Advertising Account Planner Careers

How to become an Advertising Account Planner

What does a Advertising Account Planner do?

Account planners are responsible for ensuring an advertising campaign is targeted at the correct audience.

They study the client’s brief and analyse existing data, market reports, and information from past campaigns before deciding whether to arrange for fresh market research to be carried out. This may be conducted by themselves or by commissioning an outside agency. Research is the planner’s key tool. They need to know who buys the product or service to be advertised, why they buy it, and what distinguishes it from its competitors.

Once the target audience is defined, a strategy is developed and presented to the client. When the strategy has been agreed, they liaise closely with the creative team, advising them on consumer issues and trends and providing them with information about the product and target audience.

They also monitor sales figures to assess the campaign’s effectiveness and suggest changes if it is not going as well as expected.

What's the working environment like working as a Advertising Account Planner?

Account planners work long and irregular hours, Monday to Friday. In addition, deadlines and workload can lead to weekend work. Some agencies have flexible working hours on the understanding that staff will work late when deadlines demand it.

Most of the time is spent working in offices, although they also spend some time travelling to meet clients.

What does it take to become a Advertising Account Planner?

To be an advertising account planner you should:

  • be interested in what motivates people, as well as the changing trends and fashions affecting consumers
  • have strong presentation and negotiation skills
  • be skilled at analysing research and able to translate this into action plans
  • be organised and able to think strategically both long and short term
  • have a good memory for facts and figures
  • have good communication skills, both written and spoken
  • be able to work with a range of people and as part of a team
  • have good computer skills
  • have stamina and drive to be able to work long hours, often under pressure
  • have a smart appearance and a professional manner
  • be persuasive yet diplomatic when discussing clients' needs
  • be flexible.

Advertising Account Planner Career Opportunities

Advertising is a popular career, and applicants always outnumber vacancies. Agencies with a structured graduate recruitment programme are listed in the IPA Factfile (see website in Further Information) although your best approach may be to contact agencies directly.

The majority of advertising agencies are based in London. Other centres for advertising are Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester. It may be possible to work abroad.

Career progression within advertising is based upon experience and ability.

Promotion possibilities include planning consultancy for a specialist organisation or becoming a director within an agency. Large agencies may employ senior account planners.

Experienced advertising staff often set up small advertising agencies of their own.

Movement between agencies is common.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Advertising Account Planner that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Account Planning Group
16 Creighton Avenue
N10 1NU
Tel: 020 8444 3692

Advertising Association
7th Floor North
Artillery House
11-19 Artillery Row
Tel: 020 7340 1100

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)
44 Belgrave Square
Tel: 020 7235 7020

CAM Education Foundation Limited
Moor Hall
Tel: 01628 427120

Market Research Society (MRS)
15 Northburgh Street
Tel: 020 7490 4911

Facts and Stats:

  • The Advertising Standards Association received 589 complaints in 1998 against the Irn Bru drinks advert that featured a cow with the caption ''When I''m a burger I want to be washed down by Irn Bru''
  • The first colour advert on TV in 1969 was for Birds Eye peas
  • Salman Rushdie once worked as an advertising copy writer
  • Advertising is not permitted on the Champs Elysées in Paris
  • ''Advertising insults my intelligence'', say 42 per cent of people in the UK, 23 per cent in Ireland and 49 per cent in the USA