We have talked a lot about digital marketing, but where digital marketing has its roots is advertising. Mainstream advertising is still a stratum of the marketing field which is running strong and fast. With numerous opportunities for the creative people of the world, advertising is one of the foremost players in marketing. Let us pick up from this industry an account executive, otherwise known as the “guy from client servicing” and see what makes them who they are.
An account executive is like the face of the company. They are the liaison between the advertising agency and a company. The account executive basically attempts to sell an agency’s services to prospective clients.
An account executive apart from being the liaison between the agency and the client, also works closely with the rest of the agency departments, such as marketing, copywriting and art departments, in order to create innovative advertising and marketing campaigns.
They perform preparatory work (pitches) in hopes of signing the client company. A pitch includes learning all about the client, their products, marketing goals and needs and preparing a presentation that outlines why the client actually needs their agency and what the entire agency will do for them. Often, after getting familiar with the client company’s product, an account executive creates an advertising concept and develops a promotional campaign to pitch to prospective clients.
Though the educational requirements may vary from company to company, the basic qualifications and skills needed are the same. Individuals looking to begin a career as an account executive need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, advertising, journalism, or marketing. Sometimes, larger companies prefer an applicant to have an MBA. Though there are no certifications or licensing required to work as an account executive, there are a few more skills one requires for this field.
Other Jobs and Skill Sets Required
Apart from the educational requirements for becoming an account executive, there are as always, a few soft skills that form a great part of the successful account executive:
- Creativity– It goes without saying, advertising is without doubt a creative field, and an account executive has to be creative. When pitches are designed, they require fresh and innovative concepts, not repetitive things that have been beaten to death. It is not a place where you can copy and paste ideas.
- Organization – Once the concepts and ideas are in place, there needs to be proper execution. Many times it has been seen that poor execution has caused the death of even the most brilliant ideas. An account executive needs to have organizational skills as they not only have to think up concepts but also see to their execution.
- Strong interpersonal skills – The account executive, along with being the liaison between the agency and the client, also has to be involved with almost all the other departments. For effective execution, the account executive needs to have strong interpersonal skills. Being able to communicate effectively is an important requirement of this field.
- Leadership abilities – The concepts that are created need to be worked upon by various departments together. This forms for a very diverse team and every team needs a leader to ensure frictionless working of the various departments. This is another role that the account executive has to play.
- Strong personality and speaking skills – This has to be one of the most important skills required for an account executive. Many times an account executive has to put forth all his charm and all his convincing skills to get a client approve some concept, for that one must have a strong personality and speaking skills to get the desired jobs.