Media buyers act as liaisons between companies looking for advertising and media outlets looking for profits. TV and radio stations, magazines, newspapers and online avenues are obviously interested in increasing their advertising revenue because without advertising they would not exist. Companies are interested in obtaining maximum advertising for the lowest possible price. Media buyers work on behalf of companies to ensure that they aren’t fooled by advertising sales jargon and get value for their money.
Buying advertising space on TV, radio, print or online may sound simple in theory, but in reality it involves a lot of specialised knowledge regarding audience demographics, the type of advertising media required and rate cards. It’s possible to manage media campaigns in-house but without proper training and specialised media knowledge you might have difficulty achieving your objectives, especially within your advertising budget.
Media buyers make it their business to know how to structure advertising campaigns to make the best use of the media available, they keep up-to-date on the ROI of each advertising type and have methods in place to track the relative success or failure of specific campaigns.
Laura Lake says that to be successful media buyers need to pay exquisite attention to detail, be excellent researchers and top-notch negotiators. According to Affinion Group, the most important things for media buyers to consider when determining media suitability is reach and frequency. It goes on to define reach as: the number of people an advertising message reaches and says that reach should be as targeted as possible. And defines frequency as: the number of times the targeted audience sees or hears your message, usually expressed as an average.
Before hiring a media buyer it’s handy to sit down and answer a few basic questions to properly determine your needs and objectives. You also need to thrash out a budget. It’s advisable to determine your budget and then keep a little in reserve for any unforeseen expenses and negotiating leeway.
Then you need to find a buyer that is familiar with your industry and your market. Unless your media buyer understands the structure of your industry and your unique needs within it, he or she will be unlikely to develop a media buying plan designed to reach your audience. Your buyer must also be able to achieve maximum value for your budget. But the most important consideration before hiring a media buyer is whether or not you feel you can work with them. If you dislike your buyer or distrust him or her for whatever reason you won’t be able to work together for the good of your company.
With so many different advertising media available today and the complexities involved in integrating campaigns and negotiating satisfactory pricing for each, the best way to ensure balance, ROI and financial sense is to hire a media buyer.
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