Digital Account Executive Job Description - Qualifications, Requirements & Salary Data

Essentially, the digital account executive role comprises being a great salesperson. If you’re an AE, as they’re often called, you’re in charge of making connections with a lot of people—and then striking the best deal to match all of your needs. However, the digital account executive scope goes far beyond that!

Beyond managing your relationship with the customers you already have and working as hard as you can to pick up new customers, there are digital account executive responsibilities that—perhaps—few people would guess from merely thinking about the job title. If you’re thinking about snapping up one of the many lucrative digital account executive jobs, you’ve come to the right place!

In this guide we’ll talk about all of the expectations and considerations you may have before you come to the role—from digital account executive duties to digital account executive skills. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll have a great idea of whether or not being an AE is the job for you!


Digital Account Executive Job Description - Qualifications, Requirements & Salary Data

What does a digital account executive really do? How does their day-to-day life function? Is it a good field to go into right now—what does the next decade look like for this profession? And—it’s the question everyone wants to know—just how much can a digital account executive expect to make in a year?

All great questions—and definitely ones you’ll want to know the answer to before you begin interviewing! This handy guide will walk you through everything you need to know about being a digital account executive.


Digital Account Executive Description

Before you apply, you’ll want to know what a digital account executive actually does! In the following sections, we’ll discuss just that.


What Do Digital Account Executives Do?

Digital account executives are in charge of making customer contacts, whether it be through cold calls or email campaigns, making deals with prospective customers to have advertising spaces in prime Internet properties, managing relationships with current customers, and making sure that everyone around them has all of the information they need at all times.

It’s definitely a kitchen-sink kind of job! But, at the end of the day, your job is to be an expert salesperson. Remember that you’re passionate about great advertising and awesome Internet properties and that your goal in life is to keep those two things together in a way that will be profitable for all concerned. Keep that in mind and you will go far!


What Does a Typical Day Look Like?

A typical day in the life of a digital account executive can look like a lot of different things depending on how many clients the digital advertising account executive has, where in the various advertising campaigns his clients are, and even external things like what time of year it is! However, there are several consistent things that go into every digital account executive’s days.

  • Before-work coffee: Whether you’re prepping for an early meeting or having a quick breakfast with a client or a mentor, get ready to come in earlier than your stated hours. Lots of digital account executives emphasized to us that this job definitely isn’t a simple 9-5!
  • Stand-up Team Meetings: Your team may not always have the time for a conference room chat, so you may meet for walking meetings or gather quickly in a break room to get just the crucial details of your days across.
  • Research and Emailing: You’ll spend a lot of time carefully managing the relationships with customers and brands that you’re curating, and much of this will happen via email. However, don’t be surprised if there’s a cold call or two thrown into your routine! You’ll also spend much of your day educating yourself about internet properties and digital media trends.


Digital Account Executive Qualifications

We’ve discussed what, very generally, a digital account executive does. If you like what you’re reading, great! The next question revolves on whether you’d be a good fit for the job from the point of view of your prospective hiring manager. To help you figure this one out, we’ve provided a few metrics in the sections below.

Typical Education Requirements

Typically, a hiring manager for a digital account executive will want to see at least a bachelor’s education in sales or marketing; however, to be a digital account executive, experience is king. If you have at least two years in any sales, marketing, or customer service position, you’ll be able to jump easily into being a digital account executive.

However, if you don’t have any of the typical skills associated with being a digital account executive, feel free to apply anyway if you feel like you would be a non-traditional good fit for the job! That sense of initiative is prized by employers. Just make sure that you’re able to argue your candidacy well.


