An advertising manager is responsible for coordinating their company's advertising and promotional strategies. They usually oversee a staff of other advertising professionals, and work closely with the company's top management to promote the company's image, or brand. They typically have at least a bachelor's degree, with an emphasis on marketing. Ability, experience, and leadership are keys for advancing in the organization's management structure.
An advertising manager must oversee advertising and promotional staff members and teams, which are typically small, except in the largest firms. In a small firm, an advertising manager may serve as a liaison between their firm and the larger advertising or promotional agency to which many advertising or promotional functions are sub-contracted. In larger firms, an advertising manager oversees in-house accounts, and the creative and media services departments.
The advertising manager position requires one to manage ad campaigns — to help determine the proper mix of marketing techniques to be used in a campaign, and to manager the client relationships generally. They also have to ensure that everyone involved in the campaign is working together effectively. This can involve working with the media director to determine which media will be used to disseminate the marketing message, and working with the creative department to oversee the visuals and ad copy that will be used.
An advertising manager works in offices close to those of the organization’s top managers. Substantial travel is often expected of advertising managers. Tight deadlines, and dealing with problems or delays quickly and effectively, are hallmarks of the advertising manager’s job. These factors often require an advertising manager to work long hours.
Advertising managers are found in virtually every industry. Whenever there is a product or service, there is invariably a need to promote that service or product through marketing. An advertising manager helps companies make targeted markets aware of a given product or service, and then give them the incentive to seek it out. Success is often measured by how much an advertising manager can increase sales. In addition, advertising managers have to ensure that a given advertising campaign can accomplish its goals on-budget.
Employers usually look for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing, although some employers prefer degrees in advertising or journalism. Courses of study may include business law, management, economics, accounting, finance, mathematics, statistics marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, visual arts and photography.
Most advertising manager positions are filled by promoting experienced staff or related professional personnel from lower levels into the position. Many ad managers are former advertising or promotions specialists. Because there are typically many more upper level positions to fill, career advanced is often more rapid in large firms than it is in small firms. Advancement opportunities can be enhanced by certifications relating to this specialty role from professional associations. People in an advertising manager career often have a very good chance of eventually advancing to executive positions because their jobs are supervisory and are highly visible within a company.