the world myself, I realized this survey can do a lot more to build a global planning community. So this year we tried to do just that.

Connecting with other planners around the world has proven to be a rewarding and enriching experience for many of you. I hope you’ll continue to connect and learn from each other.

Participation did go down for the first time. So we’re asking you – has the survey served it’s purpose? Is it time to move on? Or are biannual reports the way to go?

One other thing – take note that this year’s salary info is MONTHLY and after taxes and deductions. Makes for very interesting comparisons given the vastly different costs of living around the world. Australia also makes an appearance for the first time, getting over 50 respondents. Well done, Oz.

I’ll get out of the way and let you dig in. It’s never been more beautifully designed. Much love and adoration for Paul Savaiano.

You can download the pdf here:Β The Planner Survey 2012/2013

27 thoughts on “The Planner Survey 2012/2013

  1. Looking forward to this! I think it’s great as is – but I personally read for details of salaries and career progression above all else. So the appendices are most useful. I also find it hard to peg the monthly after tax salary to my yearly before tax salary – is the UK definitely after tax? It feels like it’s before tax.

  2. Yes it’s still very handy to have! Especially for people who are new or just getting into planning – I feel much better equipped to determine salary expectations etc.

  3. Hi Heather – is it possible to get a Slideshare download made available? Just that viewing it embedded the text is too small to read, but viewing the slideshare full screen makes the text blurry and also difficult to read…it looks like it’s been beautifully designed, but its current incarnation in my browser at least, is quite tricky to actually read, which I’m sure isn’t the intention!

    For reference – here’s what it looks like full screen on safari on a mac, so you can see the issue I’m having reading the content 😦 It’s not totally unreadable, but it is quite hard to work out what some of the smaller type says…

      1. Aha, sorry my 2nd comment is redundant πŸ™‚ You beat me to it! Super relieved I’ve not massively undercharged LOL. Thanks so much Heather – this all looks super amazing, as usual. Totally awesome work, thanks so much to you and all your team. Massively appreciated as always

  4. This is awesome once again. I’ve found the salary information useful year over year. The additional information is always an interesting plus as well.

    Just curious: am I the only one having trouble with the after tax salary information? At least in the states, tax rates can vary drastically depending on your filing situation. Two people might make $100,000 a year, but after taxes may take home very different amounts.

    Another consideration is that when negotiating salary, a person usually negotiates before taxes. This is just my opinion, but I’ve always felt that the before tax salary rates (whether annually or monthly) are much more useful in determining where you sit in the plannersphere pay scale.

    Thanks again for the all the hard work everyone puts into this

  5. interested to see how the average salaries have changed over the years. have we recovered to pre-recession salaries? what about full service vs. digital? some comparison charts could be interesting.

    for future surveys, i’d be interested to see what planners get as part of the full compensation package. i think you had those in a previous survey. makes considering a new job a little easier when you know what others are getting as a full package.

  6. Such a great work, as usual. Especially for a junior like me who is moving in an other country!
    I just would say thanks to the person quoted: β€œShe is so thankful for the fact that the job exists. She didn’t know what she would be doing if she wasn’t a planner. And I think most planners feel this way. This is just the perfect job, no matter what level you are or what type of planner you are. I feel the same way, but never thought about it before.β€œ

    it’s deeply true, I feel the same. In my mind, this “insight” part should be bigger as the planning is first and foremore a job we love and we live. You’ve got a awesome data base of planners and I’m sure many of whom would share more about philosophy, issues, next patterns…

  7. Hi Heather and team,

    Thanks again for taking the time to put this together – it’s a great idea and really valuable. I’m surprised that fewer people contributed this year – should be mandatory for all planners.

    I agree with many of the comments above – while I understand your decision to focus on take-home pay rather than pre-tax salary, I actually find that this makes it harder to compare than in previous years.

    Having previously worked in the UK and Australia, I’m now based in Hong Kong where tax is very low but rental costs are astronomical, thus making after-tax earnings a bit misleading. In all three places salaries have been quoted pre-tax during negotiations.

    Good job nonetheless, thanks for all your hard work and all the best with the book.

  8. Heather + team,

    Thanks again for putting together this survey. It looks great and I always find it interesting. Some ideas for the next survey:

    – As others have suggested, a switch back to pre-tax annual salaries would be more useful, at least for the U.S.
    – As Terri mentioned, it would be good to see a comparison of Traditional vs. Digital salaries as well as full compensation/benefits packages and perks
    – I remember a previous survey had a list of agencies/companies that Planners most respected/wanted to work for. That would be a good section to bring back.
    – I like the “What are Planners talking about?” section and I think it could be expanded (Top 3 books Planners have read, documentaries/movies/music they’ve enjoyed, favorite blog posts, favorite ads/campaigns of the year, events they find most useful like Planning-ness or Creative Mornings, how many are teaching themselves how to code, how many have continued their education through platforms like Skillshare/Coursera or at schools like General Assembly/Boulder Digital Works, etc.).
    – A number of Planners have left the agency world to start their own companies (Ex: Skillshare, Method, GonnaBe, De-De, etc.) and it could be interesting to have an interview section with them
    – As far as making the survey more interactive, perhaps adding a video element where a few veteran Planners talk about their biggest lessons of the year, what they’d like to see from the Planning community going forward, etc. would be good.

    Again – great job! I hope these suggestions are useful.

    – Dennis

  9. Reblogged this on krisinamsterdam and commented:
    Always interesting to know how the advertising industry looks globally. Even if the author just abandoned us here in the Dam with out lousy crappy cold Spring to explore opportunities in Miami it’s well worth the read.

  10. Thanks as always! The survey is very informative, and will benefit our community. I agree with some other commenters that the monthly salaries after deductions are less helpful than the teary salary numbers, because they are hard to interpret. I, too, would be very interested in seeing information for planners in Asia!

  11. Hi! Thanks for the detailed info – found it to be really inspiring as I see where can I grow to!

    I’m a planning director in a digital agency in Kiev, Ukraine and I’d like to take part in the next year’s survey in case you find data find CIS region helpful. Also I got a few more planners I know and suppose they would love to contribute too.

  12. I would really LOVE to know how many planners go to Cannes. The credits usually list creatives or brand managers or producers. How are account planners represented in Cannes? ( yes… I would love to go… but I have no idea how to make it happen)

  13. Hi Heather! I listened to your interview in The Planning Salon. I found it very interesting. IΒ΄m a planner in Argentina. If you need anything, give me a shout.

  14. H –

    I do hope the Planner Survey lives on but I know it might be tough given your new role at CP+B. Hope everything is going well.

    But if it does, here are some thoughts and sparks on some the questions that have bubbled to the top:

    1. How might we make it more interactive and dynamic?
    I love the idea of building a community of like minded planning peers that we can tap into throughout the year. The folks at Anthrodesign have the concept nailed. Even though the technology behind a Yahoo group is a bit dated the community is thriving.

    2. How might we make it even more coprehensive?
    I’d really like to see a question around most useful day-to-day resources incorporated into the survey. Where are the world’s best planners turning to for inspiration and insights (outside of our own primary research of course). How can we as a community help each other determine the value of all the different research suppliers out there that our agencies continue to invest in. What are planners using and how would they rank them?

    3. How might we make it more shared and conversational?
    Consider creating a Twitter group or dedicated hash tag.


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