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Ultimate Job Toolkit for Media Planners & Buyers

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Media Planners/Buyers have a unique place in the digital marketing industry. They hold the keys to the company's brand exposure while establishing appropriate advertising for brand awareness.

Media Planner/Buyer job description:

Media Planners/Buyers are mainly responsible for planning, buying, and reporting for digital, print, TV, radio, and other verticals. Other responsibilities can include developing and implementing interactive media campaigns and presentations, analyzing media data, and providing strategic direction to senior management, and clients. Media Planners are typically required to establish strong business relationships with clients while negotiating with media representatives. A Media Planner's role is highly collaborative as they work with sales teams to create strategic media plans to drive sales, market share, and increase brand visibility.

Skills Media Planners/Buyers need:

According to our Senior Account Manager, Meredith Steinmeyer, Media Planners/Buyers need to be able to build media plans first and foremost. Having knowledge of ad serving technology and research tools is a plus as well. In addition, Media Buyers should be familiar with how to negotiate buys. Because data analysis is a huge part in determining what media to buy, and how to move forward with future projects, being "able to navigate analytics"  is a non-negotiable skill Steinmeyer says. Familiarity with tools such as Comscore, Kantar, MOAT, MediaOcean, Nielsen @Plan, Ad Relevance, Mediamind, DoubleClick/DFA, etc. is important.

How to get Media Planner/Buyer experience:

The easiest way to get Media Planner experience is through working in the field, specifically "on the client side in advertising" says, Steinmeyer. In advertising, you want to make sure you're managing ad campaign execution and measurement since those are both key components to becoming a master Media Planner.If you're working as a Freelancer, seek out ad agencies and gain experience "working on client pitches and plans". Acquire as much diverse experience at different agencies as possible so your bases are covered if you decide to go fulltime with a company.

What hiring managers look for:

Hiring Managers put a heavy focus on Media Planners/Buyers with "prior experience in integrated media planning or digital media planning" Steinmeyer explains. The reason being today the majority of media is online so knowledge of digital media, including social, mobile, tablet, video, content, SEM and programmatic is imperative. Hiring Managers want to make sure you know the media process entirely from "planning to implementation to the brand's overall strategy in the context of changing marketplace conditions and opportunities" according to Steinmeyer.

Key components to success:

Because the digital landscape is constantly changing, a successful Media Planner/Buyer has the "ability to recommend and implement new ideas and innovations to improve each media tactic and customer account performance". This person has a "clear understanding of customized marketing plans that target customer goals for their sales, marketing and lead nurturing funnel". This includes measuring KPIs and performance metrics and being able to "communicate results across teams to ensure program evolution". Media Planners/Buyers who "provide vision, strategy and serve as a subject matter expert for clients" thrive. In addition, Steinmeyer says Media Planners must be "highly organized with the ability to multi-task".

Click here to access our free Job Toolkit for everything you need to know about today’s most in-demand jobs.

Additional resources to sharpen your skills:

Hubspot blog

Kissmetrics blog

Seth Godin


Looking to dip your feet in media planning or buying? Search our relevant job openings today!