Media buying is arguably one of the most challenging roles in the digital marketing industry. In order for a media buyer to be successful they need to analyze large pools of data, optimizing many different drivers of campaign performance such as bids, creatives, and content. So what does it take to be a great media buyer? How can you successfully identify the traits of a strong media buyer who can help turbocharge your business growth? As a media buyer myself who has experience training and leading a team of other (even more talented) media buyers I have identified four helpful tips for identifying top media buying talent.

1. Data Driven In All Aspects Of Life

A talented media buyer sees the data in almost all aspects of life from the mundane day to day to-do’s to big, life changing decisions. I often see talented media buyers view life as a funnel, which is capable of being optimized and tweaked to meet the performance they need. For example, one media buyer on my team created significant fitness goals a few months back. In order to achieve these goals he created a spreadsheet which broke down all of the key drivers of health and fitness in his day to day life. The spreadsheet was highly detailed and included items such as supplements and medicine taken, carbs and calories consumed, and his weekly workout schedule. These items had varying degrees of weight applied to a formula based on the fitness goal he had set out for himself. This spreadsheet analysis helped him to understand which activities he needed to focus on the most to achieve his targeted weight.

Because of how important data analysis is in the media buying process, having a media buyer who loves data in all aspects of life is a huge advantage. A data driven personality is more likely to make optimizations in the detail oriented manner which digital marketing campaigns often require.

2. Enjoys The Creative Process

The best media buyers I know are always thinking of new angles, headlines, and images to test in their media buys. Media buyers are always on edge to be inspired and inspiration for new ideas to test can come from anywhere. I often find media buyers I work with come back from the weekend having gained creative inspiration from activities such as watching TV, reading the news, shopping, or just taking an afternoon stroll.

In order to win out in the noisy, competitive, and high stakes marketplace that direct to consumer brands often operate, it is important that media buyers are not just making creative testing an item on their to-do list but something that they obsess over.

3. Displays Resilience

Almost every media buy, especially in the beginning is volatile. A campaign that starts off promising can quickly sour once statistically significant data comes in, and a campaign that starts off looking poorly can also change course quickly as an ad network increases the campaign’s placement exploration. Getting a campaign fully optimized takes time and patience; there are no shortcuts. It can be emotionally draining for media buyers who are a week into a campaign and still not seeing results that are meeting customer acquisition goals. While not every campaign is a winner, being able to identify where efficiencies can be found and having the conviction to stay the course is often what separates the top media buyers from the rest of the pack.

Having strong emotional intelligence and resilience is crucial for the long term success of a media buyer. Managing campaigns, especially those at high budgets can be stressful and having the wherewithal to weather the storm is often half the battle.

4. Able To Understand Nuances

Every ad network has its own nuances, tricks, and publisher types. A talented media buyer is able to apply the strengths and weaknesses of an ad network in order to create a sound media strategy for their client. Understanding of things like how many creatives a new campaign needs, what budgets to start at, and how frequently one can update bids is all valuable information for network optimizations that ultimately separate a successful campaign from an unsuccessful campaign. Strong media buyers can learn the intricacies of an ad network fairly quickly and are able to understand what levers are important for ensuring success and others which are not as important.

Media buyers are special people, finding the right fit for your business can be challenging and there is no one size fits all solution. If you’re just starting out as a business, you may not use the same type of media buyer as an established, 8 or 9 figure brand. Hopefully, the list of traits above will be a helpful guide for your search. At Aqua Vida, we have built a world class media team to power our sponsored content platform. If you’re looking for a talented team to help you grow your customer acquisition online, don’t hesitate to schedule a demo.