A media buyer is an integral part of your agency. Find out what makes a good media buyer and how to find one.


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Table of Contents


What is a Media Buyer?


Why is a Media Buyer Important?


Important Skills and Traits of a Media Buyer


Where to Hire Media Buyers?


Hiring Considerations


C9 Staff Media Buyers

What is a Media Buyer?

A media buyer is responsible for choosing and negotiating for media space for all advertisements. This entails a delicate balancing act that involves the advertisement asset, the media spaces available and the ad spending budget. Whether it be radio, television, print or digital media, it is the media buyer’s job to make sure ads are placed in front of the most number of eyes at the best price.

To reach an ad’s audience, it has to appear in optimal spots in either television, radio, print, and/or digital media. Needless to say, media spots can be quite expensive. Not only that, there are multiple ads vying for every single prime piece of advertising space.

The ad that interrupts the YouTube video you’re watching didn’t get there through serendipity. Chances are, it won over a number of products or services through the sheer negotiating power of the winning media buyer – that and, of course, a higher bid on the ad spot.

This brings us to the 3 most important aspects of a media buyer’s job:

  • A good grasp of the client’s product and target audience
  • An eye on available media spots that suit the client’s ad assets
  • Effective negotiation and bidding skills

What is C9 Staff?
Our End-to-End Staffing Solution

Why is a Media Buyer Important?

A media buyer acts as one of the main enablers for an ad to reach its intended audience.


It doesn’t matter how well made an ad for a pair of running shoes is. If the ad only plays between 2:00am and 5:00am alongside infomercials of home cleaning products, cookware and decorative porcelain dolls, it’s not going to reach its target demographic and it will not generate sales.

And speaking of sales, an important key performance indicator (KPI) for a good media buyer is a low advertising-to-sales ratio. This means that the sales generated by marketing and advertising should be significant enough to justify continued ad spending.

That being said, a good media buyer, is able to understand a product and its target audience, look at available media space (ie: television, radio, print and digital), determine which is the best platform for the ad, and get the ad out on those platforms while staying within the ad budget.

Important Skills and Traits of a Media Buyer

In order to be effective, a media buyer needs to possess a certain skill set and certain character traits:

Strategic and analytical skills – a good media buyer needs to be able to look at an advertising asset, determine the best platform for it, negotiate for that platform and do all these within a set ad spending budget. This takes immense strategic and analytical skill.

Effective research skills – a media buyer needs to have a working knowledge of various advertising assets and how they best perform. Moreover, a media buyer must also know enough about all available media platforms in order to best plan and execute an effective buying strategy.

Critical thinking – a large part of a media buyer’s job is strategic planning, effective negotiation and problem solving.

Ability to adapt quickly – the media landscape is ever-changing and dynamic. A good media buyer has to be able to read the terrain and adapt a strategy that is responsive and effective.

Being receptive to new things – a media buyer has to be open to the possibility of learning and adapting new strategy and new approaches in negotiation and bidding.

Where to Find Media Buyers?

Like most digital marketing staff positions, one can easily find media buyers online. It’s only a matter of vetting them as far as experience and capability are concerned.

The first thing you need to decide when deciding to hire a media buyer is whether you want to hire a local or a remote one.

The advantages of hiring locally include:

  • Ease of access and the ability to work with you personally – it’s always easier to work with someone face to face.

  • Less cultural and social adjustment needed you’re most probably living in the same city as your media buyer so you’re in the same time zone, speak the same language and share the same culture. This makes work so much smoother.

  • Better team-building opportunities being in the same place physically creates plenty of opportunity to train, collaborate, build rapport, and get feedback.

On the other hand, hiring local talent can have the following disadvantages:

  • Specific skill sets can be harder to find if you’re limited to a particular geographical area, finding a rockstar will be challenging.

  • Overhead expenses if you hire locally, you’ll be obligated to keep an office which means you have to pay rent, pay for supplies, pay for electricity and other utilities. If you already have an office, you’ll have to provide your new hire with a work space which translates to the same thing – increased overhead.

If you decide to hire a remote worker, you need to decide if you’re hiring a project-based media buyer or a full-time one.

In any case, here are the advantages of hiring remote talent:

  • Access to a global pool of talents you’re not limited to who’s available in your city and what they know. Hiring remotely gives you access to talented media buyers from different countries who may even charge relatively smaller fees than local recruits. This is true to both project-based freelancers and full-timers.

  • Little to no overhead most remote workers work from home so you don’t need to worry about providing them with work spaces. This is especially true for project-based freelancers. However, for full-time employees, you may be required to subsidize their internet connection, computer equipment etc. But these costs are still far less compared to local overhead expenses.

  • Less contractual obligation you can hire media buyers on a per-project basis. If you like their work, continue to give them projects to work on. If you don’t, just don’t give them any more tasks to perform and that’s that.

On the other hand,

here are the disadvantages of hiring remote workers:

  • Trial and error you can’t really gauge the level of expertise, experience and even work ethic of the remote worker until you take a leap of faith and hire them. The good news is, if you don’t like their performance on the first project, you can just part ways right then and there.

  • Time constraints if you hire a remote media buyer, particularly a freelancer, you need to understand right off the bat that you’re probably sharing him with several other clients (some paying more than you). That means your project is at the mercy of the freelancer’s workload. This may not be the case, though, with full-time remote employees.

That being said, here are a few places where you can find media buyers online. Note that in some of these websites, you’ll have the option to hire either locally or remotely. It’s all up to you, your needs and your budget:

Upwork (local and remote) – geared more towards the US market. You can post a media buying job, and available contractors can start lining up to apply. All you’d need to do is choose the best candidate. This is a good place to look for either part-timers or full-time media buyers.

Fiverr (remote and local) – contractors already post their services and their fees upfront. However, there’s still room for negotiation once you’ve touched base with a contractor. This is your best choice for one-off projects.

People Per Hour (remote and local) – geared more towards the European market. Just like Upwork, you post a job and contractors will apply. You can choose the best candidate and go from there. This is also a good place to look for either part-timers or full-time media buyer.

C9 Staff (remote) – specializes in providing remote staffing services from a global pool of talents spread across 35 top international labor markets. It is considered a concierge service where you don’t simply hire a media buyer (or any other kind of remote worker for that matter), you hire a media buyer with an entire management service behind him to keep him accountable and always on his toes. This is ideal for people looking to hire the best and expecting to get the best while keeping costs relatively competitive.

Hiring Considerations

When looking to hire a media buyer, whether it be local or remote, there are a few important considerations you have to keep in mind.

Do you already have a media buying operation that you want to improve? Or is this your first venture into media buying? Do you plan to integrate a media buyer into an existing team? Or do you intend to build a team around your media buyer?

Is it going to be a one-off project or do you have a series of projects in your pipeline?

Next, what level of experience or proficiency would you like your media buyer to have? Would you be okay with a mid-level one or are you looking for a senior level one?

Finally, how much do you have to spend? Do you have just enough for a one-off deal? Is your pocket deep enough for a part-time or even a full-time recruit? Are you ready to spend good money on a senior-level media buyer salary or is your budget pointing towards a mid-level one?

Why C9 Staff Media Buyers Rock

Here at C9 Staff, we have media buyers in all levels of proficiency. Whether you need a mid-level one (with 1-3 years experience) or a senior level one (with 4 years experience or more), we have a media buyer that fits your needs. In fact, we provide the best media buying service in the Philippines.