Media Buyer Job Description (Including Examples)

This article gives you the inside scoop on one of the most interesting careers in advertising!

Reviewed by:
Mina Wasfi
July 24, 2024
0 min read time
Ayesha Noor
Content Marketer | CopyWriter

Advertising is more vital than ever in today’s hyperconnected world. To reach consumers and increase sales, businesses of all sizes depend on advertising. But how do they determine where to position their ads and how much money to spend? That’s exactly where Media buyers come in!

Media buyers make use of top social media marketing skills, choose platforms that will best reach target audiences, employ strategies to boost a brand, negotiate ad rates, and conduct data analysis to optimize campaigns for the greatest possible effect. They are, in essence, responsible for ensuring that your preferred goods or services are seen by the appropriate audiences at the appropriate times.

Let’s get into more about a media buyer’s job description!

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What does a Media Buyer do?

Media buyers are in charge of purchasing ad space or time on various media platforms such as TV, radio, print, or digital. However, the job entails much more than simply making purchases. 

Media buyers have to collaborate closely with clients to understand their advertising goals and target audiences, as well as with media sales representatives to negotiate rates and secure the best placements. They must also be skilled at using data and analytics tools to track and analyze campaign performance, adjusting strategies as needed to ensure maximum ROI. 

The ultimate goal of a media buyer is to create effective, cost-effective campaigns that reach the right audiences and drive business results.

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What are the Responsibilities of a Media Buyer?

A media buyer’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Determining target audiences.
  • Choosing the most effective media platforms to reach a target audience.
  • Creating and planning media strategies and negotiating rates with media sales representatives.
  • Maintaining a campaign budget within set limits and managing media expenditures.
  • Evaluating the success of a campaign and making necessary changes when necessary.
  • Keeping an eye on market changes and trends.
  • Sustaining communication with customers and media sales representatives.

Behind every successful advertising campaign, there's a talented media buyer working tirelessly to make it happen. 

What is the Salary Package of a Media Buyer?

The salary for a media buyer varies depending on their degree of experience, where they live, and the size of the business they work for. The typical base pay for a media buyer in the United States is reportedly around $60,000 per year, according to Glassdoor. Senior media buyers make the highest salaries, but salaries can vary from $40,000 to $91,000 annually.

However, with bonuses and commission, this salary can rise considerably, reaching $100,000 or more for those with extensive experience and a history of successful campaigns. Media buyers who work for big advertising agencies or in major cities typically earn more money than those who work for smaller businesses or in less urban areas.

Overall, a job in media buying has the potential to be both financially and personally rewarding.

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What are a Media Buyer’s working hours?

You can expect to work on a full-time schedule as a media buyer, with some overtime needed during busy campaign times. 

Working hours can change in light of the media platforms being used and the intended audience's time zones. For instance, if a media buyer is trying to reach audiences around the world, they might need to work past normal office hours to make sure their campaigns are successful. 

Additionally, media buyers who work for agencies may be required to attend client meetings or events outside of normal business hours. 

For those who appreciate a dynamic and fast-paced work environment, media buying can be an exciting and rewarding job, despite the occasional long hours.

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What to expect from a Media Buyer position?

As a media buyer, you can expect to work in a fast-paced environment with short deadlines and high-pressure situations. You'll need to be able to handle several campaigns at once while multitasking. 

For instance, media buyers at Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s largest advertising companies, are in charge of managing media plans across various companies and markets and are required to use data to improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. 

Similarly, daily campaign results analysis by Nestle's media buyers ensure that campaigns produce the intended effects, such as increased website traffic or higher sales figures. 

Despite the difficulties, media purchasing can be satisfying for those who value a vibrant workplace and the chance to support the success of some of the biggest and most prestigious businesses in the world.

Common Media Buyer terms

There are a number of industry-specific terms associated with media buying that are important to know. 

The most common terms include:

  • CPM (Cost Per Thousand): The price associated with using a particular media platform to reach 1,000 individuals. For instance, if a website charges $5 CPM, it indicates that it will cost $5 to show an advertisement to 1,000 users of the site.
  • Impressions: The number of times an advertisement is viewed. For instance, if a visitor to a website sees an advertisement twice, that ranks as two impressions.
  • Gross Rating Point (GRP): A metric for determining how many people a given advertising effort reached in total. It considers the quantity of impacts and the proportion of the target market that was attained.
  • Reach: The number of individuals who at least once see an advertisement. The reach of the campaign is 50%, for instance, if an advertisement is shown to 1,000 individuals and 500 of them see it at least once.

Media buyers should know these terms in order to successfully plan, bargain, and assess the success of their advertising campaigns. They can choose which media platforms to use, how much to spend on campaigns, and how to optimize their campaigns for maximum impact by being knowledgeable about these ideas.

Qualifications to be a Media Buyer

A bachelor's degree in marketing, advertising, or a closely related field is typically required to succeed as a media buyer. Relevant job experience, such as internships or entry-level positions in media planning or buying, can also be highly valued. 

For example, media buyers at companies like PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Omnicom frequently gain industry experience before moving up to more senior positions. Expert knowledge of media planning software and data analysis techniques is also a highly desired skill. 

Additionally, strong negotiation and communication skills, as well as the ability to perform well under pressure, are required for success in this dynamic and fast-paced profession.

What Skills Do Media Buyers Require?

[fs-toc-omit]Analytical skills: 

  • Conducted market research and analyzed campaign data to save 30% on advertising spend.
  • Used Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics to track campaign performance and make data-driven decisions.
  • Created ROI reports to show clients and stakeholders the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

[fs-toc-omit]Negotiation skills:

  • Negotiated with media outlets to secure 10% lower rates for advertising placements, saving the company $50,000.
  • Developed and maintained strong relationships with media vendors in order to secure favorable pricing and premium ad placements.
  • Developed effective negotiation strategies to maximize ROI and meet campaign objectives

[fs-toc-omit]Marketing expertise:

  • Commended for having a strong understanding of marketing principles and used them to create effective advertising campaigns across multiple channels, including digital, print, and broadcast.
  • Conducted market research and competitive analysis to identify target audiences and develop messaging that resonated with them.
  • Maintained awareness of industry trends and emerging technologies to ensure that advertising campaigns are innovative and effective

Successful media buyers at corporations like Coca-Cola, Nestle, and PepsiCo possess these abilities and use them on a regular basis to make business-growth-promoting choices.

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Work experience

[fs-toc-omit]Entry-level jobs in marketing or advertising

Many media buyers begin their careers as marketing coordinators or media planners. For instance, some Coca-Cola media buyers began as marketing coordinators and advanced to media buyer positions after getting experience.

[fs-toc-omit]Specialized roles

As media buyers acquire knowledge, they may transition into roles that require more expertise, such as programmatic media buying or social media buying. For instance, PepsiCo's media buyers may focus on programmatic media purchasing to more effectively target particular demographics.

[fs-toc-omit]Advertising agencies or media planning firms

Some media buyers work for advertising agencies or media planning companies, where they acquire experience working with a range of clients and media platforms. For example, media buyers at Ogilvy create and carry out media campaigns for customers like IBM and American Express.

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In conclusion, if you are looking for a dynamic job that requires strong communication and analytical skills, as well as negotiation strategies and attention to detail, a media buyer is the perfect position for you. 

We hope this article helps you navigate a media buyer's job description and opens new doors for you!

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