Working in Advertising Agencies – Media
Marketing and advertising professionals had a great opportunity to meet and talk directly with hiring companies at The Job Forum career fair co-hosted with the American Marketing Association (AMA SF). One topic covered was advertising agency work and roles in the Media Department.
What are some of the job roles in advertising agencies?
There are many roles for people to work in the fast-paced, fun world of Advertising Agencies. In a full-service advertising agency, the departments typically may include:
- The Account Management Department where there are Account Coordinators, Account Managers, Account Supervisors and Account Directors who work with clients on marketing and advertising strategies.
- The Creative Department where there are copywriters, social media managers, content writers, art directors, designers, and producers, who work on developing and producing the clients’ actual advertising campaigns.
- The Media Department where there are Media Planners who analyze the media options and decide where to place advertising. There are Media Buyers who are channel experts (with knowledge of TV and radio markets, Podcasts, Programmatic advertising ad paid search). Media Buyers negotiate and buy the ad space in the media. They place the advertising and analyze results so that the target customer will see the advertising and become aware and influenced by the messages. There are media analytic roles as well and those job titles may be called media or marketing analysts and data engineers.
- The Account Planning or Research Department where they give valuable target audience research insights for the choice of the priority messages for how a product or service will be differentiated and advise how on what basis to advertise in order to stand out and be preferred in a competitive product or service category.
What are job hunters characteristics that matter for advertising agency work?
From entry level all the way up to quite senior levels, advertising agencies want people with attention to detail, curiosity, and they want those who are organized, and have the discipline for following through.
One of the most important things is curiosity.
One of the advertising agencies we spoke with at a Job Forum event said:
“Curiosity drives everything that those well-suited for work at advertising agencies do. Curiosity makes us question things, look at a product or service differently, poke holes in assumptions and thinking, dig deeper, and when we have more questions, it is an effort to provide the best thinking possible for our advertising work. “
So, if as a job hunter, you have curiosity, you are going to help your clients business, you are going to think better, and more deeply about target audience preferences, and about the media landscape. Your curiosity is likely going drive better ideas and better business.
What is involved and needed as a skill set for media jobs?
There is an ever-evolving landscape of media alternatives to reach the target audiences. Ever since the invention of the internet, smart phones, and apps, consumers have now millions of sites and apps and streaming services as media they consume and at which they choose to spend their time. So it is really important, for a job hunter considering a media job, to be interested in staying on top of all the media choices, to understand the changing media landscape.
Second, there are media platforms and software tools to learn to use.
These are basic technologies and tools that agencies use for media planning or buying or analysis, so one must learn how to use them and leverage them to help advertising messages reach the target audience.
Some of the tools and software are Nielsen, or Kantar, Comscore, or Pathmatics. These are used in order to understand a target audience and their media consumption habits. Hiring managers at agencies might look to see if you have some familiarity with those kinds of data and analytics tools.
Agencies also want creative thinkers that really can bring new ideas and have a mind set to be problem solvers.
Is it necessary to have a media background?
Media is a field that is open and you can enter! At The Job Forum we understand that Media can be a choice for anyone who has had a job in some kind of marketing. Experts who advise job hunters at the Job Forum tell us:
“If you understand the overarching umbrella of marketing to target audiences, even if it was in PR or, a different version of doing marketing, you’re going to have some insight and information that you can bring to a media job role. Anyone with an analytical or research orientation is going to be seen as having useful experience and potential for planning media because advertising agencies do a lot of research to put together media plans.”
Media is a field to consider for anyone who is analytical or a “numbers person. Anyone for example who has experience in budgeting will likely do well. Many analytic or numbers or research- based experiences will be seen as valuable and transferrable for joining an agency and targeting roles specific to media.
THANK YOU to H&L Partners and Jacqueline Zolowicz for her input to The Job Forum.
Organizations mentioned include: