Why 2021 is a great time to be a marketer in Dallas-Fort Worth

As a marketing solutions and talent company, Freeman+Leonard is in the business of matching great marketers and creatives with the companies who need them. To achieve that, our team works closely with marketing talent and hiring managers to find the right fit based on evolving market realities and business priorities.

Often, our own internal data and placement history combined with these conversations allows us to see interesting trends in real time.

This is particularly true of the marketing and advertising industry in north Texas. Though we serve clients and talent across the U.S., we’re based in Dallas and have deep roots here.

So, it is with the benefit of this experience (20+ years, in fact) that we make the following claim:

We believe it is quite the auspicious time to be a marketing and advertising professional working in Dallas-Fort Worth. Perhaps even the most promising. 

You might say we’re a bit biased when it comes to the field of marketing, and even the Dallas area, but the data backs us up. Let’s review the findings:

Marketing talent is in demand more than ever before, though some roles are increasing in number more than others.

Though marketing budgets are often among the first to be slashed during financial downturns, the worst of the pandemic’s economic impact seems behind us. Marketing departments are hiring and spending again.

But many eyes have been opened by the events of the past 12 months, and business priorities have shifted. As a result, at Freeman+Leonard we’re seeing demand for certain marketing roles increasing at faster rates than others.

In particular, we’re seeing growth in digital/analytics roles, PR and crisis communications, social media strategy and content, email marketing and eCommerce.

For more details, read: “Here are the marketing roles in highest demand in 2021.”

Contract rates and salaries are rising — especially for marketers with strong digital experience.

Before the pandemic, salary and employment data for the Dallas area already told a pretty favorable story. We were leading the nation’s metro areas in job creation for multiple years in a row, particularly for white-collar professional jobs.

Though the virus certainly took its toll, that trend seems to be holding — or at least, buoying us through the storm. In February, the Dallas Morning News reported that Dallas had regained almost all of the jobs it lost over the past year, excluding leisure and hospitality.

And as of February 2021, starting salaries in Dallas were a comfortable 12% above the national average. Meanwhile, DFW is a relatively affordable place to live, with a cost of living just 2% higher than the national average.

More experienced marketers are also finding higher average compensation in Dallas, and an upward trend.

According to Freeman+Leonard’s database and placement history, digital, UX and eCommerce expert contract rates are increasing 1-3% per hour each quarter. 

This is causing an increase in full-time salaries for these roles approximately every 12 months above the 3+% cost of living increase.

The significant growth of new companies moving to the Dallas area has played a role in dramatically increasing marketing salary averages. And fortunately, these higher salaries are holding, even during the pandemic.

Working from home is here to stay.

Though the employers we talked with had been nervous about managing a remote workforce, they’ve become less so over the past year.

Most employers plan to head back into the office at some point, but we often hear that it likely won’t look the same as it had. Many expect to have their workforces back in the office only part of the time, and to have them work remotely at least a few days a week.

In addition to the potential for better work-life balance, the shift towards remote work offers Dallas marketing and advertising professionals a greater geographic range of opportunities, even as they enjoy DFW’s near-average cost of living.

Dallas-Fort Worth is only getting better.

Over the past few years, local news sites have been splashed with headline after headline announcing yet another corporation relocating to Dallas-Fort Worth. The talent pool in this area is frequently cited as one of the draws.

It’s interesting that the trend didn’t slow for COVID.

As more companies awaken to the benefits of headquartering in north Texas, the area should become an even more lively, diverse and cosmopolitan area rich with opportunity.

At Freeman+Leonard, though our arms stretch over Texas and well beyond, we couldn’t imagine a better headquarters than Dallas for our own firm. And as our community emerges fully from this pandemic, we can’t wait to see what comes next for the area we love to call home.