After conducting numerous digital audits over the past 12 months it is abundantly clear that the amount of data available should, in theory, make it relatively easy to set benchmarks and provide clear KPI’s.
However many advertisers are becoming lost in the post-campaign reports they receive and the whole process is becoming too complex.
As an example, the last set of data we received for our digital audit had over 50 different metrics available for a £100k campaign. If you compare this to a typical TV campaign that tracks 5 or 6 key audit metrics, the latter arguably delivers a clearer set of action points and next steps. Try to remember that as a brand you are trying to reach as many of your target audience as efficiently and effectively as possible. To then narrow it too much through digital targeting and over-analysis can lead to lower overall reach and ultimately lower sales.
Therefore when asking the basic question of whether there is “too much data” you can be seen as behind the times and not understanding the complexities around digital targeting. The general opinion still from digital buying teams after data is received is twofold:
- You cannot audit the digital output due to the sheer amount of data.
- As it is purchased via auction-based systems it is a waste of time to try and benchmark performance.
In reality, there is no more raw data available for digital than in TV, OOH, press or radio. The difference is that the touchpoints for digital are available to users via the back end of the analytics systems, meaning that it cannot always be interpreted correctly and it also makes it potentially easier to spin the delivery to the angle that suits the buy. Ultimately it all comes down to how you collect and interpret the data and what you use to set out metrics.
Keep it Simple
When providing clients with a digital audit we make sure all the data is analysed against the business KPI’s and simplified to create a digital audit providing not only a price/quality efficiency benchmark but also a link to the effectiveness of the campaign and by this we mean ROI. This part requires dialogue between 23 Media Audits and the brand to decide what these touchpoints are, usually through a process of brand and sales tracking. Only after these are agreed pre-campaign does the control revert back to the audit process and the advertiser as they are bespoke for the client.
Our primary approach has always been the same. How do we as an auditor make sure that the brand teams and agency continue to deliver on digital strategy and creativity, whilst still maintaining a level of discipline on the digital buying and viewing metrics?
In our opinion, the buy has to work within a set of rules as per all other audited media. Advertisers cannot let digital performance become a self-regulated exercise.
As a result, we have developed a simple set of guidelines as our start point for any digital audit. Our three-step plan looks at:
- A brands overall business objectives, aligning how digital performance will be tracked to these objectives and the part digital plays within the overall media mix.
- An evaluation of the media KPI’s set by the media agency and making sure that from planning strategy through to implementational buying plan they are consistent and represent the overall business objectives.
- The digital audit – making sure the delivery matches the plans & KPI’s and is matched to key metrics across price & quality.
What else does our digital audit provide?
- Our digital audit complements other areas of media usage as we focus on the “customer journey” to represent the pressure points of where the media was used and how it was used.
- Provides the base for letting media strategy dictate, whilst making sure the pricing and viewing levels are hitting the targets set by 23MA, agency and advertiser.
- Average saving based on media efficiency levels at +25%.
- A full checklist of how to integrate your media plan into a workable audit structure.
A Digital Audit that is a simpler approach for brands to understand