Media planner and media buyer are positions that are associated with each other. The common denominator is the skills possessed, but the differences result from the scope of responsibilities. Two people or two departments must work closely together to achieve the objectives pursued. What do a media planner and media buyer do?
The media planner is a link between a client and end customer. The person in this position is primarily responsible for creating media strategies and media planning. He or she is also actively involved in implementation of advertising campaigns, their monitoring, optimisation, and analysis of results. The role requires constant contact with the client and handling current inquiries. They recommend which media and communication channels will reach specific target groups, as well as respond to their needs and expectations. The media planner conducts the analysis of competition, media consumption, which ultimately translates into creating a strategy for the brand.
Responsibilities may vary depending on the culture of the agency’s organisation. In some, mainly smaller companies, the media planning department is responsible for contacting the customer and implementing campaigns from start to finish. The media planner then assumes the duties of the media buyer who is responsible for the media purchase. However, the former can also specialise in a given field by planning activities within the internet or traditional media.
The media planner should have extensive knowledge of advertising tools, the latest trends, and channels for reaching the target audience. He or she must also be a good strategist and negotiator, as they are responsible for establishing the conditions for cooperation with the customer. People with well-developed soft skills are searched for this role – good work organisation, analytical skills, creativity, communication skills, and stress resistance are just a few to mention here.
Media buying department collaborates at an advertising agency with both planners and marketers. Based on the strategy prepared by the media planner and the final media plan, the media buyer purchases the media. They may be limited only to the online space or form a hybrid, thanks to the use of traditional media potential. However, the role of the media buyer does not end there. In addition to contacting publishers and purchasing advertising space, he or she manages the budget, negotiates rates, monitors the course of the advertising campaign, and analyses the outcomes.
The media buyer should have the same competencies as the media planner. Combining analytical skills with creativity is highly desirable. Openness, communication skills, commitment, and willingness to acquire new knowledge and skills are really important in this role.
The process of creating advertising campaigns is very complex and in the case of a large agency it requires cooperation of several people or departments. Sometimes media planning and buying are the responsibility of one employee, but in fact these are two separate positions that require appropriate preparation and experience. The media planner and media buyer work as a team, complementing each other. Simply put, the planner draws up a strategy that will be implemented by the media buyer.
Media buying and media planning are departments that have to closely cooperate with each other to get the best results from an advertising campaign. Regardless of the number of team members, it is good communication and coordination of activities that matter most.