Are your strong negotiation skills matched only by your organizational and strategic know-how? A position as a Media Buyer might be the energizing role perfect for you.
A Media Buyer negotiates with media outlets to purchase time slots and ad space at the lowest possible price. These slots and openings may include space on billboards and other out-of-home signage, magazines, television, and radio programming, and websites. Media Buyers negotiate sponsorships and secure product placements, as well.
Media Buyers may work for a company’s in-house ad department or at an advertising agency on behalf of clients. A great Media Buyer builds close working relationships with vendors and media professionals using their excellent communication skills. They are expert salespeople and great listeners, taking each clients’ specific needs — and budgets — into account when negotiating with a seller.
Media Buyers are also long-term strategic thinkers, developing media campaigns that target the desired demographic, grow brand awareness, and increase sales.
Sample job description
Media buyers acquire advertising space for print, radio, television, billboard, and online campaigns by utilizing market research and negotiating with advertising sales agents to ensure they reach the desired target audience. A media buyer should have excellent negotiation skills, strong organizational abilities, and be a strategic thinker. [Your Company Name] is hiring an experienced media buyer to take our advertising to new heights. As an ideal candidate, you have in-depth knowledge of current media channels and advertising options, and you have experience in securing the optimal advertising space for clients.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Target key demographics and develop media campaigns
Negotiate ad space and airtime rates with vendors
Develop media plans and budgets that best fit clients’ needs
Create ad schedules and adjust when appropriate
Ensure ad quality and placement, as well as relevance to campaign objectives
Track ad money spent, and return on investment
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, digital marketing, mass communications, or a related field.
Required skills and qualifications
Knowledge of traditional and digital advertising trends
Strong background in using media analytics tools
Superior negotiation and communication skills
Ability to multitask and organize multiple projects
Excellent attention to detail
Strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
Experience working in digital ad platforms such as Facebook Ads Manager, Google Ads, LinkedIn Campaign Manager or other programmatic media platforms
A proven track record of driving results
Typical work environment
Media buyers typically work from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday and work in office environments. When in negotiations, they may be required to work longer hours.
The work hours for a Media Buyer are typically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may, at times, be necessary.
Many institutions offer certification programs for media buyers to prove their skills and to give them a step up on their competition. Here are some of the top certifications for media buyers:
Facebook Certified Media Buying Professional. This certification demonstrates your advanced proficiency in integrating the elements of ad creation to optimize campaigns in Ads Manager and Business Manager. Topics covered on the exam include how to optimize campaigns and target parameters, how to evaluate campaign results, the impact of creativity on performance, and more. The certification must be renewed each year by completing activities that qualify for recertification, such as taking the current version of the Facebook Certified Media Buying Professional exam.
Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional. The Microsoft Advertising certification shows that you have the advertising knowledge and skills to increase your Microsoft Advertising proficiency and optimize your ad campaigns. Some of what you will learn on your way to certification includes how to reach new, high-quality customers in specific audience segments, how to import established campaigns to Microsoft Advertising, how to take advantage of specific targeting methods, and how to optimize keywords with keyword bids.
The path to becoming a Media Buyer can take a couple of different directions.
Many Media Buyers begin their careers by earning a bachelor’s degree in a business- or marketing-related field. A proven track record in a high-pressure sales environment can get a candidate hired without a college degree, but these candidates are the exception, not the rule. Regardless, Media Buyers must demonstrate a solid command of traditional and digital platforms, as well as the analytics tools used to plan integrated marketing strategies.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 27-3031**
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
** includes all public relations specialists
The rise of the internet has reshaped the advertising world. Newspaper subscriptions have dwindled, as well as the available ad space in those print publications. Media companies (and Media Buyers) have taken advantage of cheaper ad costs online and shifted their focus from print to advertising on the web.
Programmatic advertising, or the automated buying and selling of online ads, has reduced costs ever further and presented Media Buyers with a unique challenge: how to adopt this new technology without replacing themselves with it. The best Media Buyers understand that nothing can replace the business value in creating lasting working relationships with clients.