Career Development

What Does a Media Planner Do?

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

Media planners are responsible for creating and executing media plans. They work with clients to determine which types of media will best reach their target audience, then create a plan that outlines how this media should be used.

Media planners may also help clients decide which types of messages or products they want to promote through these channels. This might include helping them choose between different product offerings, deciding which features to highlight in advertisements, etc.

Media Planner Job Duties

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

  • Developing marketing strategies to reach target audiences through various media channels
  • Conducting research to identify current trends in consumer attitudes and buying habits
  • Creating long-term media strategies that align with a company’s overall business goals
  • Managing the day-to-day workflow of the department, including scheduling meetings with clients, creating drafts of proposals, creating campaign materials such as ads or brochures, and maintaining contact with vendors
  • Managing budgets and negotiating rates with media outlets on behalf of clients
  • Analyzing market indicators such as consumer buying patterns, demographics, and media trends to determine which products will be successful
  • Developing a media plan based on the client’s objectives and available resources
  • Identifying appropriate media outlets to target specific audiences based on geographic location, demographic characteristics, purchasing habits, etc.
  • Recommending changes to existing advertising campaigns to improve performance

Media Planner Salary & Outlook

Media planners’ 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: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $191,000 ($91.83/hour)

The employment of media planners is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for media planners will be driven by the continued growth of digital advertising and social media. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, advertisers will need to plan campaigns that target these users.

Media Planner Job Requirements

A media planner typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Media planners typically need a bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising or communications. Some of the coursework that these programs include is advertising strategy, media planning, research methods, statistics and consumer behavior.

Training & Experience: Media planners typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other media professionals. This training helps media planners learn about the company’s products and services, the target audience and the marketing strategies. They also learn about the company’s media buying and planning processes.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications can improve the chances of getting a higher-paying job and increasing a planner’s knowledge of the industry.

Media Planner Skills

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

Research: Researching is the ability to find information and data. As a media planner, you need to be able to research information about your audience, competitors and the media landscape. This information is necessary to create a media plan that will be effective.

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. As a media planner, you may be responsible for communicating with clients, other media planners and other members of the marketing team. Effective communication can help you to convey your ideas and messages clearly and concisely.

Creativity: Creativity is the ability to generate new ideas and solutions. As a media planner, you may be responsible for developing a marketing strategy that includes a variety of different media channels. Your creativity can help you develop a unique plan that meets the needs of your client.

Organization: Organization is another skill that can help you in your career as a media planner. This is because you often have many tasks to complete at the same time. Having good organizational skills can help you prioritize your tasks and complete them in a timely manner.

Data analysis: Data analysis is the ability to interpret and understand large amounts of data. As a media planner, you may be responsible for analyzing data to determine the best strategies for reaching a target audience. Data analysis can help you identify the most effective methods for reaching a target audience, such as through social media, television or radio.

Media Planner Work Environment

Media planners typically work in advertising agencies, public relations firms, or marketing departments of large corporations. They usually work regular business hours, but overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines or attend evening or weekend events. Media planners often work on more than one account or campaign at a time and must be able to juggle multiple deadlines. The work can be stressful, and media planners must be able to handle pressure and meet deadlines.

Media Planner Trends

Here are three trends influencing how media planners work. Media planners 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 Digital Media

The growth of digital media has led to an increased demand for media planners. As more and more people consume content online, businesses are looking for professionals who can help them reach their target audience through the use of advertising and marketing campaigns.

Media planners can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in digital media channels such as social media, search engine marketing, and video advertising. They can then use this knowledge to create effective campaigns that drive results for their clients.

More Focus on Branding

As media planning becomes more focused on branding, advertisers will need professionals who can help them create a consistent message across all platforms.

Media planners can utilize this trend by developing a deep understanding of branding principles and how to apply them to different types of media. They can also work with advertisers to develop a cohesive strategy that aligns with the company’s values and goals.

A Greater Emphasis on Data-Driven Decision Making

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on data-driven decision making in business. This trend is being driven by the increasing availability of data, which allows companies to make better decisions based on facts rather than intuition.

Media planners can take advantage of this trend by becoming familiar with data-driven tools and techniques. By doing so, they can ensure that they are using data to make informed decisions about where to spend advertising dollars.

How to Become a Media Planner

A media planner career path can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the advertising industry. As a media planner, you’ll be responsible for creating and executing marketing campaigns that use various forms of media, such as television, radio, print, and online ads.

To become a media planner, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of marketing and advertising principles. You should also be able to think creatively and strategically when developing new campaigns. Additionally, it’s important to have a strong knowledge of the different types of media available and how they can be used to reach target audiences.

Related: How to Write a Media Planner Resume

Advancement Prospects

Media planners typically start out in entry-level positions and advance to senior-level positions with more responsibility. Some media planners eventually move into management positions, such as media director. With experience, media planners also may move into other advertising and marketing positions, such as account executive, brand manager, or marketing manager.

Media Planner Job Description Example

As a media planner at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for the development and execution of integrated media plans that deliver on client business objectives. You will collaborate with account teams, creatives, and media vendors to develop and execute media plans that are on strategy, on budget, and on time. The successful candidate will have a minimum of 2 years’ experience in media planning, a working knowledge of media math, and a passion for all things media. He or she will be a strategic thinker with the ability to think outside the box to develop creative solutions to complex problems.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand the client’s business, objectives, and target audience in order to develop an effective media strategy
  • Research and analyze data (e.g. demographics, media consumption habits, etc.) to identify trends and insights that inform media planning
  • Develop detailed media plans that outline where and how to allocate advertising spend across various channels (e.g. TV, radio, print, digital, etc.)
  • Negotiate with media outlets on behalf of clients to secure advantageous rates and placement
  • Monitor campaign performance and optimize accordingly to ensure maximum ROI
  • Keep abreast of industry trends and emerging platforms to ensure that media plans are current and relevant
  • Prepare presentations and reports for clients that communicate campaign progress and results
  • Attend client meetings and pitches as needed to provide updates on media planning status and answer any questions
  • Collaborate with other members of the account team (e.g. creatives, strategists, etc.) to ensure that all aspects of the campaign are aligned
  • Stay within budget constraints when developing media plans
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously while meeting deadlines
  • Perform any other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in advertising, marketing, communications, or related field
  • 2-4 years professional experience in media planning/buying, preferably within an agency setting
  • Solid understanding of various types of media, including print, digital, television, radio, etc.
  • Excellent research, analytical, and mathematical skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with media planning software, such as Nielsen Media Research, Scarborough Research, Simmons Market Research, comScore, etc.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint
  • Familiarity with ad servers, such as DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), Google Ad Manager (GAM), etc.
  • Basic HTML coding skills

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