What Does a Media Buyer Do?

Nick Mann

A media buyer is a person who acts as a liaison between a business and various marketing outlets. For example, he might develop an advertising campaign for a business with limited marketing knowledge. Being successful in this career usually requires a person with excellent interpersonal skills, a keen business sense and marketing expertise. In most cases, a media buyer will have at least a bachelor's degree in business, marketing or a related field. Common duties of this job include establishing a client's marketing needs, developing a marketing strategy, implementing that strategy and tracking results.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

Before any other actions can be taken, it's necessary to first establish a client's marketing needs. To accomplish this, a media buyer will usually meet with a client face-to-face or through a teleconference. Information he will need to obtain typically includes his client's target audience, the products or services offered, and the budget. In addition, he will often discuss with his client any other details needed to make the marketing campaign a success.

After a media buyer has a thorough understanding of his client's needs, he will develop a marketing strategy. The exact strategy he chooses can differ between clients and may involve one or multiple media. For example, he might decide that a strictly online campaign is best for one client and mixing online advertising with television and magazines is best for another. When determining potential strategies, it's necessary for a media buyer to consider the target audience he is trying to reach. Consequently, he must have an in-depth knowledge of various marketing techniques and perform some background research on the specific target markets.

Once he has determined a clear marketing strategy, a media buyer will take the necessary steps to implement that strategy. For example, he might set up an online ad campaign to be shown to a client's target audience or set up social media accounts. In other instances, he may arrange for television commercials to be shown at a certain time and on specific channels. This practice requires a media buyer to be conscious of his client's budget and clearly communicate with representatives from media outlets.

Moreover, it's usually necessary for a media buyer to track the results of each marketing campaign. In the case of online advertising, he may implement an analytics program where he can determine how much traffic his client's website has received. Along with this, he is likely to communicate with his client to find out if sales have increased, and if so, by how much.

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