Kamis, 08 November 2007

Account Executive

Profesi : Account Executive




Semua orang sudah tahu kalau idealnya, memilih profesi didasarkan pada kecintaan dan keahlian terhadap profesi yang mereka tekuni. Untuk seorang Account Executive (AE), kecintaan ini idealnya juga dilengkapi dengan kemampuan menulis, pengetahuan mengenai membawa diri dalam pergaulan luas dan isi kepala yang penuh dengan ide kreatif.

Kenapa kemampuan menulis penting untuk profesi yang mirip dengan tenaga pemasaran (marketing) ini? "Karena dalam perusahaan tertentu, seorang AE dituntut untuk mampu membuat tulisan advertorial, proposal yang akan ditawarkan pada klien dan melakukan pekerjaan re-write," ujar Erika Oktaviani, Account Supervisor Kompas.

Pada dasarnya, job description pekerjaan AE ini adalah menawarkan produk kepada sejumlah klien yang dianggap membutuhkan produk yang dihasilkan oleh perusahaan tempat sang AE bekerja. Produk yang ditawarkan bisa berupa produk atau jasa, dan klien yang dimaksud di sini bisa berupa perusahaan atau agensi. Dalam perusahaan tempat Erika bekerja, yang ditawarkan adalah sejumlah bentuk kesempatan beriklan yang dirancang dengan format dan gaya sendiri-sendiri. "Yang paling populer memang format advertorial," ujar Erika.

Ritme pekerjaan AE dimulai dari mencari, menjajaki dan menghubungi perusahaan klien yang kemungkinan dapat diajak bekerja sama. Dalam hal menghubungi dan mendapatkan klien ini, setiap perusahaan memiliki standar sendiri-sendiri mengenai berapa jumlah klien baru yang wajib berhasil didapatkan setiap minggu. Setelah mendapatkan informasi tentang sebuah perusahaan klien baru misalnya, seorang AE idealnya mulai melakukan langkah-langkah untuk membuka jalur hubungan perusahaan tersebut. Di beberapa perusahaan, yang diwakili oleh agensi, biasanya mereka tinggal menunggu 'job'dari agensi tersebut.

"Di perusahaan kami, seorang AE baru akan didampingi oleh AE senior dan mereka biasanya akan diajak apabila sang senior meeting dengan perusahaan klien. Kesempatan ini dapat digunakan AE baru tersebut untuk beradaptasi, observasi mengenai bagaimana cara berkomunikasi dan membawa diri di depan klien, di mana untuk ke depannya, mereka diharapkan dapat 'dilepas' sendiri," tambah Erika.

Setelah lampu hijau didapat dari perusahaan klien, mereka masuk pada langkah membuat proposal materi untuk dipresentasikan di depan klien. Disinilah kemampuan menulis para AE akan diuji, selain juga bantuan dari tenaga kreatif di perusahaan mereka untuk mampu memberikan presentasi maksimal seputar grafis (untuk iklan display) dan materi visualisasi lainnya. Momen ini yang biasanyamenjadi final touch penentu keberhasilan seorang AE dalam menawarkan produk perusahaannya, apakah mereka berhasil meyakinkan perusahaan klien atau tidak.

Untuk perusahaan media, dimana advertorial menjadi produk utama yang idealnya dipasarkan AE, AE juga biasanya akan turun tangan terhadap proses pembuatannya. "Pihak perusahaan memang bisa saja membuat sendiri advertorialnya, tapi biasanya hal ini sangat jarang, dan mereka biasanya lebih mempercayakan pengerjaan advertorial mereka kepada kami," ujar Erika.

Dalam pengerjaan advertorial, dimana biasanya format ini membutuhkan proses wawancara dengan beberapa pihak, tulisan akan dibuat oleh para copywriter, dengan didampingi oleh AE yang take in charge terhadap job project tersebut.

Tertarik menjadi seorang AE? Lulusan S1 yang bukan berasal dari latar belakang marketing pun sah-sah saja bila ingin melamar menjadi seorang AE. Bidang cakupan profesi ini, bila sewaktu-waktu Anda ingin banting setir mencoba profesi lain, juga cukup luas. Sebut saja menjadi seorang public relation atau tenaga humas sebuah perusahaan. Karena para AE diharapkan dapat menjalin dan mempertahankan hubungan baik dengan para klien mereka, kemampuan berkomunikasi mutlak diperlukan oleh mereka yang ingin menjajal kemampuan di bidang ini.

