What it’s Like Being a New DRTV Media Buyer in Today’s Market

Launching into the world of Direct Response Television (DRTV) advertising as a new media buyer can be an exciting adventure. The landscape of media buying requires a blend of analytical skills, creativity, and the ability to adjust to last minute changes. Here is a glimpse into the daily responsibilities and challenges of a new DRTV media buyer.


The Learning Period

As a new media buyer, the first few months are all about learning and surrounding yourself with the information needed to succeed. This includes everything from negotiating rates to strategic thinking and adapting to the constantly changing media landscape. Below I have included two examples of what you will learn when you first start out on your media buying journey.

  • Different types of Media Buying: You’ll learn the difference between various commercial lengths. The most common in linear television include long form (30 minutes) to short form (30 to 120 seconds).
  • Understanding Key Metrics: Knowing key metrics like Cost Per Lead (CPL), Cost Per Order (CPO) and Return of Investments is crucial. This information helps you make decisions on how much you should be paying, and where the spot gets the best bang for your buck.


Daily Responsibilities of a DRTV Media Buyer

A normal day as a media buyer in DRTV advertising is multifaceted and fast-paced. Below is a summary of what a typical day can look like.

  • Researching Products and Services: Your first step is to research the type of product or services you are advertising. This will help you choose the right television networks and time slots to reach your targeted audience. You will learn how to make informed decisions by researching past performance and demographic information.
  • Negotiating Rates: It is essential not to overpay for spots. Building strong relationships with network representatives and being aware of potential fire sales during holidays can be advantageous.
  • Managing Campaigns: After placing buys, you’ll need to monitor clearance, check to make sure ads are running correctly and make necessary adjustments to optimize performance.
  • Performance Reviews: Once your campaign is live, stay on top of performance and review which stations are effective and which are not. Adjust buys to reflect the performance. This will also help you with future media buys and strategies.


Challenges and Solutions

Although challenges in this career can be subjective, here are a couple I have faced and learned from.

  • Adapting to Fast Changes: The media landscape can change quickly with shifts in programming and consumer behavior. Staying flexible and up-to-date with industry news is vital.
  • Managing Budgets: Balancing budgets can be challenging initially. Use pre-logs from stations to stay on budget and make necessary changes throughout the campaign.


Rewarding Aspects of being a Media Buyer

Despite the challenges, being a new media buyer is an exciting and rewarding career.

  • Growth Opportunities: You will acquire valuable skills in negotiation, strategic planning, and data analysis. These are all highly transferable skills in the advertising industry and pave the way for career advancement.
  • Impact on Client’s Business: You will see a direct impact of your work in real-time through consumer responses, making the role highly gratifying.



Starting as a new media buyer in DRTV is a journey filled with excitement, learning, and growth. It offers a rewarding career path with long-term development opportunities and quick feedback. Becoming a media buyer in DRTV is both dynamic and impactful, making it an excellent choice for those looking to make a significant impact in the advertising world.