How Do You Become an Advertising Account Executive?

There are many career paths to become an advertising account executive. Most employers prefer a certain personality and skill set over traditional education and training. Many entry-level advertising account jobs only require a high school diploma and excellent technical and communication skills. Advertising account specialists develop client relationships, manage ongoing projects and ensure that deliverables are on time and high quality. They strive to expand client portfolios while looking for ways to improve work flows, client experience and advertising strategies. The Bureau Labor Statistics states that most employers want advertisers who have a bachelor’s degree.

Unique Job Requirements

When it comes to managing advertising accounts, employers want job candidates who have warm and engaging personalities. The ideal job candidate is social, driven, personable, polished, intelligent, focused and highly motivated. Employers favor job candidates who have sales, marketing, advertising, public relations or client relationship management experience. Job candidates who only have a high school diploma must be confident about their abilities to sell, persuade, influence and form lasting relationships with clients, prospects, coworkers and management. Employers want candidates who have upbeat, positive attitudes and who are tech savvy communicators.

Unlike other business fields, account supervisors do not motivate staff. Instead, they hire self-motivated, high performers and reward them for exceptional performances. Anyone who applies for an advertising account executive position will need a proven record of exceeding business goals and client expectations. They must be a dynamic professional who excels at engaging conversations, asking thought provoking questions and identifying the unique value of products and services. They must have the ability to ask tough questions, the knowledge to overcome objections and the commitment to close sales opportunities and handle rejections without emotion. Experience with advertising and marketing channels, strategies and communications is welcomed.

Bachelor of Arts or Science in Advertising

Many colleges offer advertising degrees, but they are usually paired with a related major like marketing, management, communications, graphic design or public relations. For example, a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations will produce creative professionals who can communicate corporate messages with integrity and innovation. Advertising degree programs are designed to enhance students’ abilities to strategically solve problems, think critically before making decisions and evaluate advertising account data. The curriculum teaches students how to evaluate branding methods, campaign development, account performance and advertising efficiency using multiple tools and techniques.

The curriculum may include classes in brand management, which introduces students to the concepts of brand equity, tactics and extensions. Students learn how to leverage integrated marketing communications strategies to build and maintain brands. Classes on the principles of public relations examine the underlying processes and principles that drive client relationship management. Students work on projects to design and write publicity, account management and relationship building proposals. These classes may include digital marketing and advertising techniques, such as integrated online applications and search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns. Students may also take classes in advertising ethics, communication and legal regulations.

Related Resource: What is a Market Research Surveyor?

Anyone who wants to become an advertising account executive may find themselves working in the field of digital media advertising. They are responsible for selling advertising schedules based on their client’s digital marketing needs and budget. These advertising account executives will achieve revenue goals by developing all new business opportunities and by maintaining an awareness of competitive conditions and market shares.