Soal penampilan, sudah bukan rahasia lagi kalau insan-insan yang berkecimpung dalam dunia pemasaran, biasanya dituntut untuk selalu berpenampilan menarik. Tapi penampilan menarik bukan satu-satunya jaminan, karena kecerdasan, kesupelan dan kemampuan berkomunikasi yang baik sangat menentukan keberhasilan seorang AE di luar.

Bagaimana dengan soa gaji? Cukup menggiurkan. Simak saja, seorang AE yang baru lulus S1, sangat mungkin mendapatkan gaji di atas Rp. 1 juta. Sementara untuk AE berpengalaman, standar gaji berkisar antara Rp. 1,5 ke atas. Dalam sejumlah perusahaan yang sudah punya nama besar, gaji antara Rp. 2 sampai dengan 3,5 juta, sangat mungkin didapatkan oleh seorang AE baru lulus, tentunya yang berprestasi.

Berbicara mengenai sistem komisi, hal ini tergantung dari kebijaksanaan masing-masing perusahaan. Apakah mereka akan menetapkan standar komisi bagi para AE mereka, atau mengkalkulasinya langsung ke dalam gaji perbulan.

Nah, tertarik untuk menjadi seorang Account Executive?

*Erika Oktoviani, Account Supervisor Kompas Gramedia






Job description
A sales promotion account executive is involved in devising, developing and implementing ideas for promotional marketing campaigns. They ensure the smooth running of a campaign and co-ordinate the diverse activities that contribute to it.
Sales promotion aims to increase sales or usage of products and services by providing additional incentives and typically targets consumers, channel marketing partners and a company's own employees. Strategies include:
• competitions;
• free gifts;
• money-off coupons;
• two-for-one offers;
• sales incentives;
• token collection.
These reach the consumer in retail outlets, at events and exhibitions, through direct mail, press advertising, websites, text messaging and other new media.
» Typical work activities
Sales promotion account executives are key players in the organisation of promotional marketing campaigns. It is their responsibility to:
• ensure that the work proceeds according to plan;
• keep everybody else involved in the campaign informed and up to date;
• provide central administrative support to the team.
Account executive is the normal entry-level position for new graduates. Tasks typically include:
• reporting to the account manager;
• briefing other agency staff, such as creative teams and production departments;
• liaising with clients, other agency staff and external suppliers of goods and services;
• researching ideas, clients and markets;
• attending meetings and sharing ideas at brainstorming sessions, reporting back details of discussions;
• monitoring the progress of work and producing status reports;
• writing and proof-reading copy;
• costing supplies and projects;
• compiling budgets;
• preparing and checking invoices and bills;
• maintaining information on projects and clients;
• assisting in the preparation of presentations to clients;
• carrying out a variety of administrative tasks.

