Bored Media Buyers


All media buyers, whether they work online or off-, reach a point in their careers when they find they’ve inadvertently adopted a lethargic “been there, done that” mentality. Sometimes, it’s general boredom with the industry that brings this state on. It can also result from a period during which no new or enticing placement opportunities come down the pipeline.

Certain clients are also known to contribute to the torpor. If a buyer lacks interesting products to promote or campaign opportunities, she can easily find herself uninspired.

As you nod in assertion, know that there are antidotes to media buyer’s ennui. In a perfect world, a buyer would pick and choose her clients and be responsible for advertising an endless stream of fascinating industries and products online. Even without this utopia, however, techniques exist that can jumpstart your desire to work and your next campaign. Put them into practice, and you’ll be bidding goodbye to your buyer boredom.

Don’t Take the Client’s Word for It

Many clients come to media buyers with a clear idea of what they want in a campaign. Many media buyers assume this idea is conclusive. The problem is a sizeable percentage of client campaign strategies are rather stale. And a stale campaign doesn’t benefit the client — or the party who executes it.

If you routinely find yourself in this situation, consider the impetus for your client’s determination. Ask yourself whether an opportunity to formulate and introduce a new campaign strategy exists. Often, media plans that accompany a new client into an agency are spawned from successful past initiatives or a dominating competitor’s efforts. Although tiresome, they do have merit. If this is the case, analyze the strategy to determine which elements should be retained.

Next, consider how you might give the strategy a needed update. Could you incorporate newer ad formats and technologies, such as behavioral targeting or rich media? Might the opportunity to forgo the typical sites and portals in lieu of more interesting placements such as blogs and podcasts exist? Challenge yourself by employing media with which you have little personal experience. Enlist those in your department who have more expertise. This is how some of the most innovative campaigns are born.

Get Creative

As online media spending continues to rise, Internet marketers find themselves busier than ever. To ensure they can meet their deadlines, many reaffirm their specializations. The buyer who, when things were slow, lent a hand in campaign management is now back to negotiating and purchasing media full-time. Once again, agencies are compartmentalized. It’s every marketer for himself.

Those who feel uninspired in spite of the endless stream of work coming their way needn’t resolve themselves to anticipating the next online ad recession. Instead, they should consider dabbling in their coworkers’ areas of expertise, this time for pleasure. Having a hand in the design of campaign creative, for example, is far more gratifying in my experience than simply skimming over the final banners with glassy eyes before shipping them off to a site’s traffic rep. The more involved you can get in your campaign, the more affinity you’ll feel for it, and the harder you’ll want to work to make it great.

Initiate Internal Media Courses

If you find yourself bored with buying, odds are you aren’t the only one. Consider establishing monthly classes within your organization to broaden your fellow marketers’ horizons. Ask everyone who’s involved in online advertising, whether it be planning, campaign management, or creative design, to keep their eyes open for intriguing new tools that could be used to enhance your clients’ or your company’s interactive marketing campaigns. Convene once a month to share your findings. In exchange for a little non-billable time, this regularly scheduled internal event will keep your department abreast of new online media trends. Such knowledge can improve current and future campaigns, as well as help you devise great pitches to land new ones.

Meet Tessa at Search Engine Strategies in Chicago, December 5-8, 2005.


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