The goal of marketers is to make their product or service the obvious and uncontested answer to those questions in the consumer's mind. In broad terms, an advertising agency is a marketing consultant. It helps the client-for example, a consumer goods manufacturer such as Nike or a service provider such as Charles Schwab-with all aspects of marketing their product or service, from strategy and concept through execution. Strategy involves helping the client make high-level business decisions, such as determining which new products to develop, or how to brand or define itself to the world.
Skills, Degrees and Certificates Needed
- Reading Comprehension
- Active Listening
- Complex Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
- Judgment and Decision Making
- Active Learning
- Time Management
- Complex Problem
- Creative Hotlist- www.creativehotlist.com
- Market Research- www.marketresearchcareers.com/
- Ad Forum- www.adforum.com
- AIGA- www.aiga.com
- Media Bistro- http://www.mediabistro.com
- Talent Zoo- www.talentzoo.com
- Media Bistro- www.mediabistro.com
- Advertising Age- www.adage.com
- American Marketing Association- www.marketingpower.com
- Council of Public Relations Firms- http://www.prfirms.org
- PRWeek- http://www.prweekus.com
- Media Week- http://www.mediaweek.com
- PR News Online- http://www.prnewsonline.com
- Direct Marketing Association- www.dma.org
- American Association of Advertising Agencies- www.aaaa.org
- AdWeek- www.adweek.com
- Advertising Age- www.adage.com
- Smart Brief from the 4A'- www.smartbrief.com/aaaa/
- Boxes and Arrows- www.boxesandarrows.com
- Creativity-Online- www.creativity-online.com
- Creative Hotlist- www.creativehotlist.com
Career Research and Exploration
- WPP- www.wpp.com
- Wetfeet- www.wetfeet.com/careers-industries
- Occupational Outlook- www.bls.gov/oco
- O*NET- www.onetonline.org
- PR Channel- http://www.prchannel.com
- O'Dwyer PR- http://www.odwyerpr.com
- Institute for Public Relations- http://www.instituteforpr.com
- International Association of Business Communicator- http://www.iabc.com
- Cascadia Communication Associates- http://www.prheadquarters.com
Marketing Research: Define problems and identify the information needed to resolve them, figuring out what drives people to buy certain products by designing research projects, preparing questionnaires and samples, analyzing data, preparing reports and presenting findings.
Brand and Product Management: Planning, directing, and controlling business and marketing efforts for their products; they are concerned with research and development, packaging, manufacturing, sales and distribution, advertising, promotion, market research, and business analysis, a newcomer will join a brand/product team and learn the ropes by doing numerical analysis and watching senior members.
Internet Marketing: Opportunities in this field are new and still emerging, with options in electronic retailing, web page design, internet promotions, and managing websites.
Sports Marketing: Promoting and managing athletes, teams, and sports facilities among other things, sports marketers may work for a team, association or marketing firm to strategize about how to best leverage sponsorship, plan and coordinate events, conduct market research and produce promotional material.
Marketing Communications: Creating promotional efforts and other marketing activities that communicate with the organization's customers, includes advertizing, public relations, sales promotions and direct marketing.
Sales: A sales career path ranges from salesperson to the highest levels of management, opportunities can be found in advertising, financial, insurance, consulting and government organizations.
Securities and Financial Services Marketing: Selling banking and related services, providing many related services to clients, often inpositions such as account executives, stock brokers, and registered representatives.
Advertising Salesperson: Negotiates contracts with clients for advertising in publications and on radio and television.
Business to Business Marketing: Marketing targeted at organizations such as businesses, non-profits, government entities, and middlemen, this represents a large majority of marketing efforts.
Non-Profit Marketing: Performs marketing and public relation functions and conducting fundraising for non-profits, offers the opportunity to make "traditional" marketing decisions at an early age
Marketing – Client side marketing roles
- Marketing Executive / Junior Marketing Assistant / Marketing Assistant – helps the department with the day to day tasks, promotion to this role is generally from within an organisation or in some environments, graduates occupy such roles.
- Marketing Co-ordinator / Marketing Officer – depending on department size this is generally a role which carries more responsibility. Tasks can include conducting or arranging market research, working directly with creative agencies, mailing fulfilment, organising events or promotional campaigns such as literature for product launches. Most Marketing Officers/Co-ordinators report directly to a product or marketing manager
- Product Manager / Senior Product Manager / Group Product or Category Manager – these roles are most often specific to companies that market products. Dependent on company size the Product Manager may have only one product or many, with the Category Managers being responsible for the entire group of products that his or her team market.
- Marketing Manager / Marcomms Manager – This role can be a position in a one-person team or can also be the position which is responsible for teams from 3-10 staff. The marketing manager in the smaller company may do every role from assistant through to manager, or in larger companies they manager the junior management level marketers. Note that one would not normally describe a category manager with a marketing budget of £5m as a junior marketer. As mentioned previously, the titles may be confusing.
- Head of Marketing / Marketing Director – The most senior marketing role in the organisation. In some companies the title is bestowed on the sales manager by default, however the Marketing Director or Sales & Marketing Director within a large company is the driving force behind the management of all marketing and sales activities. Both sales staff or marketers can usually be promoted to this role.
Marketing – Agency side marketing roles
- Account Management – Ranging from Account Handler through to Account Director – individuals responsible for working in an agency environment and looking after client accounts, organising, managing and liaising with the client, right through to providing strategic support, dependent on the level of experience of the incumbent.
- Market Research – a number of roles exist within the research environment, this is a completely distinct and important area of marketing, with specialisms such as qualitative market researcher, quantitative research. Market Research is a fascinating area of marketing and in many ways is similar to client side, except for the fact you will be working on agency accounts across a number of market sectors.
