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Advertising Account Planner Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Advertising Account Planner. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Advertising Account Planner
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Advertising Account Planner Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

An account planner ensures that an advertising campaign is targeted at the correct audience.
They carry out research, and analyse information from past campaigns to decide whether fresh market research is needed. If it is, they will do this or get an outside agency to do it.
Once they have defined the target audience, they develop a strategy and advise the creative team about the product and the target audience.

Account planners may also be involved in presenting creative ideas to the client, pre-testing the campaign, monitoring its effectiveness, and gaining consumer feedback.

The work is likely to include long, irregular and unsocial hours, Monday to Friday, and evenings and weekend work when necessary. Some of their time is spent indoors in comfortable offices. They also travel to meet clients.

New entrants start from around £12,000. Senior positions can command salaries of over £50,000 a year.

An account planner needs:

  • to be good at research and analysis
  • excellent communication skills
  • to be interested in what motivates people
  • persuasiveness
  • strong presentation skills

Most opportunities are in London. Other centres for advertising are Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

There are no set qualifications, but most entrants have A levels/H grades, and many are graduates.

New entrants normally shadow experienced staff. Some larger agencies offer structured training.

Promotion possibilities include senior account planner or director in an agency, or planning consultancy for a specialist organisation.

What does the role encounter?

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

When the agency wins a new account, account planners study the client's brief (instructions) and decide what research is needed. They analyse existing data and market reports, and information from past campaigns before deciding whether to arrange for fresh market research, which they either carry out themselves, or in-house, or commission an outside agency to compile.

Account planners need to know who buys the product or service to be advertised, why they buy it, and what distinguishes it from its competitors.

Once they have defined the target audience, they develop a strategy and present it to the client, explaining the rationale behind it and its anticipated impact. They may need to be persuasive, as their conclusions about the market place may not be the same as the business objectives of the client.

When the strategy has been agreed, they liaise closely with the creative team. They advise them on consumer issues and trends and give them information about the product and the target audience. They may also be involved in presenting the creative ideas to the client.

Account planners may arrange for the campaign to be pre-tested to check that the intended message is getting across. Once in progress, they monitor sales figures to assess the campaign's effectiveness and suggest changes if it is not going as well as expected. At the end of a campaign, they may organise a focus group to gain feedback.

Starting salaries are around £12,000 a year.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Account planners work long, irregular and unsocial hours, Monday to Friday, and 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.

Some of their time is spent working indoors, sitting in comfortable offices. They also spend some time travelling to meet clients.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are only a guide.

Salaries for new account planners start at around £12,000 to £16,000 a year.

Experienced account planners earn £30,000 to £40,000.

Senior positions can command salaries of more than £50,000.

What type of skills will I need?

Advertising account planners need:

  • strong presentation skills
  • to be skilled at analysing research and able to translate this into action plans
  • to be organised
  • to be able to think strategically both in the long and short terms
  • an appreciation of business and creativity
  • a good memory for facts and figures
  • good written and spoken communication skills
  • to work well with a range of people and as part of a team
  • some numerical ability
  • computer skills
  • stamina and drive
  • ability to work to deadlines
  • a smart appearance and professional manner
  • to be persuasive yet diplomatic
  • to be flexible
  • good negotiating skills

What type of training will I receive?

At all agencies trainees may spend time shadowing experienced staff, while larger agencies are likely to have structured training programmes.

Some larger agencies offer ongoing in-house training. The Account Planning Group and Market Research Society provide training for new account planners.

They may also work towards NVQ/SVQ Levels 3 and 4 in Advertising and Public Relations.

Individuals may enrol on a course run by the IPA if their employer is a member, or take qualifications with the Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation (CAM). They can study full time, part time, or by intensive and distance learning courses. Each certificate involves at least 60 hours’ study.

Career Progression:

Career progression in advertising is based on experience and ability. Gaining relevant qualifications is an advantage.

There are no fixed periods for promotion, but possibilities include planning consultancy for a specialist organisation or becoming a director in an agency. Large agencies may offer promotion to senior account planner.

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

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Advertising Account Executive
Advertising Creative Copywriter/Director
Advertising Media Planner
Market Research Executive
Marketing Manager
Media Researcher
Public Relations Officer

Where can I find further information?

Account Planning Group, 16 Creighton Avenue, London N10 1NU. 020 8444 3692. Website:

Communication, Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation Ltd (CAM), Moor Hall, Cookham, Maidenhead SL6 9QH. 01628 427120. Website:

The Advertising Association, Abford House, 15 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1NJ. 020 7828 2771 (2pm-4pm, Tuesday to Thursday). Website:

The Direct Marketing Association, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS. 020 7291 3300. Website:

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), 44 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QS. 020 7235 7020. Website:

The Market Research Society, 15 Northburgh Street, London EC1V 0JR. 020 7490 4911. Website:

What trade magazines are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Marketing Week
Media Week
PR Week
Press Gazette
The Guardian

Other Useful Advertising Account Planner Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Advertising Account Planner job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Advertising Account Planner Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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