Media Sales Executive Job Description - Qualifications, Requirements & Salary Data | Digital Media Jobs

If you’re passionate about closing deals and about reaching out to the widest audiences imaginable, being a digital media sales executive might be the right role for you. Due to an exponential increase in the amount of ad revenue in Internet properties, digital media sales jobs are currently going through the roof!

You might be wondering: To be a digital media sales executive, skills are necessary—but which kind? What’s a general digital media sales executive job description? If digital media sales executive jobs are on the rise, that’s great—but what exactly are the media sales executive responsibilities?

On this page we’ll delve into all things digital media sales, so that you can make an informed decision about whether this field is right for you.

Media Sales Executive Job Description - Qualifications, Requirements & Salary Data


What is a media sales executive? As the name might imply, a media sales executive is in charge of selling online or digital space to advertisers in the hope to reach the right audiences to make the clients very happy (due to higher audience conversion rates). Because of this, the job does require a lot of studied knowledge about digital media platforms, the way the Internet is growing, the field of advertising and how to implement it well, and the nitty gritty of negotiating well for your client.


However, that’s just a general description. In the following sections, we’ll do a deep dive into the differing expectations and qualifications generally asked of a media sales executive, as well as provide you a day-by-day and salary expectations so you can get a clear idea of what you’re heading into when you become a media sales executive.


Media Sales Executive Description


What does a media sales executive do? If you have a background in advertising or in any kind of sales profession, you may be well slated to make the jump over to media sales. As a great bridge to a number of other professions as well as being a good job in itself, being a media sales executive is definitely something that you should look into! But before you send that application or show up to that interview, show that you know what you’re talking about by making sure you know exactly what it is that a media sales executive does.


 What Do Media Sales Executives Do?


If you’ve ever seen an ad in any kind of media, including magazines, newspapers, their online equivalents, television and radio, or even outdoor digitized billboards — you’ve seen the work of a media sales executive. By acting as the go-between between companies needing to advertise their products and the people owning the digitized space, you’ll be ensuring that everyone is happy with the investment that they’re making as well as the quality they receive.


Media sales executives also often work in commercial event planning, such as product launches or fundraisers. Initiative is the name of the game when it comes to what they do, as a media sales executive is usually the one in charge of cold-pitching an idea to a client as well as putting together and defending sales reports to each of their clients.


 What Does a Typical Day Look Like?


While the specific day-to-day for a media sales executive does vary wildly, here are a handful of activities that a media sales executive will perform on a day to day basis:


  • A successful media sales executive will spend a lot of time cold-calling potential clients to makes sure that everyone is aware of their services (or their firm’s advertising opportunities). This can happen over the phone, but could also be limited to something as simple as email or as extravagant as coordinating face to face meetings, presentations, and dinners out with potential clients.


  • Media sales executives will also mediate and participate in training about how to do all of these things well, from upping their cold calling game to the perfect way to have successful business dinner.


  • After this, a typical day for a media sales executive could include managing the relationships he or she has with existing clients, making sure that the arrangement, design, and placement of previously agreed-upon advertisements meets the brief given by the client. In short, one goal of a media sales executive is to maintain an ongoing, flourishing relationship with their clientele.


  • One way a sales media executive could do this is to take the brief that a client gave them regarding an upcoming advertisement and research all of the needs and aims relating to it, so as to prepare themselves to pitch or present the details to the client before going forward with the process.


  • As the main liaison helping tender an advertising relationship, the media sales executive will need to be an expert on the differing pricing costs that may be associated with placing a specific ad. The skills necessary to help negotiate a better deal for the client will definitely come in handy at this juncture!


  • During a typical day, the media sales executive may also meet with the production or creative or programming team to ensure that the advertisement itself meets the specifications of the client as well as the requirements of the advertising space; the media sales executive will likely work with both of these teams to ensure that everyone is happy.


  • As a media sales executive, you’ll be managing several campaigns at one time, so having strong organizational skills as well as metal compartmentalization techniques will be key!


