Career Development

What Does a Media Buyer Do?

Find out what a media buyer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a media buyer.

Media buyers are responsible for buying advertising space from media outlets. They work with a variety of clients, including businesses, nonprofits, and political candidates, to determine which types of ads will run where.

Media buyers must be able to read between the lines when it comes to contracts and legal documents. They also need strong communication skills to coordinate with vendors and other members of their team.

Media Buyer Job Duties

Media buyers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing and maintaining relationships with clients, including reviewing campaign performance, developing plans for future advertising efforts, and identifying opportunities for additional business
  • Negotiating media terms such as rates, terms, and conditions with media representatives
  • Monitoring competitor activity in order to identify opportunities for new business
  • Conduct market research to determine audience characteristics and behavior patterns in order to design effective marketing strategies for clients’ products or services
  • Reviewing advertising copy for compliance with industry regulations on content
  • Creating contracts with media companies on behalf of clients
  • Coordinating the production of advertisements with the client’s creative team
  • Analyzing data on past campaigns to determine which strategies were successful and which should be discontinued
  • Determining which media outlets will reach the target audience most effectively, based on price, reach, frequency, and other considerations

Media Buyer Salary & Outlook

Media buyers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $125,000 ($60.1/hour)

The employment of media buyers is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Demand for advertising will depend on the overall health of the economy. When the economy is strong, businesses are more likely to advertise and to increase their advertising budgets. However, when the economy slows, demand for advertising also decreases.

Media Buyer Job Requirements

A media buyer typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Media buyers typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Some employers prefer a master’s degree in marketing, advertising or a related field. Relevant coursework includes statistics, research methods, media law, media ethics and advertising strategy.

Training & Experience: Media buyers typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other media buying professionals. This training may include instruction on the company’s specific needs and procedures, as well as instruction on the various software and technology used in the role.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement to become a media buyer, but they can help you become a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs.

Media Buyer Skills

Media buyers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Analytical skills: Analytical skills are the ability to interpret data and make decisions based on the information you have. As a media buyer, you need to be able to analyze data to determine which media channels are most effective for your company. This can help you make the most of your budget and ensure you’re reaching the right audience.

Communication skills: Communication skills are necessary for media buyers to communicate with their clients and other members of their team. They use these skills to explain the needs of their clients and the goals of their campaigns. They also use communication skills to negotiate with media sellers and to review campaign results.

Marketing knowledge: A media buyer needs to understand the various marketing strategies and tactics that are available to them. This includes knowing the differences between various types of media, such as television, radio, print and digital. It’s also important to understand the various demographics that each type of media reaches. This knowledge can help a media buyer make informed decisions about which types of media to purchase and how much to spend on each type.

Negotiation skills: Negotiation skills are also important for media buyers. This is because they often work with other individuals or companies to create advertising campaigns. For example, a media buyer may negotiate with a social media company to get a discounted rate for advertising on their platform.

Financial acumen: Financial acumen is the ability to understand and interpret financial data. This includes knowing how to read a budget, how to interpret profit margins and how to make financial projections. Having strong financial acumen can help you make informed decisions about the media you purchase for your company.

Media Buyer Work Environment

Media buyers typically work in advertising agencies, although some work in-house for large corporations that have their own advertising departments. They usually work regular business hours, although they may occasionally work overtime to meet deadlines. Media buyers typically work on multiple projects at the same time and must be able to juggle many tasks simultaneously. They must be able to think creatively to come up with new and innovative ways to market their products or services. They must also be able to negotiate effectively to get the best possible rates for their advertising space.

Media Buyer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how media buyers work. Media buyers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Programmatic Advertising

The growth of programmatic advertising is a trend that is quickly changing the media buying landscape. This trend allows advertisers to buy ads through automated systems, which can reduce costs and improve efficiency.

As programmatic advertising becomes more popular, media buyers will need to learn how to use these systems in order to get the best deals for their clients. They will also need to be familiar with the latest trends in digital advertising, such as social media marketing and mobile advertising.

More Focus on Digital Marketing

As businesses continue to focus on digital marketing, media buyers will need to develop skills in areas such as search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising.

By understanding how to optimize content for search engines and create effective ad campaigns, media buyers can help their clients reach a wider audience and generate more leads. In addition, they will need to be able to manage budgets effectively and understand the ROI of different marketing channels.

A Greater Emphasis on Branding

Media buyers are increasingly realizing the importance of branding in today’s marketplace. As a result, they are placing a greater emphasis on developing strong relationships with clients and creating unique campaigns that resonate with consumers.

This trend is especially important for small businesses that may not have the resources to compete with larger companies. By working with a media buyer who understands the importance of branding, businesses can create a lasting impression with customers and stand out from the competition.

How to Become a Media Buyer

A career as a media buyer can be incredibly rewarding. It offers the opportunity to work in a variety of industries, with different types of clients, and on a range of projects. As a media buyer, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of the advertising landscape and how it works. You’ll also need to be able to effectively communicate your ideas and sell your vision to clients.

To become a successful media buyer, you should have a strong background in marketing and advertising. You should also be familiar with the latest trends in digital marketing and advertising. Additionally, it’s important that you have a strong network of contacts within the industry.

Related: How to Write a Media Buyer Resume

Advancement Prospects

Media buyers typically start out working under the supervision of a more experienced media buyer. As they develop a better understanding of the media buying process and the industry, they are given more responsibility and independence. With experience, media buyers can advance to positions such as media supervisor, media director, or account executive.

Those who are interested in management may move into positions such as media director, in which they oversee the work of other media buyers. Those who are interested in sales may move into account executive positions, in which they work with clients to develop advertising campaigns.

Media Buyer Job Description Example

As a media buyer at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for the planning, placement, and optimization of all paid media campaigns across digital, print, radio, and TV. You will work closely with the media planning team to develop and execute media plans that achieve our clients’ business objectives, whether that be brand awareness, lead generation, or sales. You will also be responsible for managing relationships with media vendors, negotiating rates, and ensuring that all campaigns are delivered on time and on budget. The ideal candidate will have at least 2 years of experience in media buying, planning, or related field, and a strong understanding of the media landscape and how to navigate it.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand the client’s business, objectives, and target audience in order to develop an effective media strategy
  • Research and analyze data to identify trends and insights that will inform media planning decisions
  • Develop and present recommendations for media buys that align with the client’s budget and objectives
  • Negotiate rates and secure ad placements with media outlets
  • Monitor campaign performance and optimize spend to ensure maximum ROI
  • Prepare post-campaign reports detailing results and insights
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and emerging platforms
  • Attend industry events and networking functions
  • Maintain strong relationships with media vendors
  • Collaborate with internal teams, including creative, account management, and production
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously and adjust plans as needed to meet changing deadlines and priorities
  • Adhere to all company policies and procedures

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in advertising, marketing, business, or related field
  • 2-4 years of experience in media buying or planning
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Excellent math skills and attention to detail
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Ability to multitask and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with media buying software, including Mediaocean, Strata, and DART
  • Working knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics and other web analytics tools
  • Passion for staying up-to-date on the latest trends in digital marketing

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