1. What do you do as a media buyer?I spend money, that’s the short answer. The medium length answer is that I negotiate space and time on behalf of clients. The long answer (and the one that’s a better definition), is that I make purchasing decisions on behalf of advertisers and brands with regards to various media opportunities.
2. What exactly is a media buy?A media buy is a schedule of advertisements in a given medium. A television, cable, or radio buy consists of a number of spots (a spot is one ad) that are scheduled within a specific period of time. You can also call it a flight or a campaign. A print buy is the number of insertions (yet another name for an ad) in newspapers (national or local) or magazines. An Out-of-Home (Outdoor) “showing” is the number of individual outdoor (either digital or traditional) boards.
3. How do you know what the price will be?You don’t, in advance. Stations have a “rate card” rate, or their asking price, but you will overpay if you take their asking price without negotiating a better deal.
4. How do you negotiate deals with a station?Buyers use their knowledge of the marketplace and stations as a starting point. While it’s possible to negotiate on any number of relevant criteria, most buyers concentrate their efforts on individual program areas they believe will be the most useful.The first thing to take into consideration is audience delivery, which is stated in terms of Ratings and Impressions. They’re both units of measurement:
- Ratings: audience as a percentage of a given population (such as Adults 18-49 or Households). A 3 rated spot delivers an audience equivalent to 3% of the A18-49 population in your market. Cost-per-point is the efficiency measurement (cost to reach 1% of your prospects).Because ratings are based on population, a 3 rating in a major market like Los Angeles or Dallas delivers far more audience than a 3 rating in a small market, such as Zanesville, OH.
- Impressions: persons in your target audience who see or hear an advertising message. These are usually expressed in thousands. An impression of 3 would deliver 3,000 exposures to an advertising message. Cost-per-thousand is the efficiency measurement (cost to reach 1,000 prospects).