  • To do this, a media sales executive will spend a large part of each day keeping record of the various purchases and sales that have been made and assigning them to the proper contacts, as well as keeping an eye out for deals that he or she can take advantage of to keep a client’s expenditures low.


  • Networking is a huge part of this job! The successful media sales executive might end his or her day by attending a party or an industry event; by going to a conference, whether it be local or out of town; or exhibitions in the industry which you write and coordinate for.


Ultimately, this is a job that asks a lot of its people—every day can be a new and different surprise!


Media Sales Executive Qualifications


Now that you have a general idea for what a media sales executive does, you probably have a good feeling for whether or not the job is right for you, or something that you’d enjoy doing on a day to day basis. However, as you’re well aware, the hiring process does not end with what you think! In the next section we’ll delve into what a typical employer is looking for when looking to hire a media sales executive.


Typical Education Requirements


As far as education goes, a company looking for a good media sales executive will be expecting to see a significant amount of education — typically at least a bachelor’s degree, though a master’s or a doctorate would be given preferential status — in marketing, sales, or at least in an English, math, or technology concentration.


Any certificates you have studied to these effects or ongoing education courses you have completed will be good to have as well.


In addition to education, most employers do like to see a good amount of experience when they’re looking for a media sales executive, as it is a job that is performed mostly in the moment. Therefore, having at least one year of experience in sales, media, programming, or even customer service would be a good plus to have.


However, that said, media sales is a good entry-level job to come into from a variety of other professions. If you think you have what it takes, feel free to apply anyway! Just be sure to keep your expectations managed, in case you don’t get many acceptances off the bat. When you are called in for an interview, make sure that you’re ready to back up your case for employment with as much proof as you have.


 Preferred Skills


When a prospective employer is looking to hire a media sales executive, there are a handful of skills he or she will be looking for to be able to project that you will do well in this field. Some of these skills are:


  • Being naturally social and outgoing. A large part of this job is networking and speaking with prospective or current clients. The other part is working naturally on a team. Either way, you’ll want to demonstrate great people skills: reliability, empathy, and a sense of humor will get you far.
  • Excellent communication techniques, whether they be on the phone or in person or over email, are definitely a must. You’ll want to be an expert at not only getting your objective point across but utilizing your tone and voice to make sure that you make friends even while you’re negotiating a hard deal.
  • The ability to take objections, understand them for what they are, and be able to go out and seek a calm and helpful resolution to any issues is very important. On a high level, you’ll be dealing with client preferences and expectations, so any way that you can mitigate that professionally will be a good skillset to showcase.
  • Being able to stick to a schedule, be self-managed and have a lot of discipline, self-control, and attention to details are a must. As a media sales executive you’ll be working as part of a team on a lot of projects. There won’t be a lot of oversight regarding someone else checking your work, but a lot of people will depend upon your deliverables to be error-free and helpful, every time.


Media Sales Executive Career Outlook


Now’s a great time to be going into media sales! As discussed above, becoming a media sales executive is a fantastic entry point into the burgeoning world of digital media ad sales. The entry criteria are often low, at least in terms of experience relative to other positions within the world of digital media ad relations. Because the number of internet properties and digital media platforms is only going to increase exponentially over the next several years, any job which you get into now is sure  to be safe for a while — and the ability to climb up the ranks should be innate for a long time to come. In other words, if you can ensure that you will be competitive within the world of digital media sales and get your foot in the door now, you should be in a good profession for a very long time.


Media Sales Executive Salary Expectations


While the specific distribution of salaries given to media sales executives depends upon a whole host of things, including your experience and education, the industry the firm that you’re interviewing with caters to, and the reputation of that firm, there is a ballpark range of salaries that we have observed to give you an idea for planning. People on the lower end of the percentile rankings make about $32,000 per annum; however, if you’re able to prove your worth, you could be looking at around $66,000 per year.


