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Design, Advertising, and Marketing serve to package and connect brands, products or services to consumers and are fast-paced industries that offer up a wide range of important roles. This Creative Careers Guide introduces some of the key roles, and the skills required to do them. Note: The bigger the agency, the more these positions are fragmented. The smaller the agency, the more one person does many different jobs.


Account Director/ Manager

An account director is responsible for managing the agency’s relationship with its clients and/or accounts. Account directors take responsibility for delivering creative work that meets the client’s needs; addresses any problems that may arise; and are expected to develop-long term relationships with longstanding clients, with a view to maintaining a high retention rate.

Skills required: Business, analytical, problem solving, communication and leadership

Marketing Director/Manager

The marketing director manages the marketing process of a business or product. Marketing director’s can be responsible for either a single product or service, or for several products or services.

Skills required: Communication, personable, creative, marketing, strategy, negotiation, analytical, aware of market trends, research, copywriting and editing and leadership

Traffic Manager/Production Manager

Traffic managers are essentially project managers, acting as a go-between to connect account managers to relevant departments and personnel within the agency. Traffic managers are responsible for coordinating and ensuring the orderly flow and time management of all projects from the start of the job initiation to its completion.

Skills required: Project management, time management, organisation, communication, negotiation, customer service, attention to detail, leadership and problem-solving.


Brand Strategist

A brand strategist provides recommendations on the direction a brand, product or service should take. A brand strategist will analyse current market research data and trends and use the information to advise on, and develop practical solutions for marketing plans and to define the brand elements and tone.

Skills required: Communication, personable, creative, marketing, strategy, negotiation, analytical, aware of market trends, research, teamwork, writing and presenting.

Digital Strategist

A digital strategist develops, implements and manages the web presence architecture and online marketing strategy for brands, products or services. This involves developing an actionable plan that brings relevant digital channels such as websites, content marketing, networking on social media, e-commerce, search and social advertising, SEO, marketing automation, apps, media/blogger outreach together. Brand strategists will work with marketing and brand strategists.

Skills required: Knowledge of existing and emerging digital technologies, aware of market trends, research, communication, personable, creative thinking, marketing, strategy, analytical and teamwork.

Media Planner/Buyer

The role of a media planner/buyer is to identify the most suitable media platforms to advertise a brand, product or service and achieve the objectives of the marketing campaign.

Skills required: Communication, financial acumen, analytical, organisation, knowledge of media platforms and negotiation.


Creative Director

The creative director leads a creative team, consisting of art directors, designers, copywriters, as well as sales teams and marketers to create the concept for the product or service. Responsibilities include formulating development strategies for the design solution or campaign, and overseeing the creative process and giving guidance to the creative people in their team.

Skills required: Communication, leadership, decisive, strategy, marketing awareness, interest in social and cultural trends, understanding of photography, typography and printing techniques and creativity.

Design Director/Manager

See Creative Director

Art Director

An art director is responsible for defining the visual style of a product, or a service campaign, this includes defining the style of images for magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and the look and feel or graphics for adverts film and television productions. They create the overall design and direct others who develop artwork or layouts

Skills required: Creative, understanding of photography, typography and printing techniques, communication, leadership, expertise in relevant software, awareness of social and cultural trends and decisive.

Graphic Designer/Graphic Artist

Graphic designers create visual concepts based on the art directors design direction. They find the most effective solutions to getting messages across in print and electronic media through the use of colour, type, imagery, and format. Graphic designers develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as for advertisements, brochures, magazines, corporate reports, digital graphics, and front-end web design.

Skills required: Visual Ideation/Creative problem solving, typography, software, layout, print design, and time management.

Illustrator/Digital Illustrator

Illustrators produce 2D drawings that can be used in advertisements, books, magazines, packaging, greetings cards, newspapers and more.

Skills required: Hand and computer drawing, creativity, creative problem solving, eye for detail, understanding of print and digital production, communication and time management

Image Retoucher/Image Manipulator

Image retouchers are responsible for enhancing or changing the appearance of a photo or other digital image to suit a project’s requirements. Image retouchers can combine different images add or remove backgrounds, change colours and more to create a completely new image.

Skills required: creativity, communication, software and an eye for detail.


UX + UI Designer

A user experience (UX) designer is responsible for creating the way in which a product will function, which involves mapping out the flow and functionality of each screen or page that a user will interact with to make it enjoyable and effective to use. The user interface (UI) designer creates the look and feel of a product, which involves taking the mapped out user experience and designing the visual elements.

Skills required:

Web Developer

A web developer is a programmer who creates programmes and applications for the Internet. A web developer can build a website from scratch, knows how to create custom code, and develop a website’s layout, features, and functions.

Skills required: Programming languages, HTML and CSS, wireframing, PSD and other creative software, and organisation,

Web Designer

A web designer has both creative and technical skills to build and redesign websites. A web designer’s skills may not be as in-depth as those of a developer, but with a mainly-front end focus are able to make websites aesthetically appealing, yet functional and easy to use.

Skills required: Creative, visual design, UX user experience, HTML and CSS coding, design software and optimisation.

Application ‘App’ Developer

An app developer is a computer software engineer who creates, programmes and tests web or network apps for electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

Skills required: Cross-platform development, UX/UI design, wireframing, modern programming languages, awareness of existing and future technologies and developments, and teamwork

Social Media Manager

A social media manager is responsible for managing the social media marketing campaigns for a brand, product or service. A social media manager needs to attract and engage target audiences by creating, monitoring and managing all published content such as text, images, and video.

Skills required: Communication, knowledge of digital marketing trends, awareness of social and cultural trends, understanding how online media works, strategy planning, community management and engagement, organisation, proactive, creative thinking, writing, editing, SEO and optimising content, photography and video knowledge a bonus


Content Producer

A content producer creates and develops written or visual content for print or digital applications such as white papers, reports, manuals, videos, images, eBooks, blog posts and infographics.

Skills required: Writing, editing, creative, software, research, awareness of social and cultural trends, communication and an eye for detail.


A copywriter writes the text used in advertising and other promotional campaigns or products, such as brochures, print adverts, billboards, websites, emails, magazines, blog posts and more. The text is usually sales focused.

Skills required: Writing, editing, communication, research, investigative, and an eye for detail.

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