Media buyers negotiate, purchase and monitor advertising space and airtime on behalf of their clients. In short, it is about gaining maximum exposure for minimum cost.
It is also still very much an essential form of media communication. Avenues such as PR (known as ‘earned media’) and events (‘owned media’) all hinge on the drive created by the media buying strategies – all aimed at encouraging consumers to buy into the brand.
What mediums do Media Buyers work in?
Let’s get straight to the details: you could be working in any of the following areas;
Chances are, you’ll also be working with more than one client account at a time. Depending on the agency, it is also possible that your duties will also be combined with that of the media planner.
What will I be doing as a Media Buyer?
As mentioned, it is possible you will be working alongside a media planner, or potentially absorbing some of their responsibilities. As such, tasks will include the following aspects.
- Identifying the target audience for a particular media campaign. It will then be up to you to decide how best to communicate to that audience. Picture the rapid emergence of Beats headphones. Without a carefully planned media campaign, it is likely they would never have reached such dizzying heights as they are now.
- Keep up to date with industry research figures (distribution for newspaper/magazines, audience figures for tv/radio). Have you ever wondered how the media content in your favourite magazines are so conveniently aligned to your interests? Or perhaps how the ad breaks in your favourite tv show catch your attention? The decisions of the media buyer directly influence these events.
- Monitoring buying strategies. This is where good relationships with clients and media sales companies will prove essential. Having a product to sell is no good if no one wants to buy from you. It's a simple rule of good business built on strong relationships.
- Negotiation of the best rates and media space online, via broadcast or via print is the backbone of the role. A perfect example of why strong business relationsthips are essential. As with everything, business is built on trust and belief in the ability to deliver successfully.
Skills you'll need to succeed
If you pride yourself on your communication skills and enjoy the challenges within an ever changing work environment, a career in Media Buying could be calling. Negotiation skills are paramount, as is an understanding of the evolution of the communications business. Upon gaining this knowledge, pinpointing the next technology or platform best suited to reach your target market will be second nature.
What better way to prepare for the future than helping to shape it?
The final say
Ultimately, a media buyers responsibilities come down to a basic rule – they oversee the communication with media sales people, monitor whichever advertising spots they are running (print, online, broadcast etc) and ensure that each advert reaches its target audience effectively and on budget. Once an advertising cycle has been completed, it is up to the buyer to collate data and analysis of consumer behaviour in order to make the next project more effective and inform any future campaign undertaken.
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