What is a Digital Media Sales Executive?

Digital Media SalesThe advertising executives portrayed on the TV drama “Madmen” would be woefully unprepared to assume the duties of today’s digital media sales executive. The world is a different place, and consumers no longer wake up to a cup of coffee and their morning papers. Instead, they get much of their news, information and entertainment from the Internet. To reach these potential customers, businesses must use new advertising tactics and employ people who are adept at navigating the digital environment.

How Is Digital Advertising Different?

According to Media Square Recruitment, ad execs sell advertising space on a platform such as newspapers, magazines and billboards. Digital ad executives sell space on virtual platforms like websites and social media. The premise is the same: you have to understand the markets and gauge the needs of your clients. It involves a lot of face-to-face “schmoozing.” Ad executives still take their clients to business lunches and network at conferences and parties. That is the glamorous side. However, successful executives must have some understanding of consumer behavior and be able to “read” client expectations.

What Do These Advertising Sales People Do?

Their duties are similar to traditional advertising marketers. They contact potential and existing clients, usually by phone, and talk to them about their advertising needs. The executives manage the client account and make sure their needs are being met. To do this, they interface with teams of campaign developers as well as the clients. They attend meetings to present new concepts and build relationships with their client base. They also must have an extensive knowledge of the market in which they work, including the strategies and activities of competitors. These salespeople have to understand basic marketing techniques, just like their predecessors, but they also have to have computer skills. In addition, they often have to educate the clients about trends and principles of digital marketing.

What Education Do They Need?

Entry level positions are available with a bachelor’s degree. To advance in the profession, digital advertising sales people need an advanced degree. The master’s degree is becoming the “gold standard”in most industries. While business degrees in marketing would seem to be the best preparatory programs, many employers actually prefer applicants with degrees in advertising or journalism. One of the challenges , according to AdAge, is that, despite the perceived need of advertising degrees, the real need is for professionals with degrees in math and science, because this is a technology field. Schools aren’t turning out people with those degrees as fast as they are needed.

What is the Job Outlook?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, potential for job growth in this profession is about 12 percent, which is average, but is not specific to digital advertising managers. In this particular area, the demand is great. The median salary is $115, 750 per year. The field is already changing, however, and digital advertising will have to adjust to new developments. Programmatic buying, for example, is a method of selling digital advertising space that involves no human interaction at all. Business people go to the Internet and bid on available spaces. They no longer have to invest in long-term commitments; they just buy a few spaces, analyze the results and then change their bids accordingly. The digital ad salesperson must be able to offer a value and a program that the consumer will see as more profitable. The average DIY client may not have the experience to follow up on that one-time or limited ad by using social media to reinforce it. He might not know which powerhouse media slots will bring the best return in the long run. Plus, he may be short-sighted and not realize the advantage in a well-thought-out and well-implemented consistent advertising plan.

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The virtual world that exists inside the Internet has almost unlimited space and opportunities for businesspeople to inform consumers about their products and services. The role of digital media sales executives is to put the client’s best face front and forward on the best digital media for them, and to adjust that face and media presence as the digital world changes.