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Careers in Advertising

Whether your strength is to plan or create or perhaps you pride yourself on getting things done there’s a huge variety of jobs and career paths in advertising.

What is an advertising agency?

Advertising agencies provide relevant, effective, and creative communications that help organisations build brands and achieve their goals. For example, you and the teams you work with could be helping your clients achieve better consumer engagement, higher sales, greater profit, or a larger share of the market.

We use many types of media to reach audiences, including web, TV, press, posters, mobile, mail, magazines, events and retail. In the last decade, there have been many changes in the industry due to advancements in technology and in response to this, the makeup of employees working in the industry is also changing. Advertising is the largest creative industry in the UK, but our current services are very much in need of technical and creative skillsets - so don’t discount a career in advertising if you are studying Sciences, Technology, Engineering, or Maths subjects.

So where do you fit in?

Our industry needs a broad range of skill-sets to match ever-changing consumer behaviours.

To find out where your personality and skills would be valuable, we’ve split the most popular roles into three easily defined categories. It’s by no means a definitive way to find out where you are suited, but it will set you on the right path.

PLAN - You think logically and plan things to get from A to B. You might like to be working in a role as a developer making websites, analysing data, or planning campaigns.

Developer (Web & App)
A Developer takes ownership of the entire build phase of creating websites and apps. Working with creatives and UX, they are responsible for writing custom scripts to accommodate a client’s needs. They are either professionally trained in, or have ample personal experience working with various scripting languages, like HTML.

Digital/Social Media Strategist
With a keen interest in consumer behaviour a strategist gathers and analyses information and data. From this they plan and develop digital advertising campaign strategies via Search, Social and/or paid for advertising.

Data Analyst
This role involves analysing data to identify insights and provide performance reports. Good working knowledge of spreadsheets, API tools and statistical software packages, are needed.

A highly-specialised role that analyses and forecasts market and consumer behaviour using a variety of econometric and statistical software packages.

User Experience (UX) Planner
Understanding of brand concepts and the relationships that customers have with technology are needed to help UX Planners design great online experiences. Knowledge of wireframes, sitemaps and the user journeys are key to this role.

Strategic Planning
Representing the consumer, Strategic Planners are responsible for developing the key strategic insight that lies behind the advertising idea.

Media Planning and Buying
Media Planners connect the consumer to the creative idea, Media Buyers are responsible for negotiating with the media owners to get the best position, timing, and pricing for their client’s media space.

Real Time Media Planner and Buyer
Planning, implementation, and maintenance of online media advertising campaigns. Strong interest in digital media technologies, data analysis and the ability to use API tools, are key to this role.

CREATE - You are creative, imaginative and love playing with ideas. You like the idea of inventing compelling advertising that addresses a brand’s business problems and seeing your work in the real world.

Art Director
Art Directors are responsible for the creation and development of advertising ideas, with a focus on their visual appearance, to solve business problems for their agency’s clients.

Copywriters also create advertising ideas, but with a focus on the written words (copy) within these. This copy can be anything from headlines and body copy for print advertising to TV commercial scripts, mobile applications and websites

Web Designer
Web Designers bring creative ideas to life across a variety of digital formats. Working with the creative teams, user experience designers and web developers they ensure a strong visual end-product.

DO – You can move from logical, linear thinking to leaps of faith and intuition. You don’t mind a bit of conflict but you also pay attention to how people feel. You could be an account executive, producer or a project manager.

Account Executive
The Account Executive and wider account management team are the bridge between the client and the agency. Account Execs are responsible for ensuring the smooth running of client accounts in the agency and develop effective working relationships with client contacts and all the key functions that go into creating the agency’s advertising output. Problem solving and organisation are key skills needed in this role.

Creative Services & Production
They ensure the internal process is smooth and the ads are made to the highest quality, on time and to budget. The people in this process need a variety of skills and can be split into three main areas - those who control the internal process within an agency, those who source the outside talent for production and those who oversee the production itself. Typical roles include – Creative Services Manager, Art Buyer, TV Production, Studio Project Management, Traffic Management and Print Production.

For your opportunity to visit a top agency and see how everything works from the inside, why not take part in Advertising Unlocked. On 29th September 2017, Advertising and Media Agencies all over the UK are opening their doors to future adlanders.

Register your interest now –

For graduate job opportunities in the industry visit

For apprenticeship opportunities go to

Last updated 07/03/2017

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