Media Buyer

    If you are wondering how to become an advertising media buyer, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers in this area of advertising, as well as job prospects within the UK.

    The Job Description
    Media executives (or advertising media buyers as they are sometimes known) buy advertising space or time in various media sources such as newspapers, TV, cinema and radio. This is to target the relevant audience for their produce or service at an affordable cost to their client.

    Typical responsibilities:

    · To identify the audience that they must work with, media planners decide the best place to advertise.
    · To keep pace with people’s TV, reading habits and lifestyles by accessing industry research.
    · Work on building a relationship with media companies and their clients.
    · Liaise with people in media sales for the best rates and spots for advertising.
    · Costing preparation for customers.
    · Staying within and managing budgets throughout the clients’ campaign and keeping them informed at all times.
    · Analysis of sales data and monitoring of audience figures showing the effectiveness of each individual campaign.

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of a good media buyer include:

    · To work well as a team member and with a varied mix of people
    · Good communication skills, both written and spoken
    · Excellence in presentation negotiation skills
    · Strengths in analysis and a logical mind
    · Literate in computer skills
    · Persistence, drive and the stamina
    · Excellent planning and organisational skills
    · Meticulous accuracy ensuring attention to detail
    · Awareness of budget and a focused attitude to business

    How to become an advertising media buyer
    No particular qualifications are needed to be a media buyer, but many employers demand a BTEC, HND or degree as the industry is very competitive.

    An HND or degree in any of the following subjects may be an advantage:
    – advertising
    – marketing and communications
    – business or management
    – statistics or operational research
    – media studies.

    Universities or colleges may advise on course requirements if you check.

    Previous experience in marketing or sales would be an advantage as an aptitude for sales is important.

    Making contacts, possibly by work placement in an advertising agency, is a good way of getting experience in the industry.

    Training and Development
    On the job training is usual and there are structured training schemes for graduates.
    You could try working towards a qualification from an association of professionals such as:

    – the foundation certificate from the IPA. This online course is open to junior members of staff with advertising experience of at least six months.

    – Middle managers with no less than three years’ experience could try for a IPA Excellence Diploma.

    – The CAM (Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation) Marketing Communications Diploma – this requires no less than two years’ relevant experience along with a degree or similar.

    The Pay
    Salaries can start in the region of £16k – £20k per annum
    Rising to £24k and £40k per annum with experience
    Reaching £50k or more as a top salary.

    Job Prospects
    The search for advertising jobs is highly competitive among graduates as this career is a very popular choice. For job vacancies, search advertisements in trade publications and the press. IPA website and recruitment agencies specialising in media advertising are another good source. You will find that not every job is advertised and much work is often found through networking, approaching agencies directly and making contacts within the industry.

    Specialising in one form of media advertising, for example online or television when you are established, is a choice you may wish to consider, perhaps aiming to be an agency director or manager. Media planning or account management may appeal. To progress in your career, moving between different agencies is common and people are often head-hunted for senior level jobs.

    Useful industry contact:
    Advertising Association
    7th Floor North
    Artillery House
    11 to 19 Artillery Row
    London SW1P 1RT
    Tel: 0207 340 1100

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