Media Planner Vs Media Buyer

Media Planner vs Media Buyer: Do You Know the Differences?

Many marketing and business people wonder what the difference between a Media Buyer and Media Planner is. In a traditional sizeable creative agency environment, there are often separate roles for the Media Planner vs Media Buyer. A Media Planner is typically responsible for analyzing data to ensure that advertising campaigns reach the right demographic most efficiently. These folks assess the appropriateness of different media options for targeting the desired audience.

Media Planners collect and analyze different media channels such as newspapers, magazines, radio, films, television, the internet, and outdoor media, such as billboards. They’re looking for information regarding consumer behavior, media circulation, audience trends, and the overall impact of each media option. They execute a thorough analysis and then recommend strategies for using the best media for the job to “effectively attract and retain customers, increase brand recognition, and maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

Media planners collaborate with the agency’s clients to be sure they understand the advertisers’ wants, needs, and objectives. Then they make recommendations related to those goals for the best media channels suited for specific marketing campaigns. These media selections often impact what the creative team produces and vice versa.

“Media planners work alongside media buyers to help direct the acquisition of certain advertising slots and spaces.”

Mainly, media buyers do what it says in the title: they buy media space. “They keep an eye on the media, assess the efficacy of specific platforms and media channels, and then make the critical decisions about where advertising campaigns are going to unleash upon the world.

The Media Buyer is the crucial element in ensuring that advertising, marketing, and promotional campaigns are exposed to the right target audience in the most effective place possible, thereby gaining recognition and new customers for the product or service in question.”

While in a large agency setting, Media buyers tend to work alongside media planners, at Thrive, you receive a team highly experienced in both roles. Depending on the advertiser’s size, it’s not unusual for a large firm to assign a junior Media Planner or Media Buyer to a small account to let the new executive cut their teeth on a relatively limited advertising budget.  While we recognize that everyone has to start somewhere and that new graduates deserve the opportunity to learn, many of our clients have come to us after having a negative experience being a small fish in a big pond.

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Robin Rucinsky, Media Director and Owner of Thrive Advertising

Working with Thrive’s Media Director, Robin Rucinsky, gives you access to her 15+ years of experience in planning and buying media with millions of advertising investments placed each year. You’ll get her knowledge and expertise along with the collective buying power of all of Thrive’s clients. Our customers tell us that they prefer to be a big fish in our medium pond because they know that we treat their investments like our own. We’re known for customer service and one little known secret of the media world. Shh, don’t tell our competition, ok?

The secret value to working with a savvy medium-sized advertising agency is that at Thrive we often get better rates than the big agencies! Can you guess why?

It’s because we’re just the right size. We’re basically Goldilocks. Not too small, not too big. The media loves to give us competitive advertising rates because they know we buy a lot of media. But, they aren’t worried about giving us the lowest rates in their system because they know we won’t strip out all of their inventory!

Robin learned this while given a backstage pass to the media industry when she worked on the other side of this crazy business as an advertising sales rep! When her large agencies would submit an RFP and she got rates from her Sales Managers, the rates were typically higher than the rates available to the savviest medium-sized agencies because the media companies can’t sell all of their inventory at the lowest unit rate! So, Thrive is just the right size to maximize your investment through buying power, without subjecting you to higher rates, because not everyone can have the lowest prices. Make sense?

Lastly, Robin often explains that being a small business owner gives her a deeper appreciation and respect for business owners and marketers investing significant advertising dollars. She leads her team with this mindset, knowing that those marketing dollars could otherwise be used to hire an employee or pay an owner’s salary. So her unique approach to selecting advertising strategies sets her and the Thrive team apart.

If you’re interested in learning how a Media Buyer can save you time, money, and stress without the hiring costs, give us a call to connect with our team. We’re always available for a conversation. We hope you learned something about the differences of a Media Planner vs Media Buyer in this blog.