How to Become an Advertising Executive

Advertising Executive

An advertising executive liaises between an advertising agency and its clients. They will interview advertising clients to discuss their wants and needs, and work with the agency to create a relevant advertisement.

Advertising executives act as the links between advertising agencies and clients. This is a communicative role that involves interviewing clients about their needs and wishes when it comes to advertising and demonstrating these to an agency. 

Advertising executives will generally deal with three or four projects at the same time. They may work with an agency who specialises with one type of media, or one who focuses on multiple media sources. Some examples of media sources are mobile marketing, digital, magazines, or social media.

The main duties of an advertising executive include: 

  • Attending initial appointments with clients to discuss their needs and wishes. 
  • Assessing the clients’ budgets.
  • Using their experience and knowledge to come up with ideas for relevant campaigns and pitching these to clients. 
  • Working with the creative team. 
  • Ensuring that the budget is stuck to throughout the project. 
  • Updating the client on the project’s progress. 
  • Networking and looking for new business for the agency.

Most account executives have a degree. While an advertising degree is not mandatory to enter this field, having one or a degree in a relevant discipline strengthens an application. Other related degrees are marketing, business, psychology, media studies, or English language or literature. Some candidates also have a postgraduate degree in advertising or marketing.

It is also possible to enter the career by doing a college course or an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are designed to train the candidate and provide them with a job at the end. Some candidates enter advertising solely by vocational means, joining the profession as an administrator and working their way up as they gain experience. 

Having a high level of enthusiasm for the industry is essential. Candidates can demonstrate this by obtaining work experience with an advertising agency – potentially by work shadowing a professional. They could also create a portfolio of mock-up adverts, or take some relevant courses to support their application.

Advertising executives should have excellent communication skills, as a large part of their job is discussing the client’s needs with other professionals. They should exhibit professional customer service skills and have a persona that makes the client want to work with them. Furthermore, they should be able to make sales: both to their clients and through their advertising campaigns.

As advertising executives often work on multiple projects at once, professionals should be highly organised and able to manage their time effectively. They may need to learn how to prioritise one campaign over another, or to multitask as they work on campaigns simultaneously.

Advertising executives will be the first point of contact between clients and an agency, so they should be able to provide suggested plans and quotes quickly. This means that they will need to be able to think on their feet and act decisively. They should also be prepared to deal with criticism and be well equipped to know what to do if things don’t turn out as anticipated.

Advertising executives work in an office, although some travel is required to meet clients. Their offices are generally based in large cities, with the growing potential for some remote work. They will often need to work overtime to meet deadlines, including some weekend work when necessary. 

Professionals in this vocation can progress to more senior management roles. With relevant experience, some freelance for different agencies, or even set up their own agency.

What degree is most commonly held by an Advertising Executive ?

  • Bachelor of Marketing
  • Bachelor of Business Administration and Management
  • Bachelor of Management
  • Bachelor of Marketing and Public Relations

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Low
While overseas business trips are a possibility for account executives, the likelihood of finding a permanent or semi-permanent vacancy are slim. This is a customer-focused role, so any candidate must have a deep understanding of the local market. Advertisements that are suitable for one country may not be for others; therefore agencies generally prefer natives for those roles, as they have the best understanding of the local culture.

What is the Salary of an Advertising Executive ?

Experience Average salary | year
Advertising Executive 1-3 yrs $60,000 £25,000 $37,375
Advertising Team Lead 3-5 yrs $70,000 £30,000 $44,313
Head of Advertising 5-10 yrs $87,000 £37,000 $52,000

What skills are needed to become an Advertising Executive ?

  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Online Advertising
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Digital Marketing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Email Marketing
  • Account Management
  • Public Relations
  • Digital Media
  • Online Marketing
  • Microsoft Office
  • Advertising Sales
  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Social Networking
  • New Business Development
  • Event Planning
  • Copywriting
  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development

Selection of online courses

As competition is so fierce to become an advertising executive, taking relevant courses will boost an application. At FutureLearn, we have plenty of advertising courses that are suitable for aspiring professionals!

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