What Does a Media Buyer Do?
Media buyers purchase advertising space and time on different media platforms, such as television, radio, print, online, and outdoor advertising, as part of their work in the advertising industry.
By strategically placing ads, they help companies reach their target audience in the most effective and cost-efficient manner. The media buyer negotiates rates and placement positions with publishers or ad networks that align with the business objectives and budget of their clients. For effective advertising campaigns, media buyers work with copywriters, art directors, and account managers in advertising agencies or in-house marketing departments. Additionally, they monitor and analyze the effectiveness and ROI of ads.
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National Average Salary
Media buyer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Media Buyer is:
Media Buyer Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting a media buyer, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
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
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
As a Media Buyer at ABC Company, you will contribute to this mission by taking ownership of the negotiation of rates and management of advertising inventory across television, radio, and digital markets. You will report directly to the Director of Media and work closely with our Media Coordinators, Digital Marketing, and Creative teams.
In this role, you can expect to
- Monitor and analyze key metrics to identify underperforming markets, stations, media/vendors, and programs
- Optimize the strategic plan by negotiating difficult circumstances with senior-level station personnel
- Negotiate with large station ownership groups to gain access to key programming positions with ABC Company’s 2-minute commercials
- Use findings from conference calls with research firms to enhance ABC Company content and improve results
What it takes to succeed
At ABC Company, we are Default Aggressive toward our goals and take Extreme Ownership of our results. We’ll provide you with the training and tools to set you up for success, and we hope that you’ll bring:
- Demonstrated proficiency with Excel and spreadsheets
- Exceptional knowledge of industry tools
- Bachelor’s degree (preferred)
One of ABC Company’s top clients is seeking to hire a part-time Media Buyer for their Paid Policy Media team. They are primarily seeking someone to help bring the company’s Impact material to life by producing engaging and enjoyable content. The ideal candidate would be a social, and hard-working person who enjoys working beside a team. This person is passionate and devoted to their work all the while still being enthusiastic about the media buying and related marketing industries.
This would initially be part-time (around 20 hours/week), but their goal is to increase their demand to where they could potentially be needing full-time hours. They are shifting to develop positions that are/were currently completed by agencies to now creating those as in-house roles. This is where the potential conversion comes in, but there is no guarantee.
Starting with a smaller team you will be working closely with team members as well as cross-functionally. Collaborative on how to create other forms of buying outside of the typical digital market similar to media buying.
- Create and design various materials for print and digital collateral
- Ensure projects are completed with high quality and on schedule
- Adhere to internal style guidelines, maintaining the quality of the company brand
- Prioritize and manage multiple projects within design specifications and budget restrictions
- Listen to internal stakeholders and the team around you, understanding their needs and vision and interpreting their requirements
- Work with a wide range of media and use graphic design software
- 3-5 years of experience in graphic design
- High proficiency in design programs, especially Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
- Knowledge of layouts, visual fundamentals, typography, print, and the web
- Previous experience producing policy or advocacy-related designs is a plus
- Compelling portfolio of work over a wide range of creative projects
- Getting ‘into the weeds’ and needing to be able to pinpoint why certain decisions are being made
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent eye for detail
- Ability to multitask and work in a fast-paced environment
Portfolio/nice to haves
- A portfolio is needed prior to scheduling the interview
- Working with agencies whether within or alongside
- All social media platform experience – 1-2 nice to have, but all of them is best
- Heavy on digital campaigns
- Very nice to have previous experience with media buying such as radio, TV, and print while incorporating the typical digital media buying campaigns
What you’ll do
- Negotiates with advertising sales agents to acquire cost-efficient and budget-conscious advertising, sponsorships, or product placements
- Understand their client’s needs and wants and research what media are available in the markets afforded by a client’s budget
- Purchases advertising time on our client’s behalf
- Analytical thinking, communication, persuasion, and research abilities
- Collaborate with internal teams to ensure seamless plan integration and workflow
- Provide detailed campaign analysis and recommendations to internal and client teams
- Experience purchasing and managing a variety of media campaigns and various deal structures including, CPV, CPM, CPC, and CPA
- Solid experience in managing all aspects of buying, including tracking and media optimization
- Monitor and review creative through the gathering of recorded copy and live air-checks
- Vett out talent, shows, new media offerings, markets, stations, etc. to determine the value and if offerings align with the client’s strategy
- Work with the strategists to help determine overarching media strategy, client goals, media recommendation, and plan
- Build thoughtful media plans based on given criteria and narrative
- Send payment requests to accounting for all CIA clients
- Request financial information from new clients and/or vendors for accounting to set up in their system
- Confirm media funds are in-house prior to booking media
- Input all media schedules into the system
- Send orders to vendors, confirm orders and match out IOs with contracts
- Review pre/post logs to ensure media is running as ordered
- Manage all make good requests
- Ensure monthly invoices are reconciled for all account assignments
- Participate in internal meetings to review results and make recommendations to the team before the client call
- Plan, negotiate, book, and optimize annual deals from multiple clients
- Assist with any additional task overflow within the department
What you’ll need
- A bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, mass media communications, advertising, or a related field
- Minimum 5 years of radio buying experience, at local and national levels (Direct Response focused buying experience is a plus)
- Must have exceptional Excel & PowerPoint skills, with knowledge of formulas, calculating, and manipulating data comfortably within Excel
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Advanced knowledge of Salesforce
- Experience in the Strata media buying platform
Bonus points if
- Demonstrable Media buying experience
- Agency and/or Broadcast Media experience
- Experience with Project Management
- Experience in Communication Processes
- Analytical, creative, and innovative approach to solving problems
- Attention to detail and high level of accuracy
- Entrepreneurial mindset; comfortable in a data-driven business environment
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Facebook Certified Media Buying Professional. This certification demonstrates a candidate’s 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 candidates have the advertising knowledge and skills to increase their Microsoft Advertising proficiency and optimize their ad campaigns. Some of what candidates will learn on their way to certification include 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.
How to Hire a Media Buyer
Consider the following when hiring a media buyer:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. When hiring a media buyer, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for media buyer openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- What types of advertising slots have you purchased before?
- What would be the best medium to advertise a sports drink and why?
- What techniques do you use when negotiating a deal for advertising space?
- How do you determine which channels to spend your advertising budget on?
- What have you done to improve your skills as a media buyer in the last year?
- Which audience tracking and analytics tools are you familiar with? Which do you prefer?
- What are your top metrics to track?
- How have you used A/B testing to improve results?
- What is the best way to create an effective ad campaign on a tight budget?
- Can you give an example of a failed advertising placement? What did you learn from it?
- Where do you see your career in 5 years?
- What was your most successful ad? Why was it successful?
- How would you limit advertising efforts to a specific area?
- How do you deal with a difficult client?
- What are the best methods to advertise to a younger audience on social media?
- How do you stay current with marketing and technology trends?