What it involves
Advertising account planners are employed by large national and international advertising companies, direct marketing companies and independent creative and media agencies. Typical responsibilities involve:
- liaising with clients, consumers and advertising staff
- developing ideas
- pinpointing business problems
- analysing and interpreting a variety of information
- commissioning external qualitative and quantitative research
- keeping up-to-date with trends, as well as customers’ views and attitudes
- undertaking qualitative research
- making presentations to clients and agency staff
- evaluating campaign effectiveness
- analysing sales data.
A degree in any subject is acceptable for entry into the profession, although journalism, psychology, business studies, communications, media studies, marketing, or management graduates may be preferred. A good appreciation of what working within advertising involves is helpful.
Relevant paid or voluntary market research, marketing or advertising work experience is advantageous. Some agencies offer vacation placements – these may be unpaid, but can provide an invaluable insight into the profession and the opportunity to make useful contacts. Contact with clients and colleagues is a key feature of the job, so good interpersonal teamwork, presentation and communication skills are essential.
Employers often value personality, relevant skills and commercial awareness more highly than qualifications. Potential employees should possess confidence, creativity, the ability to cope with pressure and effective analytical and organisational abilities.
Where to find out more
Candidates need enthusiasm, stamina, determination and perseverance to succeed, as jobs attract severe competition – particularly graduate training places. Most jobs are located in London and major UK and international cities.
Vacancies are advertised via the Internet, by recruitment agencies, in national newspapers and in publications such as Campaign, The Drum, Marketing, Media Week, and Marketing Week. Some agencies operate graduate recruitment schemes – due to stiff competition, early and/or speculative applications are advisable - Advertisers Annual and BRAD Advertiser and Agency List may prove useful for these.