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What does a media buyer do? ABC of working at advertising agencies

The process of creating advertising campaigns is very complex and requires cooperation of several teams at an advertising agency. One of the key positions is a media buyer, responsible for purchasing advertising space and negotiating prices. What other duties do media buyers have? What teams do they cooperate with while creating advertising campaigns?

The role of a media buyer at an advertising agency

The media buyer is responsible for purchasing advertising space on behalf of contractors and negotiating best terms of cooperation with persons representing the media. A person holding this position takes an active part in creating a marketing strategy, developing advertising campaigns, preparing analyses and presentations, recommending target groups, and managing the advertising budget, negotiating purchase conditions for current projects.

The media buyer’s area of activity is both digital and traditional media. In order to achieve the synergy and best campaign results, he or she works within the media mix. The purchase of media is not limited to radio, television, OOH, and the Internet. The media buyer should be familiar with the latest channels of reaching customers, taking into account state-of-the-art technologies and various forms of content publication, e.g. video, mobile, or gaming. The person in this role cooperates closely with the media planner and other employees or departments responsible for implementation of advertising campaigns. The work of the media planner precedes the scope of activities of the media buyer who implements the chosen marketing strategy. The media are purchased on the basis of a media plan, customer requirements, budget, and expected outcomes.

What skills should the media buyer have?

In the media buyer job, knowledge of the media market and current purchase prices is essential; therefore, a person in this position should follow the latest trends and constantly gain new knowledge. The skills needed in this sector include logical thinking, drawing correct conclusions, creativity, ease in establishing contacts, resistance to stress, and very good work organisation. It can be said that media buying requires comprehensive knowledge about the needs of consumers and building a brand, which is why a person with passion for modern media will definitely suit this position. Analytical mind should go hand in hand with creativity and ability to perceive unusual solutions.

A great advantage in this job is the willingness to develop hard and soft skills – media buyers have to prove themselves in many situations, including new ones that require an out-of-the-box approach and problem-solving skills.

The position does not require a university degree in marketing and advertising, although it will be an asset. What matters most is experience, passion, and willingness to learn. Usually, the prospective media buyer first completes an internship with an advertising agency, acquiring relevant knowledge and skills.

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