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What is Advertising? Why is it so Sought After?

Advertising, one of the components of – but not synonyms with – Marketing, is a great tool. It helps provide information about products/services offered, promotes these products/services and encourages existing as well as potential customers to avail of them, and motivates organizations putting up the advertisements to remain competitive to attract customers. Advertising helps not only in building reputation, but also in sustaining it; reinforcements about offerings help maintain a strong presence and sustain relationships with customers.
As brands need to be sustained, there is demand for the right people in this field. For sustaining, the products/services must linger in customers’ memories – strategic decisions about placement and visibility level of advertisements are necessary, and improvement and innovative changes – even if small ones – must be publicized. In the competitive global economy, advertising keeps an organization inspired to do better and deliver better.
Besides, advertising can be used for the noble cause of raising funds for different kinds of social service activities. Advertising is also good for recruitment of staff; good name attracts potential employees and even keeps existing ones happy.
The achievement of advertising in enabling targeted customers to evaluate offerings and compare them against one’s competitors, if there are, and so make informed choices will keep this field sought after.

Qualifications for a Career in Advertising
Pursuing a degree in advertising or marketing is desirable. For undergraduate qualification, a degree in mass communication is also a fine option. If one is sure about the sub-field to take, one can go in for a degree in that; for example, one can take up graphic designing.

For positions of higher responsibility – of the managerial category, a graduate qualification in advertising or marketing is a must. An MBA that gives good exposure to advertising or marketing will be an excellent option as it will also provide the needed management and leadership skills for higher positions.

Some certifications aimed at developing creativity, graphic skills, writing abilities or other relevant skills can aid greatly in doing one’s work well. With the relevant qualifications and knowledge, one can hope for good progress on the path.

Skills for a Career in Advertising
For an advertising professional, creativity is a skill of paramount importance. One must be able to come up with new ideas, designs, logos, etc. and must be able to pique the interest of customers. Creativity in advertising has the potential to go a long way in differentiating one from one’s competitors.
Knowledge of print and digital media is important. Writing abilities are also of immense worth. Strategic decision-making skills for determining relevant ways and placement of advertising material are necessary.
Higher positions in the world of advertising require one to possess management and leadership skills. Abilities at assessing skills of others and at delegating responsibilities are important. Also, this high position would require one to showcase good skills at resource utilization, budgeting, etc.
In capacity of a leader, only being able to choose the right people and delegate work efficiently are not enough. One must, as a leader, showcase motivational skills for inspiring teammates to produce effective advertising material.
Remaining updated about competitors’ work and newer, creative methods of advertising is useful as that gives ideas about and inspiration for bettering own output. As goes with all careers, success requires pushing oneself at all times, and keeping up dedicated efforts all through.

Hierarchy in Advertising Career
One popular entry level position in the world of Advertising is that of a copywriter. This position requires writing messages intended for customers, and through this means, generating customers’ desires for the products/services.
After some years of exposure to the field and preferably with targeted training in place, one can start contributing well as an advertising professional. One can sustain and better one’s organization’s standing or contribute to raising funds for community service by way of well utilizing one’s competencies.
Gaining worthy experience as an advertising professional, one can climb up the ladder in the field and acquire a higher position. One can take up management of the advertising function at an organization or even a senior level post at an advertising agency. In such capacity, one will get opportunities for immense contribution through leveraging past experience and taking on more responsibilities. One will be required to create advertising budgets for the overall advertising tasks. One will also be required to hire and train others in doing the required work effectively.

Pros of a Career in Advertising
Advertising engagements hone one’s creative thinking and decision-making abilities. The field offers exposure to many new and innovative ideas, and gifts opportunities for exchange of ideas with others in the same field. Also, the clients are many and their requirements different; these differences require one to be prepared for facing new challenges.
The learning opportunities are many and varied, with different kinds of assignments that one can possibly take up or be given. The right talent opens up wonderful opportunities, making success possible. With the right skills and the right steps, the career can be very rewarding.
Advertising affords opportunities for connecting with many people. These opportunities help form a network that aids in growth.
Helping in growth through effective advertising helps make contributions that are worthwhile and is therefore a source of immense satisfaction.

Cons of a Career in Advertising
The working hours of advertising professionals are long. There are deadlines to be met most of the times and often, they are tight deadlines. The clients are demanding, and there is a lot of pressure to deliver. Even under immense pressure, one is expected to come up with great ideas. Added to this is the fact that the work may not always be interesting; some projects may be boring or even confusing when the client is not directly relating the requirements.

Despite the amount of effort required, one may not, at least in initial years, get due credit; so, showing a lot of patience and perseverance become the key here. One has to remain determined despite all obstacles or setbacks that may be faced. In rough times, marketing budget is cut and so this risk element is there.

Who is a Career in Advertising good for?
Creative and hard working individuals, who possess management skills as well, are suited for a career in Advertising. One keen on learning, and connecting with people will enjoy this journey. Motivation, dedication, and continued efforts will take one far. If all these attributes are there, one must definitely try for this track.

Best Companies for a Career in Advertising

• Taco Bell
• Greenpeace
• GE
• Percolate
• Razorfish
• Mindshare
• Leo Burnett Worldwide
• Saatchi & Saatchi
• J. Walter Thompson Worldwide
• Interbrand