Did you know that there are people trying to find you?
It's true! Many, many people want to reach you. They're called advertisers.
And their glamorous, fast-paced industry is undergoing big changes.
People who work in advertising prepare ads for companies. Their mission
is to help sell products or services by getting the best possible exposure.
Nowadays, ads are placed in any of a range of media -- from print and broadcast
media to interactive, web-based media sources.
"The advertising industry is going through big changes," says Drew Dougherty.
He's the creative director for a surf clothing manufacturer.
Today's advertisers have lots of choices of different media.
"Ten years ago, advertisers could count on 40 percent of the population
to be watching the same cable channels," says Dougherty. "Now, advertisers
can count on about 15 percent of the population to be watching those same
So where did everyone go?
Just ask yourself. You may be watching specialty digital channels
or surfing the web. You may be reading any number of magazines.
"It's definitely become trickier to do media buys," says Randy Scotland.
He's an advertising guru for the Association of Canadian Advertisers.
Another trend is that more of the advertising work is being done in-house.
That means that more companies hire staff that create the ads themselves,
instead of hiring ad agencies to do that work for them. That's according to
Dougherty says many companies are now managing their own websites internally.
"People realized it was not as difficult as it first appeared. Fewer companies
are paying outside consulting companies for this service," he says.
Experts say that corporate attention to bottom line results is also impacting
"Increasingly, CEOs are looking to maximize the return on the investment
that they are achieving from advertising," says Scotland.
"In the glory days of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, companies spent big money
on advertising. Those were the days of the three-martini lunches. Money flowed
"It began to change in the '80s. There was a stronger movement for accountability.
Companies began demanding to see their ad money working hard for them. This
only increased in fervour in the '90s and 21st century," says Scotland.
Leslee Vivian has been in the advertising industry for more than 20 years.
Now she works for The Ad Club, a networking and educational organization for
She says more and more companies are trying marketing and promotion activities,
not just advertising, to help sell their products.
"There's been a shift away from national brand advertising spending to
promotional activities and things like direct marketing," she says.
Dougherty agrees. "The areas of public relations and promotions are becoming
more and more important now. There are more ways of reaching customers than
Stu Ginsburg works for the Interactive Advertising Bureau in New York.
He says the best opportunities for work in advertising are in major markets
like New York, San Francisco or Chicago.
"Take any job offered and work it," he suggests.
"It's a growing business. Job prospects are pretty good," says Scotland.
"Companies are only as good as the brands they market. There's recognition
There are many facets within the ad industry itself, such as sales, marketing,
research and planning, notes Dougherty.
"There are lots of opportunities for graphic designers. There's always
a need for good artists," he says.
Dougherty says it's important to pay attention to the marketing and consumer
side of the business. Companies have to find successful ways to promote their
brand and keep the brand valuable.
In Dougherty's case, the "brand" is surf wear. One of the ways his company
promotes its brand is by sponsoring a large surfing event.
"It's all about PR," he says.
Dougherty also says opportunities exist outside of the traditional advertising
industry. "There's all kinds of new magazines and newspapers, new digital
channels and new internet websites. These are all creating new jobs in the
But experts say you'll need more than creative skills to make it in the
business these days.
"You've got to have business savvy," says Dougherty. "You've got to be
super creative. To be successful, you've got to have both creative and business
Scotland emphasizes the importance of knowing consumer and corporate trends.
"You need to do your homework. You need to understand the concerns of today's
Vivian points out the importance of working effectively in a team. "You're
working with a group to achieve a goal. I know people who have been let go
because they didn't know how to work in a group."
She also advises that you be prepared for long hours. "Ad agencies will
get every ounce of juice out of you that they can. Be prepared to work hard
and pay your dues."
American Marketing Association
Check out this national association of marketing professionals
Interactive Advertising Bureau
This group is focused on promoting the effectiveness of interactive
Art Center College of Design
A prestigious school offering art and design programs in Pasadena,
Ad Week Magazine
Get the latest news