One of the sub functions of a marketing or advertising agency is media buying. By definition, this is just the procurement of media advertising slots or blocks for the marketing or advertising agency. This is a very important function of the agency because it assures that there are spots available where their clients can advertise.
What media buyers in Los Angeles do is purchase as many chunks of media slots or blocks as they can. It is more than just buying everything available though. There is a lot of negotiation that takes place. The goal is to be able to procure these slots or blocks at a lower rate than the already established media rate.
Talented media buyers can end up doing really well in their negotiating of media slots or blocks. Often times they can negotiate savings of 50% or more off the already published standard rates. These savings can then be passed onto the clients of the marketing or advertising agency.
What Else a Media Buyer Does
A media buyer spends a lot of time planning. They assess what their clients need. This includes how much advertising they need, their budgets for advertising, and types or mediums of advertising that best fits them. Things that they consider include the media formats, demographics of the target audience, time of day, etc. Media buying also includes the purchase of online advertising spots. Some marketing or advertising companies even have specialized division just for online ad buying.
Keeping up with industry research is another key role of a media buyer. The industry is moving so fast that it takes day to day monitoring of media activities and trends in order to keep up with everything. The internet has not only shortened the communication gap, but it has also sped up the innovations and changes in the delivery of targeted advertising. Understanding the changes in the thinking of customers as well as the changes in their behavior is a key role of a media buyer because it gives them insight as to where to purchase advertising spots.
A successful media buyer does a thorough job in researching the needs of the clients and then successfully negotiates the best packaged deal for all of the needed advertising spots. This is a continuous process that takes hours of negotiating and study. They have to stay informed of all of the trending events, as well as the trending advertising spots. For example, if a website breaks an exclusive story, then a media buyer has the responsibility of making sure that their clients are in front of the wave of traffic to that site in order to maximize the opportunity.