Find Your Media Sales Executive Job


You’ve completed an excellent first step in doing your due diligence to make sure that the media sales executive job is right for you! Think critically and carefully about everything in this guide, as it’ll be helpful during the job interview and onboarding process.


Use the job boards here at Digital Media Jobs to find an opening that would be good for you! We offer quick, easy ways to find out if there is anything open in your area, and also an easy way for you to submit an application very quickly on our site.


Good luck!



Latest From the Blog

Google Display Network (GDN) GDN is Google’s ad network of AdSense publishers, accessible via Google Ads (formerly AdWords). GDN is one of the largest, easiest, but simplest ad exchanges, making it a good choice for those who are new to the industry, or who only want to run basic programmatic marketing campaigns. Experienced Programmatic Traders will typically avoid GDN since its options are limited, however, compared to more modern DSPs. Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)   DSPs offer advertisers access to a wide collection of the available display, video, native and mobile inventory in real-time. In addition, many DSPs offer more advanced programmatic advertising technology, such as geofencing and IP address targeting capabilities, as well as access to a large bank of third-party data providers. Leading DSPs examples include The Trade Desk and DV360. Typically, DSPs are a better option for more advanced campaigns with restrictive or specific targets. GDN vs DSPs GDN has basic audience and content targeting capabilities, but the DSPs have additional targeting capabilities and sophisticated optimization tools. With more targeting options, advertisers using DSPs are typically better able to reach the exact group of people who will respond to their marketing efforts, making DSPs more effective than GDN. GDN isn’t bad though, it’s just better for small advertisers with limited budgets, while DSPs are best for large advertisers who require advanced targeting capabilities and greater reach. Using GDN & a DSP Simultaneously One thing virtually all programmatic trading experts agree on is that it’s best to NOT use both a GDN and a DSP simultaneously, as there are problems to running both systems at the same time, including: Inability to Control Frequency Capping – When running both GDN and a DSP, it becomes impossible to effectively control frequency capping, which can be a big problem as this is an effective way to reduce waste, avoid audience burnout and negative brand associations related to over-exposure. With a single DSP, it’s possible to cap frequencies, but with more than one DSP, or a DSP & GDN, frequency cannot be easily controlled. Multiple Bids on the Same Impression – DSPs participate in auctions for placements, and the highest bid wins each impression. If two DSPs are used to bid on the same audience (or cookie pool) then there will be competing bids from the same advertiser on the same impression, meaning advertisers using two DSPs, or DSP and GDN, will be bidding against themselves, needlessly driving up the price of each impression. Attribution Dilemma – Using more than one DSP, or a DSP and GDN, makes attributing and ROAS determinations much more difficult, especially when targeting a limited audience (like with a retargeting campaign). It’s likely that both DSPs will have ad exposures to many of the same converters, but only one will receive credit for the conversion. This makes it difficult to determine which platform is performing better, due to the randomness with which attribution gets assigned. Reach – Running two DSPs, or a DSP and GDN may lead to a slight increase in reach, but most top DSPs have access to nearly all of the same inventory, so the incremental increase in reach is probably not worth the other negative issues outlined above. Note: GDN has less inventory than the top DSPs (discussed below) and niche DSPs like Amazon are an exception, with exclusive inventory, but in general, all of the top DSPs have enough reach that advertisers don’t need to worry about running two platforms at once. For all of the reasons above, we recommend picking a single DSP and running with it. If you’re not happy with the results of the campaign, and want to try another DSP, it’s best to pause the existing campaign before starting up again on a new platform. Reach DSPs are superior to GDN when it comes to reach, since they can access hundreds of exchanges/suppliers such as PulsePoint, OpenX, AppNexus, Sonobi, Rubicon, PubMatic, PMPs and others, while GDN is limited to primarily to just the Google AdSense network. One example where DSPs are almost guaranteed to be superior to GDN would be running a re-targeting campaign, where you serve ads to customers who have already visited your site, but who have not yet converted. In this case, you’re working with a relatively small targeted population of valuable potential converters, so you’ll want to reach as many of those individuals as possible, and typically, a DSP will give you much more penetration into that audience than GDN. Any time programmatic traders are running retargeting campaigns, campaigns