Advertising account executives (or simply account executives) are the main liaison between advertising and media agencies and their clients. The role is a combination of sales or business development activities and customer relationship management.
Account executives meet with clients to get a thorough understanding of their advertising and promotional needs, the budgets earmarked for these activities, target audience and other critical demographics, market and competition information and any other relevant details.
They then manage and coordinate advertising and promotional campaigns post client approval, track budgets and costs, and ensure that the projects run smoothly. Executives stay in touch with the past clients and solicit new business by presenting proposals or pitches in collaboration with other members of the agency.
Salary & benefits
Advertising account executives earn a base annual salary starting at £18,000 to £20,000 and going up from £25,000 to £30,000.
Senior account executives earn salaries ranging from £30,000 to £40,000, while account directors earn around £40,000 to £50,000.
Account executives working in large, multinational agencies or based in metropolitan areas have a higher earning potential, with salaries at senior levels ranging from £50,000 to £100,000, or even more.
Working hours are standard over a five-day week, but may be extended in the event of pressing campaign deadlines, outdoor location shoots or campaigns being shot after office hours.
Travel is frequent, be it within the same city to meet clients and attend campaign activities, or across the country and even overseas, especially when handling large client accounts or managing international campaigns.
Graduates with good degrees in any discipline are eligible, but most reputed and large agencies prefer candidates with degrees in business management, advertising, marketing, public relations, communications or similar vocational subjects.
Candidates must possess:
– Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
– Creative and innovative thought processes
– An outgoing and congenial personality
– The ability to connect and interact with a wide variety of people.
Training & progression
There is no formal training programme available to account executives; most of the learning is on-the-job with activities supervised by senior, experienced colleagues in the initial stages.
While professional qualifications are not mandatory, many agencies and companies encourage employees to obtain relevant qualifications.
These include a Foundation Certificate offered by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), a Diploma in Marketing Communications from The Communication Advertising & Marketing Education Foundation (CAM) or qualifications offered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).