Media buyers negotiate, purchase and monitor advertising space and airtime on behalf of their clients. They aim to reach the highest number of people in the target audience at the lowest possible cost.
Buyers generally work in advertising and media agencies. They work across several or all media, including newspapers, magazines, posters, internet, television and cinema. They often work on more than one client account at a time.
In some full-service agencies, the role of media buyer is often combined with media planner.
Typical work activities
Media buyers work closely with media planners. Typical activities include:
identifying the target audience for a particular media campaign and deciding how best to communicate to that audience;
keeping up to date with industry research figures, including distribution figures (newspapers and magazines) and audience figures (TV and radio);
monitoring buying strategies;
liaising and building relationships with clients and media sales companies;
negotiating with media sales companies to obtain the best rates and most appropriate media spaces in online, broadcast and print advertising;
liaising with media sales people to adjust media schedules in response to audience figures;
booking individual advertising spots, e.g. pages, posters, internet banners, broadcast adverts, etc;
ensuring that the adverts run accurately so the desired media message is seen and heard by consumers;
client reporting and budget management, including preparing costings for clients and producing spending updates throughout the campaign;
collecting and analysing sales and consumer data;
undertaking research using a wide range of specialist media resources;
analysing the effectiveness of the campaign and using this data to inform future campaigns;
working on a range of client accounts at the same time, often juggling various projects and deadlines;
supporting the media manager and other colleagues.
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