targeting a small geographic area, or campaigns focused on reaching a niche audience, using a DSP will typically produce better results than GDN. Inventory Availability DSPs distinguish themselves by having more premium inventory, whereas GDN inventory is primarily sourced from AdSense for publishers, which could include a lot of lower quality sites. Many large, established publishers such as CBS and The New York Times are on DSPs, but these types of premier brands are often not found on GDN. GDN is typically considered a good basic or beginner place for advertisers to start testing campaigns, just like Google AdSense for Publishers is considered a good place for publishers to start testing ad placements on their sites. Large and established publishers almost always eventually navigate to making their inventory available on the open exchange or through Private Marketplaces instead though, away from Google AdSense and GDN. Inventory Quality DSPs can buy the inventory across all value levels, whereas GDN is open auction only and includes many smaller publishers who cannot qualify to sell their inventory elsewhere, including Google’s premium exchange. This means that advertisers are probably getting a lot of “bottom of the barrel” inventory from GDN. In comparison, with DSPs, advertisers are able to set up deals that provide access to higher-quality inventory higher up the food chain, which typically leads to better converting traffic. CPC Vs CPM Pricing GDN gives advertisers a choice as to how to pay, but even though advertisers will be invoiced on a CPC (cost-per-click) basis, the yield management algorithms inside GDN are calculating an effective predictive CPM when deciding where, and how often, to serve each ad. In contrast to that system used by GDN, nearly all inventory purchased through DSPs is made available for real-time bidding on a CPM exchange, including Google and others. This tends to make pricing more attractive on DSPs than GDN. Targeting & Optimization Capabilities GDN has basic audience and content targeting and optimization capabilities, but DSPs have additional targeting and optimization capabilities. With more targeting and optimization options, there is a better chance for advertisers to reach the exact group of people who will respond to their ads, increasing the ROAS of the campaign. GDN is limited to location and language targeting, keyword targeting, device targeting and retargeting, whereas DSPs offer all sorts of additional options. DSPs have advanced capabilities, such as the ability to locate and target current and desired customers based on specific demographics, interests and their purchase intent, audience frequency caps for excluding users based on the number of impressions they have been served (across media, channels, and identity spaces) and advanced algorithms to adjust and optimize bids and budgets. 3 rd Party Data GDN does not have third-party targeting capabilities, meaning that you are reaching relevant users on  GDN only. With DSPs, you can target based on demographics, interests, topics, and even seek out users currently interested in a specific product or service through display and search.   Brand Safety/Ad Fraud/Audience Verification DSPs have fraud protection and brand safety controls that are integrated with leading third-party verification providers.  In contrast, GDN only offers Google Ads-only brand safety controls, without third-party integrations. GDN also doesn’t offer any transparency, so it’s virtually impossible to conduct impression-level analysis to determine what is performing well, and if that performance is real, or potentially fraudulent. GDN does self-grade the inventory that they are selling, but this isn’t transparent either, and GDN’s reporting is also only available through Google Ads, which further limits transparency for performance. Basically, DSPs offer much better options for brand safety, fraud prevention, and audience verification. Creative Options Google Ads: Image, Text, HTML5, Dynamic Creatives and Video Ads. Display & Video 360: Image, Rich Media, HTML5, Native, Video Ads and Dynamic Creatives. Pick the Right Platform for Your Campaign As this post established, simpler campaigns may be better suited for GDN, whereas more sophisticated campaigns are going to perform better on DSPs. When determining which platform will work best for you, you’ll have to review the differences outlined above, weighing the pros and cons, and deciding which system is in your best interest. But when it comes to deciding between running on the GDN vs. DSPs, typically, DSPs will win out thanks to their more-modern, more-sophisticated targeting, optimization and reporting capabilities.
