Advertising and Promotions Manager
Direct a firm’s or group’s advertising and promotional campaigns.
Advertising managers. Advertising managers direct a firm’s or group’s advertising and promotional campaign. They can be found in advertising agencies that put together advertising campaigns for clients, in media firms that sell advertising space or time, and in companies that advertise heavily. They work with sales staff and others to generate ideas for the campaign, oversee a creative staff that develops the advertising, and work with the finance department to prepare a budget and cost estimates for the campaign. Often, these managers serve as liaisons between the firm requiring the advertising and an advertising or promotion agency that actually develops and places the ads. In larger firms with an extensive advertising department, different advertising managers may oversee in-house accounts and creative and media services departments. The account executive manages account services departments in companies and assesses the need for advertising. In advertising agencies, account executives maintain the accounts of clients whereas the creative services department develops the subject matter and presentation of advertising. The creative director oversees the copy chief, art director, and associated staff. The media director oversees planning groups that select the communication medium—for example, radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, or outdoor signs—that will disseminate the advertising.
Promotions managers. Promotions managers direct promotions programs that combine advertising with purchasing incentives to increase sales. Often, the programs are executed through the use of direct mail, inserts in newspapers, Internet advertisements, in-store displays, product endorsements, or other special events. Purchasing incentives may include discounts, samples, gifts, rebates, coupons, sweepstakes, and contests.
Work environment. Advertising and promotions managers work in offices close to those of top managers. Working under pressure is unavoidable when schedules change and problems arise, but deadlines and goals still must be met.
Substantial travel may be required in order to meet with customers and consult with others in the industry. Advertising and promotions managers may travel to meet with clients or representatives of communications media. Job transfers between headquarters and regional offices are common.
Long hours, including evenings and weekends are common. In 2008, over 80 percent of advertising, promotions and related managers worked 40 hours or more a week.
Training, Qualifications, and Advancement
A wide range of educational backgrounds is suitable for entry into advertising and promotions manager jobs, but many employers prefer college graduates with experience in related occupations.
Education and training. For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor's degree in advertising or journalism. A relevant course of study might include classes in marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, visual arts, art history, and photography.
For promotions management positions, employers often prefer a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing. Courses in business law, management, economics, accounting, finance, mathematics, and statistics are advantageous. In addition, the completion of an internship while the candidate is in school is highly recommended. In highly technical industries, such as computer and electronics manufacturing, a bachelor's degree in engineering or science, combined with a master's degree in business administration, is preferred.
Most advertising and promotions management positions are filled through promotions of experienced staff or related professional personnel. For example, many managers are former sales representatives; purchasing agents; buyers; or product, advertising, promotions, or public relations specialists. In small firms, in which the number of positions is limited, advancement to a management position usually comes slowly. In large firms, promotion may occur more quickly.
Other qualifications. Computer skills are necessary for recordkeeping and data management, and the ability to work in an Internet environment is becoming increasingly vital as more marketing, product promotion, and advertising is done through the Internet. Also, the ability to communicate in a foreign language may open up employment opportunities in many rapidly growing areas around the country, especially cities with large Spanish-speaking populations.
Persons interested in becoming advertising and promotions managers should be mature, creative, highly motivated, resistant to stress, flexible, and decisive. The ability to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, with other managers, staff, and the public is vital. These managers also need tact, good judgment, and exceptional ability to establish and maintain effective personal relationships with supervisory and professional staff members and client firms.
Certification and advancement. Some associations offer certification programs for these managers. Certification—an indication of competence and achievement—is particularly important in a competitive job market. Although relatively few advertising and promotions managers currently are certified, the number of managers who seek certification is expected to grow. Today, there are numerous management certification programs based on education and job performance.
Although experience, ability, and leadership are emphasized for promotion, advancement can be accelerated by participation in management training programs conducted by larger firms. Many firms also provide their employees with continuing education opportunities—either in-house or at local colleges and universities—and encourage employee participation in seminars and conferences, often held by professional societies. In collaboration with colleges and universities, numerous marketing and related associations sponsor national or local management training programs. Course subjects include brand and product management; international marketing; sales management evaluation; telemarketing and direct sales; interactive marketing; product promotion; marketing communication; market research; organizational communication; and data-processing systems, procedures, and management. Many firms pay all or part of the cost for employees who complete courses.
Because of the importance and high visibility of their jobs, advertising and promotions managers often are prime candidates for advancement to the highest ranks. Well-trained, experienced, and successful managers may be promoted to higher positions in their own or another firm; some become top executives. Managers with extensive experience and sufficient capital may open their own businesses.
Advertising and promotions managers held about 44,600 jobs in 2008.
Advertising and promotions managers were found in virtually every industry. About 27 percent of advertising and promotions managers worked in the professional, scientific, and technical services industries and wholesale trade.
Employment is projected to see little or no change. As with most managerial jobs, keen competition is expected for these highly coveted positions.
Employment change. Advertising and promotions managers are expected to experience little or no change in employment from 2008 to 2018. Despite large declines in the number of advertising managers in recent years, due mainly to the sharp reduction in the number of advertising agencies and newspaper and periodical publishers, which employ the greatest numbers of these managers, advertising and promotions managers are not expected to experience similar declines in the future. Because advertising is the primary source of revenue for most media, advertising departments are less affected in a downturn. An expected increase in the number of television and radio stations and a sharp increase in the amount of advertising in digital media, such as the Internet and wireless devices will generate a need for advertising managers to oversee new and innovative advertising programs. A number of these advertising managers will be self-employed.
Job prospects. Most job openings for this occupation will be due to the need to replace workers who leave the occupation or retire. However, advertising and promotions manager jobs are highly coveted and are often sought by other managers or highly experienced professionals, resulting in keen competition. College graduates with related experience, a high level of creativity, and strong communication and computer skills should have the best job opportunities. In particular, employers will seek those who have the skills to conduct new types of advertising and promotions campaigns involving new media, particularly the Internet.
Median annual wages in May 2008 were $80,220 for advertising and promotions managers. The middle 50 percent earned between $54,500 and $119,900. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,090 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $166,400.
Median annual wages of advertising and promotions managers in May 2008 in the advertising, public relations, and related services industry were $105,960.
Wages vary substantially, depending upon the employee’s level of managerial responsibility, length of service, and education; the size and location of the firm; and the industry in which the firm operates. For example, manufacturing firms usually pay these managers higher salaries than nonmanufacturing firms. Many managers earn bonuses equal to 10 percent or more of their salaries.
For More Information
For information about careers in advertising management, contact:
- American Association of Advertising Agencies, 405 Lexington Ave., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10174-1801. Internet: http://www.aaaa.org