Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Plan and Manage Your Way to a Career as an Advertising Account Manager

If you enjoy planning and managing projects within a collaborative team and have an interest in the field of advertising, there is a job specially suited just for you. The Advertising Account Management industry is responsible for managing clients’ accounts and the work of advertising account executives as well as dealing with client budgets and administration.

The job of Advertising Account Managers involves acting as liaisons between a company and its clients. It is their responsibility to see that those clients are maximizing the value of the products and services provided. A sales component also makes up a large part of the job. It’s the duty of professionals in Advertising Account Management to maintain, retain and usually up sell to their portfolio of clients or accounts. Specific tasks vary from agency to agency, but usually involve: managing a portfolio of accounts, dealing with all aspects of an advertising campaign, researching new business leads and “pitching” ideas, achieving sales targets by using existing networks of industry contacts to generate revenue, leading project management activity, attending client meetings and completing administrative work, as required. Such a multitude of tasks will see professionals who are interested in this aspect of advertising find careers in: advertising agencies, sales promotion, event marketing, interactive marketing, direct marketing, account planning, research, client marketing.

So what kind of skills must you have to be successful in this industry? First, Account Managers should be detail-oriented and organized. You will be expected to stay ahead of every aspect of a project. As you interact with clients and other managers, you must also have good writing and verbal communication skills. You can’t, however, let your charm get ahead of you, as promising more than your company can deliver may get you in hot water. Therefore, in Advertising Account Management, balance is necessary. In the communication realm, also comes the importance of paying attention to your clients’ needs. You’ll need to understand their requirements to see how your company’s products and services can help them. Lastly, creativity is essential in order to figure out solutions if your clients are too demanding or require something that is outside of the box.

Such important skills can be learned in Centennial College’s Advertising Account Management program. It is designed to prepare you for the client service area of this integrated marketing and communications industry by teaching you the full scope of advertising and communications tactics. A seasoned team of professionals walks you through topics such as advertising research, integrated media foundations, account management practices, strategic planning, design and production fundamentals, agency finance and operations and many others. The Advertising Account Management program ends with a 15-week placement. Having been equipped with practical experience using professional computer software and research systems, students enter the placement (and the industry upon graduation) with career-ready skills. The proof of the effectiveness of Centennial College’s program is in its graduates. Check out the stories of program graduates who have gone on to make a splash in Advertising Account Management. Applicants to the program should be aware that they are required to submit an official transcript demonstrating proof of successful completion of a post-secondary diploma or degree program. They will also have to attend a program admission session during which a writing test and questionnaire will be conducted. Centennial College will also consider applicants presenting a combination of partial post-secondary education and relevant work experience.

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