What is Lead Scoring and How Does it Work? When it comes to acquiring new customers, most businesses focus all their time, money, and effort on one of two processes: acquiring leads or nurturing leads. Tons of resources are poured into lead generation activities (e.g., marketing, advertising, blogging, etc.) or lead nurturing activities (e.g., sales calls, email follow up sequences, etc.). In other words, most businesses either focus on what happens before someone becomes a lead or what happens after they become a lead, but what about the process in the middle? Many marketers and even businesses don’t even know that lead scoring exists, which means that the process of selecting which leads to pursue, and which to ignore, often goes overlooked entirely. For businesses that get very few leads, this is fine. However, businesses getting hundreds or even thousands of leads per day need to have a process in place that allows the sales team to prioritize which leads to pursue. It’s important to realize that not all leads are created equal. Some leads are cold and at the top of the funnel, while other leads are at the bottom of the funnel and are literally ready to buy right when they’re submitted. Still other leads won’t even be in the funnel at all, like those sent in by researchers or bloggers just poking around, and would be a complete waste of time to chase down. This is why it’s so important to have a lead scoring system to handle the sales process. Having a system that assigns numerical values to leads in such a way that will allow a sales representative to go after high-quality leads and disregard low-quality leads will result in better time efficiency and more revenue in the long run. That’s where lead scoring comes in, and that’s what we’ll explain to do in this post. What is Lead Scoring? Lead scoring is the process of assigning values to your leads so that you can label those that are most likely to convert and those that are not. This way, you’re able to prioritize which leads your sales team will contact next. Without a lead scoring system, leads would be chosen one by one which is fundamentally flawed because many of those leads will end up being a dead end and a huge waste of time. Having a lead scoring system is an extremely valuable tool for a business since it helps improve the efficiency of the company’s sales team, generates more revenue, and helps prevent the sales staff from experiencing burnout.   Better time efficiency means no time is wasted on bad leads, and no time wasted on bad leads means higher conversion rates and more revenue for the company. Additionally, since the sales team can see what characteristics and attributes make a high-quality lead, they can relay this information to the marketing team, which should help improve the overall marketing strategy too. With improved marketing, the leads coming into the sales funnel will be even more qualified than they were before, making the marketing and sales process easier, faster and more profitable for the company. How Does Lead Scoring Work? To give a prospect a lead score, you must first come up with a point system with rules. This point system is at the heart of lead scoring and what ultimately allows you to know which prospects are hot and which are cold. The first step in creating a point system is looking at past and present customers. Look for commonalities between customers—the attributes that they all share or the common actions that these customers took just before becoming a customer (e.g., a download, a click, a form submit, etc.).   The next step would be to assign a numeric value to each of the attributes you have chosen to be good indicators of potential customers. There are different ways to assign points to attributes, but to keep it simple, one way would be to add a higher amount of points to crucial attributes that all customers share and fewer points to those attributes that occur less frequently in customers. Three Types of Scoring There are three main ways most systems and organizations score leads. The first one is demographic scoring which is when you score a lead based on the data you have collected on the lead submitter. For example, people who live in a certain location or those that are a certain age would receive a higher score. This way, you can ensure that those who fit your target demographic will get prioritized. The next type is behavioral scoring. With behavioral scoring, you score a lead based off of how they interacted with your website or business. Using behavioral scoring, you might award more points to people who have visited multiple pages of the site, people who have visited the pricing page, people who have downloaded a brochure, etc. Lastly, there’s negative scoring which is where you deduct points based on attributes that would automatically disqualify someone from being a good lead. For example, you might want to deduct points from leads who have visited the employment page, or who did not include either a phone number or email address on the lead form they submit. Having a system that utilizes these 3 different types of scoring will allow you to qualify and rank your leads more accurately.   