How to Be an Account Executive at an Ad Agency

Advertising account executives serve as the liaison between clients and all the creative staff and components at the ad agency. Account execs plan out ad campaigns for their clients and are responsible for coordinating all aspects of the administrative and creative work. It's a rewarding career that can pay well and bring a lot of personal satisfaction and success, but it's also hard work that requires specific work habits and personality skills. Learn how to be an account executive at an ad agency to hone your skills and training for work in this field.


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    Get a college degree. It's possible to get a job in an ad agency without one, but most employers look for a Bachelors degree at the minimum. A Masters degree will give you a competitive edge, especially if you are seeking employment in a major advertising firm. Degrees in liberal arts or business are acceptable choices that will teach you how to be an account executive at an ad agency.
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    Develop your communication and presentation skills. Working as an account executive demands the ability to listen and communicate effectively with clients and deal with difficult and hard to please clients. You'll be selling ideas and services to them, so an enthusiastic approach is essential.
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    Take some classes in business writing. You'll be writing proposals, letters and other communication as an account executive. A command of grammar and business writing is essential.
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    Demonstrate your organization skills. An account executive's job includes organizing and managing campaigns for multiple clients. It's essential to keep track of all the work that is involved with each campaign to be able to report back to the client and keep projects on track.
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    Meet deadlines. An ad campaign is composed of many different tasks, and usually one step must be completed before the next can begin. You'll need to keep staff and creative consultants on task and motivate them to get work completed on time.
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    Be able to visualize your client's needs and the final result. You are responsible for the vision and final product of an ad campaign, with input from the client. You'll have to be able to envision what the client wants and needs to meet their target market, and be able to communicate that vision to creative staff.
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    Understand the client's target market. You'll need to do market research and understand demographics to make sure the ad campaigns reach the client's customers. A quick assessment to identify the target market and the media to reach them will have to be done before any creative work begins.
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    Use computer software programs and office equipment. You'll be using office software to create letters and proposals, charts and presentations. You'll also have to use multi-line phone systems, copiers, fax machines and other office equipment.
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    Stay mentally and physically fit. Working as an account executive demands long hours and lots of time spent juggling projects. There may be frustration and disappointment at times. Stay fit and work on hobbies and activities to deal with stress.
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    Have the financial skills to develop and meet client budgets. You'll have to be familiar with the costs of creative work and advertising placement to present a realistic budget to clients and put together plans that meet their budget needs.
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    Keep up your appearance. You'll spend a lot of time working with clients and motivating other staff, so you'll need to be well groomed and dress the part. You'll also need to adapt the way you present yourself to different clients, depending on their style.

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