Top media buyers are infamous when it comes to the ability to place ads and make money. Many have the surreal ability to pull money out of thin air and have repeatedly created jaw-dropping results.
Reaching the level where this takes place is rare. Less 1 in 100 achieve a significant level of success in this area… much less reach the top of the mountain. The difficulty of progression in this area has created an interesting phenomenon… where the market is flooded with lower-level media buyers who can competently work at marketing agencies and in specific niches, and then a handful of high-level performers working behind-the-scenes on some of the largest campaigns today generating tens of millions of dollars. There are currently few media buyers in the middle.
Recently I was able to get inside this closed world and get what many consider to be the top 3 media buyers in the world to open up and tell me a few of their secrets. Each of these gentlemen have reached the top of the mountain and are responsible for tens or hundreds of millions in revenue. After a fair amount of arm twisting, they agreed to divulge a couple of their secrets that created their separation from the rest of the pack and helped them achieve exceptional results.
A Rare Glimpse into this Secretive World
Becoming a media buyer is relatively easy, but progression in this world is difficult. The common paths used in other career fields simply don’t exist for media buyers at higher levels. At the lower level you can purchase some relatively expensive courses which will help lay the groundwork.
Moving past this starts to become difficult. There are some industry channels that will help you progress to the intermediate level, but the path from this point forward starts leading towards dead ends.
After the intermediate level (typically the point where you’re able to start achieving consistent winning campaigns) the trail typically goes cold. It is very difficult to breach the upper echelons. And this is where the real money is made. Where campaigns begin having extra zeros at the end.
Imagine being able to spend $50,000 per day and making 20% profit. These are the types of results the heavy hitters can, and do, achieve. It is understandable why they keep trade secrets close to the chest, and very few ever shed any light where the air is thinner.
Take the gems these highly successful media buyers have parted with and dig deeper. I discovered many of the legend stories in the industry came from these guys, or they were directly involved in the circle that made it happen.
Here’s 6 Tips from the World’s Best Media Buyers
- Jay Gorman
Jay’s marketing career began in the late 90’s, starting with digital assets in the gaming community (what we would call NFT’s today). Moving into marketing online, he successfully utilized many different marketing channels over the years (including direct, email, AOL, Myspace, and DirectTV). With over 23 years of experience he eventually mastered each advertising platform. He’s also helped breed some of the best media buyers and mindsets in the industry to date. Actively sharing and giving back to the community, he frequently shares key pointers to building a successful campaign that will churn out money for years.
My competitive advantage is being able to create unique and new angles that strike an emotional chord in customers.
Most media buyers just copy everyone else. I’ve been able to continuously develop and test new angles that eventually hit just right and create extraordinary results. The ability to get something up and running is good, but what separates me from the rest is I don’t stop testing and developing until I hit the nail on the head!
Jay’s Tip #1 – Don’t copy, but use others’ ideas to spark your own ideas
Think outside the box and become your customer – identify the emotions, fears and desires. Capitalizing on emotion is one of the strongest marketing points to focus on. Spark fear by providing people with reality supported with facts and evidence, and then give them a solution. Shake people out of their mindset and bring them to a better reality. Take pride in your products, and don’t cut costs when it comes to quality as this will hurt you in the long run. Review your,customer’s feedback, and BRANDING is EVERYTHING!
Jay’s Tip #2 – To improve results never get complacent, even if your campaign is generating positive returns
Test,test,test. Always be testing and active with building out new product funnels, advertising assets, and customer review videos. Outsource as much as possible and keep control of your product funnels. This is where the real value is and will be an asset well into the future.
- Greg Davis
Greg began his media buying career in 2000. Over the past 21 years he has mastered almost every online traffic source and has trained hundreds of media buyers. Nicknamed Mr. $50K A Day, Greg has always focused on relentless testing and scaling campaigns.
My competitive advantage is testing. I test rigorously. Relentlessly. Thoroughly.
Most media buyers split test their ads and landing pages, but multivariate testing is not as common. Multivariate testing was a game changer for me, and it has allowed me to out-convert my competition.
Greg’s Tip #1 – Test everything. The tiniest element can make a huge difference.
I’ve seen changing “Don’t” to “Do Not” boost conversions over 100%. Changing the shade of red in a headline boosted conversions over 100%. Using the slash at the end of a url boosted conversion by over 50%. Over the years I’ve seen many tiny changes produce huge increases in conversion rate.
Greg’s Tip #2 – Stats are arbitrary. At the end of the day, the only stat that really matters is money in, money out.
Sometimes the ad with the lowest CTR and lowest engagement is the most profitable. I was speaking at an event once and I told the audience the EPC of my ad was $.06. They all agreed that was pretty bad. But then I told them the traffic was $.02 per click. Stats help you optimize, but don’t get too caught up in them. Money in, money out.
- Vince Whinnery
Vince Whinnery is an entrepreneur and leading authority on digital marketing, sales and public relations especially as it pertains to online lead generation, sales funnels, sales copy, digital publicity, personal branding and reputation management. He has helped more than 2 dozen companies grow their revenue by at least 50%, and generated millions of clicks, tens of thousands of leads, and 8 figures in revenue. He helps entrepreneurs learn how to leverage online advertising and publicity in the digital age. His work on television, radio and news media has reached millions of people around the world.
My competitive advantage is my ability to interpret data and optimize the creatives
I’d say there are 2 primary areas that I use to create an unfair advantage. The first is that I can run a small amount of traffic and collect detailed data, which I can then interpret to help keep the campaign moving forward. The second is I test the creatives far more than almost everyone else, and this provides the Archimedes lever needed to create larger returns which then snowballs into a huge competitive advantage.
Vince’s Tip #1 – Track and measure every detail of every campaign
I feel like most people are running a campaign blind. In this business, data is everything. If you’re not collecting and organizing every little piece of data you’ll never make it to the top. This data routinely provides me with a massive amount of insight my competitors simply don’t have or understand even exists.
Vince’s Tip #2 – Split test everything
I once had a campaign that made a staggering ROI (no one else would believe it at the time) and I got lazy testing. A year and a half into the campaign I decided to test some additional headlines and quickly found one that generated 33% more sales. Had I tested this earlier it would have amounted to a LOT more money in my pocket with very little effort required.
Split testing is where most people stop, and the pros roll up their sleeves and start to work. Getting a campaign to break even is hard. What gets you past that point is rigorous split testing. This is where the real money is made.