An account executive manages the professional relationship between a client and a vendor. They are responsible for shaping a brand’s message and making sure that each step in a project exceeds expectations. Part salesperson, part marketer and part ambassador, account executives make sure a company produces quality work and excel at strengthening client relationships.
An account executive is responsible for making sure all their client’s needs are accounted for. This can include letting clients know about new products, listening to the client’s feedback and staying true to the client’s creative vision. Public relations responsibilities include sending press releases and reaching out to bloggers or influencers. An account executive works in a variety of media, including digital, social media, mobile marketing and direct marketing.
Account Executive Responsibilities
Goals and tasks for an account executive may differ depending on the industry.
An account executive at an advertising agency is responsible for making sure that their clients’ needs are met from start to finish. This may include discussions about what kind of promotional material the agency is creating, what demographic audience the advertisements will seek and meeting with account planners to track the campaign’s budget. They also will work with the creative team to make sure they understand how to meet the client’s creative vision. An account executive at an advertising agency will usually work with 3 or 4 clients at a time and look to recruit new clients, as well.
An account executive at a public relations firm is responsible for creating marketing strategies. This includes communicating daily with clients and members of the media, providing clients with proposals that meet their needs and conducting market research. An account executive at a public relations firm may also manage promotional events, coordinate photoshoots and organize logistics for media coverage. They also collect past media coverage to assess the client’s overall image. They may represent one person or a company.
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An account executive at a technology company have an upper management role and oversee all parts of the client and the company’s relationship. They often work on providing support and guidance for the sales team and collaborate with top executives at the company. They make business plans, set revenue targets and analyze data to set company goals. They also prepare proposals for the client, providing them with tailored recommendations for what types of technology will best suit their needs.
At a television station, an account executive oversees sales, which primarily comprises of on-air advertisements. They provide clients with advertising packages and proposals and make sure that advertisements work well logistically from start to finish. They are responsible for tracking analytics, providing forecasts and giving frequent updates to advertising clients. They often report to the sales manager.
There are several similar career paths that allow growth for someone with experience as an account executive. Often, an account executive will progress to account manager and then account director. Other jobs in this career path include:
- Account managers work specifically with a handful clients that have worked with the company in the past to make sure their needs are met and to present them with new opportunities. This position is usually a higher rank than account executive.
- Account directors are responsible for all staff and clients for a particular account. They focus on the company’s relationship with clients and their direction as a whole. Offers guidance for account executives. This position is a higher level than account manager and account executive.
- Marketing executive focus on the branding and creative vision for marketing campaigns. They consider data analytics and demographic notes to ensure a message best reaches its audience. This is a lateral career change from account executive, but it can be a great way to keep your work exciting and interesting.
- Advertising media buyers purchase space in media, such as newspapers, magazines, television and online. They match media platforms to campaign messages to ensure the most impactful marketing.
- Publicists generate attention for a client by getting coverage in newspapers, magazines, television and online. They manage a client’s overall image. This position is another lateral career change that can be a great way to have more independence or work with bigger clients.
Account Executive Salary
Often, account executives receive a base salary, sales commissions and bonuses based on annual goals. According to Payscale, the average salary is $51,056 nationally. Experience was shown to have a significant impact on salary for this position. Those with fewer than five years of experience reported earning $49,000. Those with more than 20 years of experience reported earning as much as $75,000 for their base salary.
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