From conception to execution, advertisements must go through a lengthy process of brainstorming, planning, design and revision before being approved for production and publication. To ensure that advertising projects move from one point to the next within deadline schedules, advertising traffic managers oversee advertising jobs throughout the entire project management cycle. Advertising traffic personnel work in the creative services, media or account management group of an agency, or they operate as a separate department.
The primary function of an advertising traffic manager is to oversee advertising projects from inception to completion. Traffic managers ensure that each part of the project, from copywriting and design to printing, moves through the pipeline and is finished on time and within budget. They also ensure that deadlines for submitting ads to media, such as newspapers, radio stations and magazines, are met. As the project coordinator for advertising projects, traffic managers must put together and update status reports and project time lines, which are distributed to designers, sales representatives and other team members. These professionals are also the point persons for any questions regarding project work flow, client submissions and final billing.
Most agencies require that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree. Majors such as advertising, marketing and mass communications help prepare candidates for a career in advertising. Since these jobs are extremely competitive, college students are encouraged to intern with advertising firms and gain work experience by shadowing more experienced workers. College internships are also a common way for aspiring advertisers to learn helpful computer skills and industry knowledge in digital media, sales and market analysis.
Strong computer skills are essential in a traffic manager position. Advertising traffic managers should be proficient in spreadsheet, word processing, presentation, electronic work flow and desktop publishing software applications. Also, employers prefer candidates with knowledge of search engine optimisation, HTML and project management tools. Traffic managers must also possess excellent oral and written communication, organizational, interpersonal and multitasking skills.
Simply Hired reports that the average annual wage for ad traffic managers in the United States was £37,050 per year as of June 2010. Average salaries for this role differ based on factors such as location, company size and experience level. For example, an ad traffic manager in Los Angeles made an average salary of £40,950, while in Kalispell, Montana, the average was £29,900.
Advertising manager jobs are expected to decrease by 2 per cent during the 2008 to 2018 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition.” The BLS ascribes this decline to a dramatic reduction in the number of magazines, newspapers, periodicals and advertising agencies over the 2008 to 2018 period. However, as companies seek to promote their products to larger audiences, television and radio broadcast media, as well as websites, will see an increase in advertising spending. The BLS also predicts that a portion of these advertisers will work as freelancers.
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