Growth through Talent

Media Planning and Buying: Step to Step guide

 18th Jul 2023

What is media Planning & Buying?

People are exposed to thousands of advertising messages on a daily basis and the purpose of media Planning and Buying is to try and cut through this onslaught of marketing messages.

Media planning and buying is an important process which brands go through to ensure that their marketing efforts / messages are seen by the right target audience at the right time; essentially ensuring that their adverts are as effective as possible.

There is a plethora of media channels available to deliver advertising messages from offline channels (essentially anything which isn’t digital) such as TV, radio, Print and Out of Home, or OOH such as billboards) to digital channels including Display advertising, social media, search.

The campaigns are monitored, and suggestions made to improve their success throughout, and regular updates are provided to clients around how campaigns are performing.


Media Planning vs Media Buying:


Media Planners work with clients to outline the objectives of a particular campaign (i.e., are they looking to launch a new product or trying to build trust with a new audience), carry out research to decide on a particular target audience and devise strategies based on the target audience to get the most from a client’s budget.

Once they have decided on which audience will be best to target, they will then decide on which media channels are best given the target audience’s media consumption habits and allocate the budget accordingly by putting together a media plan.

Media planners will need to be analytical, creative and enjoy working with clients / be good in a client facing roles.


Media buyers buy the media space on behalf of the client based on the media plan which the Planners have put together. They are tasked with developing string relationships with media owners (who own the media space). They work closely with media planners to work together to adjust the tactics so that they can make the most of the budget.

Media buyers will need to be strong at negotiation and great at building relationships.


Why pursue a career in Media Planning & Buying?

Media Planning and Buying is a fast paced, exciting career path which is why it is one of the most sought-after careers for graduates.

The media landscape, particularly digital, is constantly changing and evolving which makes it a very progressive job. You constantly need to stay abreast of recent trends and developments.

Media agencies often offer graduate schemes and are very good in terms of providing training and development opportunities. A career in media Planning and Buying offers the chance to work on exciting brands and the opportunity to see your work rolled out in various advertising campaigns… You get to see the fruits of your labour across TV, Digital, Radio, OOH adverts.

It also requires a real mix of skills which can really differ depending on the area you decide to work within.


Different types of media agencies:

Media agencies are split into two main categories: network and independent agencies.

Network agencies refer to agencies which are owned by a larger holding companies; Group m, Havas Media, Omnicom, Publicis and Dentsu are examples of network agencies. There are usually larger and there are a number of agencies under one company banner.

Independent agencies are independently owned. They tend of be smaller and therefore sometimes, but not always, work with smaller clients. Examples of independents include agencies such as the7stars, Medialab, The Specialist Works.


What are the benefits of each?

To know more about Media Planning and Buying, get in touch with Phil Nunney on

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