Media Buying with Mike Colasanti

By Courtney Lang

This passed Tuesday AD club was honored with the presence of Mike Colasanti who spoke with us about his career as a Media Buyer at SYNERGi Media.

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“I thought I wanted to be an Account Executive and here I am a dozen years later as a Media Buyer and I love it. I am here because I want to increase the awareness of it being a career path that you can take.” – Mike Colasanti

Media Buying in the advertising industry tends to be overlooked as a possible career to students, even though it is one of the most important aspects to the client. Students will gravitate towards one of the other three fields in the advertising industry, which are: Creative, Account Service and Production.

So why should YOU consider becoming a Media Buyer instead of going into one of the other fields?

Media Buying is different every day because of the digital aspect constantly evolving. You get the thrill of working in a strategic environment, but you don’t lose the creative aspect of it. You also have the ability to impact every level of the campaign’s strategy (concepts, web, media, reporting, and optimization). Not only that, but this career is where the job security is at.

It makes more than $150 billion annually, has 1,000s of companies and 100,000’s of employees within it.

A Media Buyer’s job is to strategically plan for and manage client’s paid media budget.

What are some examples of paid media?

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Streaming Audio
  • Direct Main
  • SEM – Paid Search
  • Social Media
  • Digital
  • Outdoor
  • Mobile
  • Newspaper
  • Magazine
  • SEM – paid search

What is NOT paid media?

  • Public/Media Relations
  • Organic Social Media
  • Podcasting
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization
  • Blogging

There are three stages you must go through if you are involved in the media side of the industry: Media Planning, Media Buying, and Campaign Management and Optimization

Media Planning is only one aspect of the process, but it is extremely important. In this stage, an integrated media mix is developed that will impact the target audience, and meet the campaign objectives

In the planning part of the process, there is usually seven to ten days spent on it. A lot of the time is spent engaging partners to see what inventory they have available.

The end goal is to figure out the best way to meet the campaign’s objectives. It may be brand awareness, site engagement, leads, social connections or anything else a client wishes to see as the end result. If the client is happy in the end, then they may higher you and your company to manage their next campaign as well.

After the Media Planning stage is complete, you now move into Media Buying.

Media Buying is the cost-efficient and strategic way to secure the media space detailed in the media plan. You are taking the plan you outlined and actually do it. This involves negotiation, timing, and partner selection.

“Through experience, you know the partners that will serve you the best. You have to choose the partner that will be the most beneficial for your client.” – Mike Colasanti

Once all of the negotiation, timing, and partnerships have been established, the Campaigns Management and Optimization process is ready to begin.

In this stage, you want to ensure that the campaign is being delivered as ordered, and is using data to optimize it throughout. This involves regularly reviewing the channel’s performance, and optimizing on the fly if something becomes evident that it is not leading in the direction that the client wants.

An example that Mike brought up was Facebook and Pandora. His company noticed in the middle of the campaign that videos drove the most engagement on both platforms because they were unique to that site and caught the eyes of their target audience. This was discovered through the tracking of the campaign’s objectives, and not just analyzing it at the end. Thinking on the fly saves money, and in the end, impresses clients.

What are some of the skills that are required to succeed in this career?

  • Strategic thinker
  • Competent in research and data analysis
  • Organized
  • Detail-oriented
  • Ability to manage people, projects, and deadlines
  • Interested in everything digital

After learning more about Media Buyers, I hope you do not disregard it when thinking about a possible career to pursue. This fun, fast-past, and constantly evolving aspect of the career may be exactly what you are looking for.

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Thank you goes out to Mike Colasanti for taking the time to speak with GVSU AD club. We really appreciate all your knowledge and advice that you brought to the table.

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