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Helping you find a career in the Advertising industry

Advertising helps customers to decide the right product for their needs. The advertising industry sees the interaction of creative and administrative teams to produce advertisements that will satisfy the demands of your company’s clients and inspire customers to buy their products over those of the company’s competitors. Working in advertising will help you to show off your people skills and creative thinking.

Advertising agencies tend to be split into two major bits: accounts management and creative teams. Accounts managers meet with clients to identify their needs. The creative team then produces advertisements that meet the needs of the client.

The needs of a client will vary. Clients will be seeking to reach different markets, so a good accounts manager will consider the kinds of people the client is aiming to sell their product to. One client may demand an innovative approach to advertising that appeals to younger customers (e.g. creating advertisements for social media) while another client will ask for more traditional advertising methods (such as television spots or ads in newspapers). The creative team will then have the challenge of building an advertising campaign that meets those needs while still being fresh and exciting.

The different roles in advertising agencies will require different skills. An accounts manager will be primarily concerned with market changes, budgets and the best ways to reach customers. Creative teams will have more artistic concerns but should be aware of the business side of things. Ultimately, members of both teams should have strong interpersonal skills and knowledge of customer psychology.

Starting salaries for account managers start at around £25,000 with senior managers earning up to £90,000! Creatives start a little lower, at around £20,000, but the most senior creative positions can see salaries exceeding £100,000.

Generally, any role in an advertising agency will require a degree. The specific degree required will vary depending on your position within an advertising agency. An accounts manager may require a degree in business management or accounting, while creative departments tend to look for employees with degrees in arts-related subjects.

Different advertising companies will have different focuses. One company may be known for traditional print-media and television advertisements, while another company may specialise in more innovative advertising methods, such as app development or pop-up events. Whatever your own interests, there will always be an advertising company producing interesting work in that field, so have a look at the work of different advertising agencies and see what excites you most.


How to get Advertising internships, work experience or placements
Some companies offer unpaid work experience for students during their time at university. This can help familiarise you with the world of advertising.

Most universities also have their own television station and radio, so getting involved with these will you to help acquaint yourself with those industries, both of which are involved in advertising. Also, consider applying for a position as PR rep in a society at your university to develop your marketing skills.

Networking is an essential skill for getting into the advertising industry. Send emails to local advertising groups to see if you can find some work experience. These positions can be competitive, so you may need to send out a lot of emails but don’t lose hope! When you succeed in finding a work placement, speak to members of the team to find out how they got into the industry and try to make contacts.
Skills & interests you'll need
An accounts manager will need to be analytical and profit-orientated while possessing strong communication skills. Much of accounts management involves meeting with clients over dinner or drinks, so be prepared for a lot of late nights!

Creative roles require innovative thinking within the guidelines set by the client. Consequently, insight into customer needs and inclinations is essential to make innovative work that will reach the right customers. These roles will also require artistic skills.

Presenting ideas to a client is required for both roles, so strong presentation skills are crucial.
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