An account executive works as a liaison between a company and an advertising agency. Most often, these workers attempt to sell an agency's services to targeted clients by performing preparatory work in the hopes of signing the client company. Working as an account executive means performing extensive research and learning all about the client's products, marketing goals and needs. Often, account executives choose a targeted group, create an advertising concept, and develop a promotional campaign after becoming familiar with the company's product. Account executives work with a variety of departments, such as marketing, copywriting and art departments, in order to create innovative advertising and marketing campaigns.
Individuals looking to begin a career in this field need to have at least a bachelor's degree in business administration, advertising, journalism or marketing. Some larger companies may prefer that an applicant graduate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that students interested in becoming a manager in advertising, promotions or marketing should take classes in consumer behavior, market research, communication methods, research, sales and visual arts. After completing school, individuals can continue their education through internships and on-the-job training. No certifications or licensing are required to work as an account executive.
The BLS reported that account executives need the following qualities:
- Creativity and organization
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Excellent leadership abilities
- Analytical, decision-making and management skills
- Ability to develop lasting professional relationships with clients
- Strong speaking skills
Employment and Salary Outlook
Career opportunities in this field were expected to increase by 9% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. The organization also reported that the median average annual salary for advertising and promotions managers was $124,850 in May 2015. Almost all account executives work full time, although many work more than 40 hours per week; the BLS reported that in 2015, 2 in 5 marketing managers worked 50 hours or more per week.
As an account executive, you work to sell your company's services or products, so you must have strong sales and communication skills.