once size won't fit all. At the exec level especially, compensation will depend a lot on this person's experience and prior comp. Experience would cover things like prior markets/industries, size of company (prior employers). this also gets into size of company. For example, if they only have F500 experience do they have the 'GSD' (get s*$% done) in-the-trenches habits to function in a startup? Can you provide some additional background in this area? For example, a former VP of marketing for Chris' CupCake Factory, a local 5 store chain of cupcake cafe's will have a different skill set and comp requirements than a former EVP of marketing for Amazon or AT&T, or ? Not that one is better in your situation than the other, but their comp expectations will be dramatically different. Also, the description in your post brings up the question; "are you sure it is marketing skills that you need"? You mentioned "real live automated business" which hints at B2C which tends toward true marketing automation, SEO, social media skills, etc. yet you also mention "targeting parents and businesses that would be great partners "which hints at business development and/or sales. Who is your target prospect(s)? and is your model B2C, B2B or B2B2C? The answers don't necessarily affect compensation as much as they do making sure you are targeting the right skill set - hiring an experienced VP of marketing and expecting them to perform biz dev and/or sales at any comp level is likely to cause problems.