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What does a media buyer do?

What does a media buyer do?

You can’t just slap your logo on a bus and let it drive off. It has to go through your strategist, the media planner, and then to the media buyer…potentially the future-you? Do you wake up dreaming of media, know who’s reading what, and what’s the latest app to share and download content?

As a media buyer you will negotiate, purchase and monitor advertising space and airtime on behalf of clients. The aim is to reach the highest number of people in the target audience at the lowest possible cost.

Roles tend to be based in advertising and media agencies. You may work across several or all media, including:

  • cinema;
  • internet;
  • magazines;
  • newspapers;
  • posters;
  • television.

You will usually work on more than one client account at a time. In some full-service agencies, the role of media buyer is combined with the role of a media planner.

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What does a day in the life look like? You’ll be involved in:

  • identifying the target audience for a particular media campaign and deciding how best to communicate to that audience;
  • keeping up to date with industry research figures, including distribution figures (newspapers and magazines) and audience figures (television and radio);
  • monitoring buying strategies;
  • liaising and building relationships with clients and media sales companies;
  • negotiating with media sales companies to obtain the best rates and most appropriate media spaces in online, broadcast and print advertising;
  • communicating with media sales people to adjust media schedules in response to audience figures;
  • booking individual advertising spots, e.g. pages, posters, internet banners and broadcast adverts;
  • ensuring that the adverts run accurately so that the desired media message is seen and heard by consumers;
  • client reporting and budget management, including preparing costings for clients and producing spending updates throughout the campaign;
  • collecting and analysing sales and consumer data;
  • undertaking research using a range of specialist media resources;
  • analysing the effectiveness of the campaign and using this data to inform future campaigns.


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