By Chance Rusniak
This week we interviewed Jamie Sutton to learn the ins and outs of an Account Executive. Lamar Advertising Company is one largest outdoor advertising companies in the world and Jamie has been working there for almost 5 years which has given her a plethora of knowledge and experience. Her role as an account executive is to sell outdoor advertising solutions to both small and large businesses to give them the tools they need to publicize their products and services to their audience.
1. What do you do for a living? Explain in your own words what an Account Executive does at Lamar?
I acquire new accounts and manage all aspects of the buying process from proposal, contract and design. Although this job is more than taking orders. We consult with business owners and marketing directors to determine their needs and advertising goals, then present a campaign that will create the most impact within their budget.
2. How did you get here? Education? Training? Previous jobs?
I graduated from GVSU with an Ad/PR degree. My emphasis was PR. My dream job at the time was to do crisis communication for a really cool company…But life took me in a different direction. I did an internship with the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce my senior year (2013) and met a lot of great people in the community. In that role I came across a guy that was starting his own law firm and he hired me on as Marketing Associate to help with web, social media, press releases, etc. At the same time I started working for a Social Media Marketing company solely creating social media content for small Muskegon businesses. I worked at the law firm and the marketing company at the same time for about a year until I was approached by one of the partners at Revel in downtown Muskegon. Revel is a full service marketing agency. They do everything from research, branding, print design, video production, web development, etc. – a one stop shop. I was hired in as a Project Manager and literally did everything; Research, media buying, creative briefs, sitemaps, creative writing…It was overwhelming and I hated it, ha-ha. While working there I would purchase a lot of Outdoor buys through Lamar. The rep that I worked with let me know that a position was opening up and I applied.
3. What made you want to go into the job that you have now?
I wasn’t happy at the agency I was working at and I saw firsthand how successful billboards were for our customers. There was a significant pay increase and I thought it would be fun
4. What are the required skills needed for your job? What are some daily tasks that you perform?
Communicating and presenting ideas. On a daily basis I have meetings with clients to discuss their advertising needs. I build them proposals and outline their budget/CPM for their campaign. We strategize what messaging to use on the billboard to achieve their goals. In additional to account management, I also do my fair share of prospecting, cold calling and acquiring new business.
5. What is one thing you love about being in advertising
I love helping businesses grow and build their brands. More than 80% of my customers are repeat or renewal business. I know that this medium is effective and I love watching people be successful by advertising with Outdoor. It’s also really nice that I’m not stuck in an office all day. I am always out in the field meeting with customers or “knocking on new doors.” The freedom is really nice.
6. What is one thing you dislike?
The pressure of hitting budgets can be stressful at times. You just have to be a self motivator and work hard. You will reap the benefits if you keep your head down and grind.
7. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone pursuing to be an Account Executive?
If you’re pursuing to be a Sales Account Executive I would make sure you believe in what you’re selling. Focus more on building a good relationship with your customer than selling huge deals. Be someone they can trust and the sale will come easily.
8. What is one piece of advice that you could give to an advertising student?
Get involved in the community you want to work in. It does really help to know somebody. Every job opportunity that I’ve been given has come from somebody knowing somebody who connected me.