Media buyers negotiate the price of and purchase television and radio air time, and advertising space within newspapers, magazines and other print publications.
Roles tend to be based in advertising and media agencies. You may work across several or all media, including:
- 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 (television 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;
- communicating with media sales people to adjust media schedules in response to audience figures;
- booking individual advertising spots, e.g. pages, posters, internet banners and broadcast adverts;
- ensuring that the adverts run accurately so that 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 analyzing sales and consumer data;
- undertaking research using a range of specialist media resources;
- analyzing the effectiveness of the campaign and using this data to inform future campaigns.
Any degree discipline is acceptable, although journalism, psychology, business studies, public relations, media studies, marketing or management qualifications can be particularly helpful.
Entry without a degree or diploma is sometimes possible, especially if you have relevant experience and excellent interpersonal skills. It’s possible to start in a different role within an agency and work your way up to the role of buyer.
- team work and interpersonal skills for liaising with clients and colleagues;
- excellent written and oral communication skills;
- presentation skills for reporting back to clients;
- good numerical, analytical and research skills to evaluate campaigns;
- strong organizational skills, accuracy and the ability to assimilate information quickly;
- negotiation skills to get the best advertising space at the best price;
- a good understanding of media;
- the ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines and make decisions quickly;
- IT literacy;
- creativity and problem-solving skills;
- commercial and budget awareness.