Sales Promotion Executive

The Job and What's Involved

As a sales promotion executive, it would be your job to run promotional marketing campaigns in order to raise a company's profile and increase their sales.

To attract consumers to the product or service you are promoting, you might use tactics such as free gifts, competitions, token collect offers or money-off vouchers. You could reach people in various ways, including in-store displays, special events, direct mailings and advertising.

Your day-to-day tasks would typically include:

  • Meeting clients and suppliers to find out about their product or service.
  • Researching clients and markets.
  • Developing ideas for marketing strategies and campaigns.
  • Presenting your ideas to the client.
  • Briefing other staff in the marketing and promotions agency
    writing promotional marketing material.
  • Costing projects and making sure that everything stays on budget.
  • Making sure that each part of a campaign runs smoothly.
  • Reporting on the campaign's progress and judging its effectiveness.

In some jobs you may be known as an account or brand executive.

You would typically work standard office hours, Monday to Friday, with overtime when necessary to meet campaign deadlines or attend promotional events outside office hours.

At the start of your career you would be mainly office-based, although you could sometimes visit suppliers and attend events. With experience, you would spend more of your time on the road visiting clients.

Typical starting salaries are between £18,000 and £22,000 a year. With experience, this can rise to between £25,000 and £35,000.

Account directors can earn up to £50,000 a year or more.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

You could come to sales promotion from a range of backgrounds, although it would be most useful to have previous experience of sales, marketing, advertising or customer service.

Employers will be mainly interested in your skills, enthusiasm and business sense.

You could work for a sales promotion agency, or for a marketing communications agency that offers clients a range of services including sales promotion. Most agencies are based in major cities.

Jobs may be advertised in the local and national press, industry magazines, and by specialist recruitment agencies.

Education and Training

This is a competitive industry to join, and some employers may prefer you to be a graduate. All subjects are acceptable, but a degree or BTEC HND in advertising, marketing, business or psychology may give you an advantage.

It's a good idea to try to find work experience in a marketing promotions agency before looking for your first job. Contact agencies directly to ask about work placements.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

You would usually start as a junior sales promotion executive and develop your skills on the job. Some larger agencies run structured graduate training schemes.

  • ISP Certificate in Promotional and Interactive Marketing – an introductory course that many agencies use as part of their training for new staff.
  • ISP Diploma in Promotional and Interactive Marketing – a part-time course of around 18 weeks, which is the main qualification in the sales promotion industry.

The ISP also offers a range of short courses and seminars in various aspects of sales promotion.

If you deal with direct marketing in your job, you could also take short courses and qualifications from the Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM).

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A sales promotion executive needs:

  • Good spoken and written communication skills.
  • Creativity and problem-solving skills.
  • Good organisational skills and attention to detail.
  • The ability to work well as part of a team.
  • Drive, motivation and enthusiasm.
  • The ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
  • Confidence and persuasiveness, for 'selling' your ideas.
  • Budget awareness and good business sense.

Your Long Term Prospects

With experience, you could work on larger accounts and be promoted to senior account executive, account manager and account director.

Get Further Information

Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM),
1 Park Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 0AR
Tel: 020 8614 0277
Websites: and

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