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What do people in “advertising” do?

For those wanting to work in marketing/advertising there are varying roles within the industry. Firstly, you either work on the client or agency side of the equation. Each product or service firm will have an internal marketing team that will work with an advertising agency to develop their yearly marketing plan and execution. Many companies will also work with different agencies for different things, be it their Public Relations, Media, Marketing, Advertising, Digital, Creative, or Production for example; while others will choose one agency for it all, or even do it all themselves- in house.

You do not need to pick your side from the beginning, moving between client and agency side work  is common within the marketing industry, and a lot of employees will value if you have experience on both sides of the fence. As a client, you’re often able to work much better with agencies if you understand how they operate, and vice versa.

Depending on the size of the business you’re in, some of the roles you’ll come across include:

Account Coordinators, Executives & Managers: These people are the link between the agency and the client. It’s their role to make sure the agency is delivering for the client, and to also protect the agency and its margin. So while making the client happy, remember that it’s a business and you need to keep within scope and budget. This Client Services team co-ordinate all aspects of the planning, production and implementation of campaigns, working with colleagues, clients and any outside organisations and suppliers. These people are extremely organised and efficient, if you do not cope with receiving work on top of work on top of work- this is not the role for you.

Media Planners/Buyers:  When you see an ad on TV, a Media Planner has planned for it to be there as part of a much bigger strategy than that 30seconds; and the Buyer (often the same person/team) has purchased the place, negotiating costs and deals. These time savvy people work to place (pre approved) advertisements to achieve optimum impact. Media Planners and Buyers are not involved in the creative or strategic process, but work across all media channels and work to ensure that the maximum number of relevant ‘eye balls’ possible see a campaign at a minimum price; whenever and wherever this may be.

Strategy Planners are concerned with research, analysis and strategic thinking. They make sure your campaign will actually resonate with the consumer, acting as the consumer’s representative at the agency. They are the realists in the industry, and is never an entry level position. These guys have the wisdom and experience from many many years in the industry.

Creatives (e.g. designers, copywriters, art directors)  These Doc Martin wearing people provide the message (verbal and/or visual) that will sell the product, working directly from the client approved brief developed by the agency and client. This can be a very hard area to get into, and you may constantly argue with your own vision and the client’s vision. Many people will attend AWARD School or Copy School to help develop their creative skills for commercial use.

Development & Production (computing & tech gurus) Agencies are increasingly recruiting IT grads as digital takes the industry by storm. Digital using IT to analyse the effect of advertising which enables them to give customers real information about the costs and benefits of advertising in a variety of locations and media. The second use for IT/Multimedia is the increasing variety of platforms available for advertising including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and keeping abreast of new trends in technology.

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