When to Hire a Media Buyer

hire a media buyer

Written by Amber Swenor

As Soul Seed Strategy's founder and Brand Strategist, Amber works with clients to evaluate their brand, understand their goals, and develop a strategy that will deliver the results they seek.

September 3, 2015

Nearly $600 billion is spent each year globally on advertising, with $187 billion spent annually in the US.  28% of that will go toward digital marketing efforts (including web design, social media, and mobile), the largest share at 42% will go to TV advertising in 2015, and the remaining 30% will be split between print, radio, outdoor and other advertising channels.

The average business spends 3%-11% on advertising annually and will lean toward the higher end of that spectrum during periods of growth.  The amount your business spends depends on your industry, goals, competition, and cost to compete to gain clients.  Either way, for many businesses, it’s quite the investment that needs to pay off, and it might be time to consider working with a media buyer to help allocate those funds as effectively as possible.

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What is a media buyer and what do they do?

A media buyer is a person with media and advertising experience who will work on your behalf to seek out the best marketing opportunities given your goals.  Just like an attorney advises on matters of law and your financial planner advises on finances, a media buyer advises on your advertising.  They will negotiate and manage your advertising schedules.  Their goal is to act as your agent, developing the best and most cost-efficient advertising plan for your business.  Often times a media campaign goal includes driving more business to your storefront or website.  Be sure that your website is ready to convert: 15 Web Design Flaws that are Driving Your Customers Away. 

Do you need a media buyer?

Ask yourself these questions…

  • Are you buying the right type of advertising to accomplish your specific goals?
  • Is it working?
  • Do you understand the differences and benefits of various advertising avenues including online marketing, social media, newspaper, radio, TV, outdoor, etc.?
  • Do you know which programs or placements within those mediums are the best for your business?
  • Do you know your core target customer’s age range, gender, and household income?
  • Do you know if you are getting the “best deal” with your advertising?
  • Do you question if you are overpaying?
  • Do you know how many people you are reaching?
  • Do you know how much the average cost is per person or per thousand people reached?
  • Do you know how many times in a month you will reach that number of people?
  • Do you know if you are reaching your customers enough times to make an impact?
  • Do you have the time and desire to meet with media reps to listen to what they have to offer and do you know how to tell how one plan is better than the next?
  • Do the various pieces of your marketing strategy work together as effectively as possible?
  • Is your ad budget working as effectively and cost-efficiently as possible?

We know, it’s a lot of questions…

If you are investing money in advertising and can’t confidently answer these questions, it may be time to talk with a media buyer.  Understanding various media outlets strengths and weaknesses, reach and frequency needed and the appropriate cost per point or cost per thousand is a lot to manage.  A good media buyer will work with you and will be able to answer all of these questions and help you understand what it means for your business.

How much does a media buyer cost?

Different buyers will have different ways of billing clients.  In the end, there is a very good chance that your media buyer will more than pay for themselves given the cost savings they can provide by putting forth recommendations to either trim your budget or to use those dollars more effectively to drive more business.  Hiring someone in such a specialized role will likely save your business time and money by having that skilled professional to field the calls from sales reps and seek out and manage the best advertising opportunities for you.  A media buyer can navigate the marketing opportunities much more quickly and effectively than most businesses can do on their own.  Imagine reaching out to all of the radio and TV stations, newspaper and outdoor advertising outlets in town, then meeting with all of those reps and trying to determine the best plan for yourself.  The task can be daunting and confusing.

Whether your media buyer charges on an hourly, per project or commission basis, this is a position that most often more than pays for itself and may be worth your consideration.

It’s a $600 billion dollar a year advertising world out there to navigate.  It may be time to hire a media buyer to work on your behalf to navigate the field for you.

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