Media Buyers are People Too! How to Sell More Magazine Advertising by Improving Relationships with Buyers


Follow these guidelines and media buyers will LOVE you!

Media Buyers.  For publishers, those two words stir up both good and bad memories; perhaps even terror!  But no matter if they are good, bad or ugly; buyers are the flame to illuminate the path to publishing success.  Use them right and they can be a great resource; use them wrong and you may get burned.  So what can publishers do proactively to improve their success in the media buyer relationship? We asked seasoned media buyer Ryan Keough to give niche magazine publishers some tips on how to make media buyers love ad sales reps. It isn’t as hard as you might think!

  1. Know YOUR readers and be prepared with the data to prove it.
    The days of buyers trusting anecdotal perceptions of who you think reads your publication are over.  Today’s media buyers use data more than ever to compare their options and make their purchasing decisions.  Luckily, technology has made it cheaper than ever for you to get it.  Survey your audience, gather both quantitative and qualitative data, and make it a regular part of your media kit.  If you have a web property, get an analytics product (Google Analytics is FREE!) and get the hard numbers the buyers NEED!
  2. It’s not about CHEAP, it’s about VALUE.
    We all know what it takes to produce a great product, and buyers know that about the publications they are looking at.  They also know that a better product with a better value can also command a better contract price.  Don’t undersell your product off the bat by offering the lowest you can go on the first call – always leave room to negotiate.  What added value can you bring to the table?  Interactive advertising in web properties and email products?  Sponsorships?  White papers?  There are a lot of tools to help create a win-win relationship without selling yourself short.
  3. The intern on the other line may be your future best buyer.
    When dealing with larger agencies, there’s no doubt you’ve dealt with your share of entry-level buyers on the other end of the line.  You may get frustrated and feel like you’re wasting your time, but your patience will be rewarded.  Think of every call as an opportunity to improve your pitch.  Ask questions of them to better understand what they need and how you can best serve them.  Become a resource for them, not an obstacle to getting their job done.


Ryan KeoughSpecial thanks to Ryan Keough, a seasoned media buyer and past speaker for the Niche Magazine Conference Media Buyers Speak Out session.




Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events –  Check it out!

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