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Could you weigh in on the question of how much paid media a one-person media office should be able to manage. Our media buyer places about $1.2 million a year in media. Roughly $100,000 +/- each month. She has billing support and is only responsible for planning, buying, negotiating and placing (we use WMG and push I/Os through Strata). She is constantly behind in preparing strategic media buy plans and always says she has too much work to get her billing out and processed on time. any feedback would be helpful in evaluating if she has a full plate or if there is room to work more efficiently. thanks.
We place about $3 million in media, annually. We have 3-1/2 people in our media dept. We have a Media director who focuses on strategy planning/negotiating. A Sr.media buyer focuses on the buying/negotiating/place. And a media buyer who assists the director and senior buyer with the buys/I/Os with strata/billing/reconciliation, etc. I would say you might need someone at the lower level to assist with the actual buys/orders and billing/reconciliation. That might free up her time to focus on the strategic planning/negotiating. We just hired a senior person (as the Director) and she's done a fantastic job negotiating. We haven't had that in the past. Our rates are lower and we're getting a ton more value add...which keeps clients super happy. Good luck!
Let me approach this in a different way. First of all how much revenue (AGI) commissions, fees, do you receive on the $1.2 million in media. if you are like the typical SW member the average revenue on media is about 10%, so you would be making about $120,000 in revenue on hour $1.2 million. The payroll in that department should be about 50%. How much do you pay this person, how much of the biller's time does the person use. Using my own experience, it seems to me you could use another PT or full time person.
Besides media billings, you should be looking at the complexity of the tasks. Does she handle 1 client or 10? How many media, markets, and vendors? A lot of new clients/strategies, or predictable? Does the client(s) stick to a plan and place in quarterly or annual chunks, or is she often revising/re-doing things? Is the billing to reconcile rather fixed media, such as print, OOH, or is it media with fluctuating inventory, such as television or digital? Do your A/E's organize things well for her with clear expectations, or is she left guessing and revising? It would be beneficial to look up the media jobs to determine the hours vs. commissions on them.
Finally, did you hire someone with the right experience, or did you try to save a buck by hoping a newbie could jump in and do all this?
I agree with Tony and Ginny. We track revenue but also the (we're only digital) the total line items per buyer and the revenue per line item. Some people can manage twice the revenue that others do based on the other factors. It's a great exercise to sit with that buyer for a day and to map out the specifics of what go into his/her job and then define the metrics around measuring workload.
We also have a 1 person media department, use WKMG, and have just started using Strata. Last year she handled $1.3 million in media (a fairly equal mix of outdoor, print, radio, and digital) for 4 clients in 1 market. Our Director of Interactive Services and our Senior AE's help out a lot with the strategy and our accounting office handles a lot of the billing and vendor invoice processing. This year, our media spend is triple last year's and has expanded into 2 additional markets but is still mainly for just 4 clients. So far she's been able to handle it all (and she only works 4 days a week) but we have discussed getting some support for her. Very helpful to read the responses on how other agencies are handling this.