Graduate Job Profile - Online

Where to work – Online

With an audience of over 32 million people in the

UK, no marketer worth their salt would plan an advertising campaign that didn’t include some kind of online presence.

From the simple familiar formats like banners and skyscrapers, to sponsored search, to ads popping up on specific words in the text you are reading or over locations that you search on Google Maps… the ways to deliver advertising messages on the web (and email and mobile) are developing - both creatively and technically - as fast and in as many varied forms as the internet itself.

The key difference with online advertising is that it is the first truly interactive medium and the first truly measurable one, especially compared to broadcast TV and radio.  Clicks can be tracked closely, almost in real time and easily associated with a wealth of demographic information.

This has caused a rapid swing towards online and away from traditional media over recent years – the UK online advertising sector is growing at a phenomenal rate and was worth over £2.8billion in 2007.

Why work in Online?

There are two main distinct routes you can take to a career selling online advertising.

Firstly, you can start out with a 'traditional' publishing house who will have both 'old' (print, live event) and 'new' (website, enewsletter) versions of their major brands.  This gives you the potential to develop into a role selling cross-platform, gaining a very broad-based experience.

The opportunities will vary depending on the size of the brand but you will normally start out selling classifieds (often recruitment advertising) or directory-type listings or perhaps advertising in e-newsletters.  In exactly the same way as you would progress your career in traditional media, you will move onto selling display advertising, sponsorships and other more complex advertising solutions.

"Online media is still new and incredibly dynamic and no-one really knows what's going to become of it.  It pays very well because of this and is growing at a phenomenal rate."

online advertising sales manager

The other choice is to work for a sales network - selling advertising across a range of third party websites signed up to your service.

Most online sales networks are looking for salespeople with experience although as the industry grows, there are an increasing number of opportunities to come in at ground level as an account executive - supporting an account manager with more administrative and client maintenance activities - gradually moving onto handling tactical sales opportunities, then taking on clients in their own right as their sales skills develop.

Simple fact: due to the current shortage of sufficient high-calibre online salespeople, plus rapid growth, you'll earn more in this sector.

Don't let that influence your initial job search too heavily though - you should choose a first job that offers the best opportunity for good quality training so that you're in the best place to secure that high-paid online role when you've got a bit of experience under your belt. – your guide to a career in media sales

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