- PR – as with Market Research, the PR environment has diverse career opportunities. They generally operate a similar structure to advertising agencies in that they have Account Handling to Account Director positions.
Account Manager: At the entry level, an account coordinator, administrative assistant, or assistant account executive ensures that ads move smoothly through the execution process. Occasionally, these jobs include some competitive analysis and assistance in client meetings or on ad shoots. Past the entry level, an account executive handles all aspects of an account-from planning to implementation. Account executives determine a client's needs and coordinate with other departments to ensure they are met. From there, you can move on to become an account manager, account supervisor, management supervisor, vice president, and eventually, director.
Media: Some agencies will start you as a media assistant, a largely clerical position. From there, you'll move to assistant media planner, where you'll analyze consumer habits and evaluate content to determine where an ad is most likely to get the target audience's attention (think beer ads during the Super Bowl). Assistant media buyers purchase airtime and advertising space and ensure that ads appear as scheduled. From the assistant level, the career trajectory progresses to media planner or buyer, senior media planner or buyer, media supervisor, vice president, and director.
Account Planning: Most people move into account planning laterally as junior account planners or are hired from account planning departments in other agencies. Account planners try to quantify and qualify what makes people tick-and analyze mountains of data in the process-by conducting focus groups and researching things such as why teens like one kind of soft drink more than another. If you do well, you can advance rapidly to senior account planner, vice president, and director.
Creative Services: Creative career tracks require a book of sample ads. You might take an assistant position in a creative department while putting together your book. Entry-level creative positions are called junior positions: A junior copywriter assists a senior copywriter in writing copy and scripts for ads; a junior art director helps an art director develop visual concepts and designs for ads. Copywriters and art directors work together as partners to come up with strong ideas to carry out a client's strategy.
Advertising Media Planners decide the distribution of television, newspaper, radio, and magazine advertisements for each campaign. They are responsible for making many choices affecting the delivery of the campaign message to the consumer.
Media traffic personnel are well informed about the different types of media and demographics they reach. After considering the advantages and disadvantages of the various media types, the media traffic personnel purchases space and time in the types of media that will most effectively deliver the campaign.
Copywriters, illustrators, and creative individuals create the actual writing and illustrating of advertisements. They are responsible for drawing storyboards, writing copy, designing headlines and body copy, and sometimes taking part in the actual formation of advertisements.
Production Managers are in charge of the actual physical advertisements. Working in cooperation with exterior advertising producers, production managers guarantee that each advertisement is finished successfully. They are employed in-house or often work for production houses that contract services.
Directors of Advertising and/or Public Relations are in charge of everything in advertising or public relations excluding sales. Directors manage the planning, production, creation, and budgeting of campaigns. The director of advertising and director of public relations are usually two different positions, but both maintain comparable job responsibilities. The size of the company or organization a director works for determines the scope of their duties.
An account executive manages the entire account. They determine and communicate the customer’s advertising needs to the rest of the agency. Account executives also organize the creation, planning, implementing, and producing of ad campaigns.
Financial public relations: Providing information mainly to business reporters
Consumer/lifestyle public relations: Gaining publicity for a particular product or service, rather than using advertising
Crisis public relations: Responding to negative accusations or information
Industry relations: Providing information to trade bodies
Government relations/Public Affairs: Engaging government departments to influence policymaking
Account Coordinator/PR Coordinator
Most people enter PR as an account coordinator or, if you go into communications at a company, a PR coordinator. Generally the account coordinator plays an administrative role, supporting an account executive. The work involves projects such as clipping newspapers, assisting in research, maintaining a list of media contacts, and coordinating mailings of press packets to the media. Generally, the account coordinator role is a stepping-stone to becoming an account executive.
The account executive is an account management function. The account executive works directly with the client, writing press releases, planning special events, and preparing annual reports. Often, the account executive tracks trends, looking for opportunities where the client might receive media coverage due to a widely covered news event. In many instances, account executives will represent a company at press conferences, write speeches or op-ed pieces for the company's CEO, and submit the client's products for industry awards. Account executives are sometimes called PR specialists in the communication department of larger organizations.
A step up from the account executive is the account supervisor. The account supervisor oversees PR accounts, often managing the account executives and account coordinators. They will often do hands-on executorial work similar to that handled by the account executive, but they will oversee other staff members assigned to the account as well.
Public Relations Specialists manage an organization’s public relations. Their job is parallel to an account executive in advertising. Specialists make sure programs are created to match public attitudes, ensuring an organization is publicly embraced. Specialists can either work for an agency or in-house.
Media Relations Manager
In media relations, you will make phone calls to the press and pitch ideas for stories. Your job is to convince reporters to write about a story relating to a client. Account executives often do some media relations, but many agencies have full-time positions for people who have honed the skills required to call and pitch stories to journalists. In this role, you will need to understand what journalists are looking for and be able to quickly hook them into listening to your article idea.
At the vice president and director level, you will typically manage the firm, meet with higher-level clients, and create overall communication strategies. You'll be responsible for pitching accounts-that is, finding new clients-and making sure everything is working to the satisfaction of existing customers. You' will also want to be active in thinking up new communication services you can sell to existing clients. Within agencies, you will work closely with younger staff to train and mentor them.
- For-profit and nonprofit organizations
- Product and service organizations
- Financial companies
- Insurance companies
- Print and electronic media outlets
- Software and technology companies
- Internet companies
- Consulting firms
- Large corporations
- Marketing research firms
- Public institutions concerning health, education, and transportation
- Management consulting firms
- Advertising agencies
- Trade and industry associations
- Government agencies
- Nonprofit organizations