What is a Creative Director?
As a creative director, you will be responsible for leading the creative process within advertising agencies or within the marketing department in-house. The creative process will include the planning and delivery of a strategic vision.
You will have to give creative direction to the team you manage, including art directors, copywriters and designers. You will also be involved with planning the advertising. To be a creative director you will need to have a proven track record which demonstrates your creative thinking. You will be rewarded with fast progression, limitless opportunities and a salary that matches your success.
- Creating a productive work environment for the creative team and overseeing their projects and ideas
- Assuming responsibility for the agency or department’s creative philosophy and maintaining the standard of output
- Generating ideas for advertising or promotional campaigns
- Pitching concepts to clients or presenting to directors
- Managing multiple projects from start to finish, adhering to deadlines and approving these projects before presentation
- Communicating with clients to keep them informed and identify any problems
- Understanding the business aspects of the agency or marketing department
- Recruiting and leading the creative team.
The average starting salary for a creative director ranges between £20,000 to £28,000.
Once you are more experienced and manage a team, you can expect to earn £40,000 to £60,000. Senior creative directors can earn high salaries of anywhere up to £80,000+ depending on the size of the agency.
The national average salary for a creative director is reported to be £78,823, although this figure may vary based on factors such as the size and location of the agency. This information is based on data from Glassdoor. The majority of roles in advertising are full-time, contracted roles with less than 20% of staff in freelance roles – more so in marketing and editorial.
You should expect to work normal working hours between 9am and 5pm. However, evening networking events are common and you’ll be expected to work long hours when working on big campaigns. It is possible to have more flexible working options.
- The job involves managing tight deadlines and handling multiple projects, which can be stressful at times.
- Although office-based, the role requires frequent networking with clients and attendance at industry events and exhibitions.
- The office environment is young, dynamic, and diverse, with a work-hard, play-hard culture.
- Keeping up with new technology and innovations across multiple platforms is expected.
- Travel within a working week is common, and occasional overnight stays may be required. Larger agencies may offer international travel opportunities.
- The job provides the satisfaction of seeing your team’s creations in the marketplace, such as on billboards or other media.
Many graduates do work within advertising agencies, although a degree is not essential and will have little impact on your earning potential.
Traditionally, to attain a creative director role this will be based on several years of hands-on experience. Graduates that go into this role can come from a variety of backgrounds whether that be creative, management, or technological roles. You may also want to consider other routes to market including content strategist, producer and app developer. Having technology skills will enhance your application and fast-track you into the industry. Competition is rife so discovering ways that will bolster your CV will better your chances.
As a creative director, you'll need to show:
- Strong leadership and interpersonal skills to inspire the creative team
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills for outstanding pitches and presentations
- Plenty of creative ideas and understanding of clients’ vision
- Awareness of trends in advertising and design
- Self-starting attitude and open-mindedness
- Resilience under pressure and against deadlines
- Knowledge of software and applications used in the creative process
- People, project, and resource management skills
Demand for these roles is high so employers will be looking for candidates who already have the life skills and professional experience needed to succeed in their role.
To get ahead of the competition, you should start by attending industry events that are open to students and networking with industry people. You may also want to consider putting together a portfolio of your work or running a blog that speaks to industry professionals – this will help you get noticed.
During your studies, you may have the chance to gain work experience through placement opportunities. These can be pursued by contacting agencies directly or applying to apprenticeship schemes. It’s important to demonstrate your experience and dedication to the field by creating a personal brand and showing professionalism in all aspects. Taking on communication roles through student unions or other societies can also demonstrate your commitment while still in university.
You have the option to work within an agency or go in-house into a marketing department of a large company.
Recruitment will be handled by the agency or company – in some cases, they may even have their own graduate scheme, but competition for these will be high. A better option will be to gain an internship and gather experience in the industry, build up a reputation and a network of contacts and work your way up from there.
You should look to constantly continue your professional development, keeping on top of technological changes and following industry trends – this is done by reading industry press regularly. Most agencies offer on the job training but there are other providers who do offer development schemes.
Advertising is composed of three essential roles: creative director, finance director, and chief executive. If you're a creative director, you'll probably aim to either leverage robust international opportunities or establish your own agency in partnership with a finance director and chief executive.
Studying towards a BA (Hons) in International Business sets students up with the necessary skills to work in a range of professions. The course involves working closely with academic theory and practical case studies, allowing students to grasp how the theory can be applied in real business scenarios.
Within this programme, students will cover modules such as business studies, finance, human resource management, marketing, and economics. BA International Business takes a very hands-on approach to learning by incorporating workshops, guest lectures and field trips into the programme.
The MBA component of the course takes a broad look at business practice and functions such as accounts, finance, and HR – and how they are all interlinked. This allows students to grasp the importance of strategy and communication within a managerial role.
Alongside a broad business view, this course allows students to specialise in digital marketing in a more focused way. The marketing aspect of the programme is intended to allow professionals with substantial digital marketing experience to hone their skills to enhance their career prospects. Areas of study include digital marketing strategy, management, social media marketing, search engine optimisation, pay per click, email and influencer marketing.
Other related courses
As a Customer Service Manager, you will work across many industries and will be responsible for improving your service/product based on customer feedback and ensuring your customers are happy. You will most likely manage a team of Customer Service Advisors and will be liable for meeting targets.
A typical starting salary for a Customer Service Manager is between £20,500 and £25,000. As an experienced Customer Service Manager, you can expect to earn between £30,000 to £45,000. In some cases, you may be able to exceed £60,000, but this will depend on various factors.
You do not need any qualifications to become a Customer Service Manager. The most natural way is to work your way up. Most that make it into a managerial role will have progressed up the ladder from a Customer Service Assistant, gaining experience and qualifications where possible. However, if you are wanting to secure a Customer Service Manager role straight out of university, the following degrees may bolster your CV: Business studies , Consumer studies , Management studies & Marketing