Job description
Advertising account executives act as a link between their client and the advertising agency. They may report to the account manager, but they have responsibility for the project management of their clients' campaigns and deal with the day-to-day work, ensuring it is produced on time and on budget.
Advertising account executives put proposals together and set up meetings to present the brief and estimate costs to the client. They work closely with their clients throughout campaigns.
The role typically involves handling the accounts of three to four non-competing clients, co-ordinating the activities of the advertising team and administrative staff.
» Typical work activities
Typical work activities revolve around the running of advertising campaigns.
Tasks typically involve:
• discussing the products, services and advertising requirements of each particular client;
• setting up meetings with clients and other agency staff;
• delegating work to other members of the agency team;
• briefing media, creative and research staff, and formulating marketing strategies;
• liaising with, and acting as the link between, the client and advertising agency by maintaining regular contact with both, ensuring that communication flows effectively;
• overseeing the status of advertising campaigns;
• negotiating with clients and agency staff about the details of campaigns;
• presenting campaign plans to clients for approval or modification;
• meeting deadlines and prioritising tasks;
• handling budgets and managing campaign costs;
• writing reports, keeping records and financial details;
• helping to secure new business;
• undertaking administrative tasks;
• handling the profitability of accounts;
• in some cases, managing administration staff;
• gaining, maintaining familiarity with and keeping up with changes in the nature of clients' products, business culture and competition;
• monitoring the effectiveness of campaigns;
• arranging and chairing meetings.
The work
Advertising account executives, also known as account handlers, act as the link between an advertising agency and the client. They organise the creative and administrative staff to make sure that campaigns are produced on time and on budget.
Their work involves:
• meeting the client to discuss their advertising needs
• working with account planners and media planners to devise a campaign that meets the client's brief and budget
• presenting campaign ideas and costings to clients
• briefing the creative team who will produce the adverts
• negotiating with clients, solving any problems and making sure deadlines are met
• checking and reporting on the campaign’s progress
• keeping in contact with the client at all stages of the campaign
• managing the account’s budget and invoicing the client
• making ‘pitches’ to try to win new business.
Account executives usually handle three to four non-competing accounts at the same time.
Entry
There are no set entry qualifications for becoming an account executive. However, advertising is a very competitive industry and most employers will expect you to have a degree or BTEC higher national diploma (HND).
Your degree or HND can be in any subject, but you may have an advantage with one of the following:
• advertising
• marketing
• statistics or operational research
• communication and media studies
• business or management
• psychology.
Contact colleges or universities about course entry requirements.
You will find it useful to have previous work experience in the media, marketing, communications or sales.
It is a good idea to try to find work experience in an advertising agency before looking for your first job. Contact agencies directly to ask about work placements, or see the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) website for a list of member agencies offering work experience.
For more advice on getting into advertising, see the Advertising Association and IPA websites (contact details in Further Information).
Training
You will usually start as a junior account executive. You will be trained on the job, possibly through a structured graduate training scheme.
You may also be able to work towards qualifications from the professional associations, such as:
• IPA Foundation Certificate, an online course for junior staff with at least six months’ experience in any area of advertising
• IPA Excellence Diploma, for middle managers with at least three to five years’ experience
• Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation (CAM) Diploma in Marketing Communications – for this you will need a degree or equivalent, or at least two years’ relevant work experience.
You can also take short courses to help your professional development, from the IPA and the Account Planning Group. See websites (in Further Information) for details.
Further information
Creative and Cultural Skills
11 Southwark Street
London
SE1 1RQ
Helpline: 0800 093 0444
http://www.ccskills.org.uk
Advertising Association
7th Floor North
Artillery House
11-19 Artillery Row
London
SW1P 1RT
Tel: 020 7340 1100
http://www.adassoc.org.uk
Account Planning Group
16 Creighton Avenue
London
N10 1NU
Tel: 020 8444 3692
http://www.apg.org.uk
Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation Limited (CAM)
Moor Hall
Cookham
Maidenhead
Berkshire
SL6 9QH
Tel: 01628 427120
http://www.camfoundation.com
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)
44 Belgrave Square
London
SW1X 8QS
Tel: 020 7235 7020
http://www.ipa.co.uk
If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning adviser at learndirect Careers Advice, call 0800 100 900 or use our online enquiry form
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Annual Income
• Starting salaries are around £18,000 to £22,000 a year.
• With experience, this typically rises to between £30,000 and £40,000 a year.
• Senior directors in advertising agencies can earn £60,000 to £120,000 a year.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
Hours and Environment
As an account executive, your basic working hours will usually be between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, although you may have to work longer hours to meet deadlines.

You will be office-based but may also travel to meet clients.
Skills and Interests
To be an advertising account executive you need:
• good spoken and written communication skills
• strong presentation and negotiation skills
• confidence, tact and a persuasive manner
• good organisational and time management skills
• good 'people skills', for working with a range of colleagues and clients
• the ability to lead and motivate a team
• a willingness to work long hours, often under pressure
• a professional manner
• good business sense and the ability to work to budgets.
Opportunities
Advertising is a very popular career among graduates, and there is a lot of competition for jobs. Around half of the UK's advertising agencies are based in London. Other major centres for advertising are Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.
Jobs may be advertised in the national press, trade publications such as Campaign and Creative Review, the IPA website (at IPA Jobs Online and the IPA Graduate Recruitment Agency) and specialist recruitment agencies. However, not all jobs are advertised, so it is also a good idea to approach agencies directly, and to build a network of contacts in the industry to find work through word of mouth.
With experience, you could progress to become an account manager. Eventually you could become an agency director, or set up your own agencies. It is common to move between agencies to gain promotion or work with larger accounts. Head-hunting is also common for senior jobs.

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