How to Find the Important Attributes A lead score model needs a set of rules that tell you when to add points to people with certain demographic and behavioral attributes. But how do you know which attributes to award points to? First, try asking your sales team. Since your sales team is constantly in the trenches, actually interacting with your leads before they become customers, they usually have valuable insight as to what type of attributes indicate that someone will become a customer. Next, you could ask your advertising department. It’s no secret that advertisers must deliver the right message to the right people, otherwise, their advertising efforts will have been for nothing. To do this, advertisers have a predetermined set of attributes that they use when they’re configuring their targeting settings just before launching a digital ad campaign. Viewing your advertising department’s targeting settings just might give you the insights you need to discover those important attributes that you can assign points to. You also might be able to find important attributes from your marketing department. Like the advertising department, the marketing department also has a target market—a set of attributes—which they hone in on when they deliver their creatives, content, and collateral. Looking at the marketing department’s targeted demographics can reveal hidden attributes that might not have been obvious at first. Additionally, you could ask the customers themselves since their inner thought processes are something that no marketer could replicate. Although surveying your customers is more time consuming, it might be worth asking them why they think they became customers or when in the sales cycle they knew they would become customers. You could do this by interviewing your customers, sending them a questionnaire, or by sending them a poll. Lastly, you could also check your analytics, which is ripe with valuable insights on your customer’s demographics, interests, and behavior (all three types of lead scoring data!). Running an attribution report can uncover which marketing activities convert leads into customers. You could also check which pages of the site leads have viewed before turning into customers or which pages visitors viewed before turning into leads and use this info to assign a higher score to leads that have viewed those pages. How is it Done? There are a few different ways of lead scoring, however, some methods take longer and are less effective than others. The first way of doing this is manually, although almost no one ever does it this way anymore as it becomes too time-consuming. Another method is using a data mining technique called logistic regression. For this method, you must build a formula (typically in excel) that takes into account all of the customer’s attributes and analyzes how they interact with one another, which in the end, will determine the probability that a lead will convert into a customer.    And finally, there are some automated approaches that do all of the heavy lifting for you. For example, some email autoresponders have a lead scoring system already built into them, with a few examples being Active Campaign, Get Response, and Drip. But even that isn’t as effective as another automated lead scoring method called Predictive Lead Scoring. Predictive Lead Scoring In an ideal world, your lead scoring system wouldn’t be static, but instead should be a living, breathing thing that changes as the market and your customers change. The criteria and attributes that make a good, high-quality lead might not even be the same from month to month—this is especially true for businesses that are heavily influenced by seasonality. This is why it’s recommended that you constantly need to be making tweaks to your scoring system so that it stays as accurate as possible. But this can quickly become too time-consuming, stealing the time you need to dedicate towards other elements of running your business. How can you automate the lead scoring system tweaking process and essentially “set it and forget it”? The answer is predictive lead scoring. Predictive scoring is an AI-based scoring system that uses machine learning to look at thousands of data points to see which attributes indicate hot leads. The scoring algorithm is constantly evolving, automatically making tweaks, updating itself, and sorting your leads to ensure that those most likely to convert remain at the top of your sales funnel. Admittedly, predictive lead scoring isn’t the right tool for every business. Because the sorting algorithm needs a large number of data points for it to work, predictive lead scoring is best suited for Businesses that have thousands of customers. If you’d like to try out predictive lead scoring, some popular lead scoring tools are MadKudu, Infer, Mintigo, and 6Sense. What Should You Do? No matter what lead score software or method you do end up choosing to use, the important thing is that you try something other than treating every single lead as being equal, as that’s an incredibly inefficient way to handle sales. Lead scoring is incredibly powerful and the truth of the matter is that most lead-based businesses could benefit from implementing a lead scoring system of some sort, even if it’s incredibly simplistic and done entirely manually. If you’re looking for ways to increase lead conversion rates, improve sales rep productivity, save time and money, and improve profits, then you need to look into lead scoring! About The Author Darden Faulkner is a freelance writer and product reviewer living and working in Irvine, CA. He enjoys long walks on the beach, learning everything he can about Google products, and has just discovered Twitter!  Follow him over on Twitter  for the latest life updates
View all blog posts