Preferred Skills

When you think of traditional sales roles, it’s easy to slip into a less progressive way of thinking and remember people playing hard to get and staring at customers until they sign on the dotted line. This definitely isn’t a modern (or particularly effective) way of approaching sales! Today, when companies are looking to hire a new digital account executive, they’re often looking for very specific skillsets. These skills may include:

  • Communication skills. Both internally as a team of digital media experts and externally as you network your way towards more sales each quarter, you’re going to need to be a savvy spokesperson. A sale isn’t just about offering a product and getting a great deal; more and more, it’s honestly just about making friends. If you consider yourself a people person, this might be the right field for you.
  • Empathetic Sensitivity. Highly related to the first point: it’s a cold hard truth, but people are more likely to want to work with you and potentially buy products from you if they feel like you understand them and are on their side. This takes an empathetic worldview and the dedication to go beyond surface level when you’re working on a new working relationship.
  • Highly Organized Habits. As you’ll likely be working on smaller accounts by yourself, you’ll need to be able to be incredibly organized. There is a lot of paperwork, from contracts to budgets and prospectuses and beyond, associated with digital media sales—you’ll need to have an innate grasp as to how to store and move everything so that nothing ever gets messed up and everyone always knows where they can access the resources they will need.
  • Excellent Problem-Solving Abilities. You’re going to have to be resourceful, there’s no doubt about that! Your clients may look to you to solve issues that my have nothing to do with your specific job description; and, as a lot of your relationship with your client will depend on their perceiving you as the expert, you’ll have to figure out how to get things done. Luckily, you will likely have a team of digital media experts upon whom you can rely, but you’ll have to show a lot of quick, creative thinking to pull things together relatively often.
  • Negotiation skills. Because you’re a salesperson, you’ll need to be really good at finding the best deal possible for you and your company, and then be able to drive the conversation that you’re having with the customer so you can get to that point. However, because no customer enjoys being treated as an opportunity, you’ll also need to be skilled at helping the customer believe that you’re finding the best deal for them as well. It's a delicate balance to keep—but that’s why you get paid the big bucks!
  • Determined and Passionate. Being in digital media sales is more than just thinking about numbers and the bottom line; you’re going to want to show that you love the Internet, media, communication and all aspects of your job. Projecting a sensibility of wanting to find the best deal for everyone and having a dogged perseverance until you get to that sweet spot will get you far. If this is also a quality that you can show your employer before you’re hired, you’ll have a much better job of actually receiving that job offer.
  • Presentation skills. A large part of your job will be pitching the services your company offers to prospective clients, talking about the specific pros and cons associated with a specific Internet property, and ensuring that you monitor the success of your sales (as well as being able to defend your accounts to higher-ups at your firm). This will require you to have excellent storytelling and presentational skills.

There’s a lot that goes into being a successful digital account executive—but you don’t have to worry! Lots of these skills are things that can be learned. If you want to be a good digital account executive, think about what you currently do well, and optimize that while you seek to grow in areas in which you could use a little work.


Digital Account Executive Career Outlook

Now’s a great time to go into digital media sales! As the number of internet properties continues to skyrocket, people will only be seeking more and more to optimize their digital products to connect with the audience and, perhaps, make a few bucks on the side. That’s something humanity has always been doing—and we’re on the cusp of an exploding field in that regard! It’ll be your job to optimize that innate need—and that’s one reason that these digital account executive jobs won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon.

This means that, if you can prove yourself competitive and good at your job, you should likely have a decent amount of job security for years to come.


Digital Account Executive Salary Expectations

Of course, the salary range for digital account executives is determined by a lot of things, from how many accounts the digital account executive is dealing with to the size of the firm they represent. However, for ballpark purposes, we can provide a few figures for estimating

One thing to know immediately is that digital account executives are often paid on commission. This means that you’ll likely receive some nominal base pay, but the rest of your salary will grow in proportion to the number of sales you make—a very typical incentive package for people working in sales. This does mean, though, that to a certain extent, the amount you make is up to you!

Of course, the quality and quantity of clients you’ll get will likely depend on the firm for which you’re working, so you should still try to work for the best firm you can find!

That said, being a digital account executive can be extremely lucrative—but data shows us that it’s mainly based on location. A digital account executive working at a small firm in a small state, therefore, might expect to earn about $80,000 per year; a digital account executive working at a substantially larger company with more clients might earn upwards of $350,000 per annum.


Find Your Digital Account Executive Job at Digital Media Jobs!

Now that you’ve read everything you need to know about being a digital account executive, you can determine whether this job is really for you. Think hard about your own qualifications and what you want to be doing on a day-to-day basis! Then, feel free to use the job listings right here at Digital Media Jobs to find a listing in your area that might be right for you, and then submit a quick and easy application using our recommendations and the information above. Good luck!