Do You Need a Year-end Media Audit?

12/01/2021 12:23 PM - Updated: 7 months ago

By 23 Media Audits

Year End Media Audit

If your business spends over £500,000 on advertising in a financial year, it makes sense to conduct an annual media audit of your advertising delivery. This helps marketing and procurement teams check how well the campaign was bought, how well it performed in reaching its target and if the media chosen was efficient. Once you know the answer to these questions a media audit can help you can set media performance metrics for future campaigns. That is why a media audit is such an effective strategy for advertisers.

Year End Media Audit

The Basics of Media Year-end Reporting

Advertisers work to their own financial calendar year and media budgets generally fall into the same fiscal period. The media year usually runs parallel to the accounting period and often constitutes the single largest spend outlay in the business. Therefore it is essential that you also report on this key area.

So What is Media Auditing?

Media Auditing involves an independent review of an advertisers media spend. Companies engage with a media auditor to examine if their advertising budgets are being spent effectively. The main criteria of a media audit is to check media delivery and placement, this is carried out by evaluating each media individually. The media audit process gives brand teams comfort that they are receiving an above-average return on their media spend and if not, offers the necessary data to achieve improved media pricing and placement.

Spend £500,000?

Want to improve media performance?

Want to make savings on your media outlay?

If you answer YES to these questions then it makes sense to conduct an annual media audit of your advertising delivery. At 23 Media Audits we save clients 17%+ on their media outlay. The media savings versus the audit cost are on average are X20 times the price of the audit.

All your questions answered – what is media auditing? Why media audit? How do 23 Media Audits fit into the process? Read The Beginners Guide to Media Auditing to learn more.

Will It Complicate the Way You Work?

Not at all. You work with your media agency to plan and buy your media campaign as normal. Our media audit has been designed to allow you to maximise the impact of your advertising with the minimum of disruption to your day-to-day business with our tried and tested 3-stage approach.


23 Media Audits reviews your media campaign and presents findings to you and your agency.


Historic campaign performance and your future media strategy are used by 23 Media Audits to set Media Metrics that will ensure increased media value in future campaigns.


23 Media Audits continues to monitor the Media Metrics to ensure targets are being achieved.

I was sceptical about the value of media auditing but 23 Media kept our campaign active for 2 weeks longer than last year without us having to increase our budget
Client – Education Advertiser

How Long Does an Audit Take?

At 23 Media Audits we make sure your audit is delivered in a time frame that allows you to implement changes to your future media plans. Therefore we aim to produce your report within a two-month period post-campaign, compared to the wider industry average of eight months after the media activity has ended.

What Information Does a 23 Media Audit Require?

Planning Documents

Provided by Advertiser or Agency

The rationale behind the individual campaigns. Why you were advertising, what were the objectives and what media were you going to be using. This is usually the first plan from your media agency based on the brand objectives for advertising.

Media Buying Schematics

Provided by Agency

This shows the planned delivery by media type and the estimated level of budget, ratings, impressions, inserts etc required for the campaign to happen, detailed by sales house, by week and as a total. The document can also provide the estimated levels of coverage, frequency levels and opportunities to see. Depending on the agency, this document can also be backed up with more specific data looking at targeting estimates and return on investment.

Media Buying Grids

Sent by 23 Media Audits & Data Provided by Agency

23 Media Audits will supply your media agency with a list of grids to fill out so we can check and verify all the spend levels and reference all the impacts, inserts and impressions delivered. The results are then matched against a set of benchmarks to see how your media has performed.

Competitor Set

Provided by Advertiser

This ensures we have the correct set of competitors relevant to your business and can deep dive into the media strategy of handpicked brands.

What Do I Get From a Media Audit?

Provides targets against best practice and identifies tangible sources of media value improvements.

Furnishes marketing and procurement teams with the data-driven insights that enable scalable incremental improvements.

Provides agencies with relevant insight that can be put into action immediately.

A bespoke, fully integrated suite of tools that unlock incremental ROI in the short and long-term.

How Do I Implement the Results?

Promote understanding of the delivery versus plan against KPIs.

Ensure internal teams understand the reasons for over or under delivery of target.

Gain full visibility of inventory, creative, format and media delivery to ensure all relevant information is on the table when evaluating campaign performance.

Gain full visibility of inventory, creative, format and media delivery to ensure all relevant information is on the table when evaluating campaign performance.

Most importantly it will provide the ability to re-forecast and re-plan activity based on reallocating budget into higher performing media channels.

The Media Cycle

To be a top performer, your agency relationship should be built around the four stages of the media cycle:

The Media Cycle

What Should I Be Looking Out for With My Media Agency?

We recently undertook some research on the key questions that brands should be asking before signing off their media and marketing plans with their agency.

The feedback identified 7 key questions across a number of media platforms that marketers should consider when signing off their plans, and it’s a crucial read for advertisers who are currently planning their 2021 advertising strategy.

7 Quick Tips For Media & Marketing Plans

  • Learn how to evaluate whether your advertising plan is fit for purpose.
  • Avoid signing off without fully questioning your agency rationale.
  • Create an effective process of checking that can truly deliver results.
View Article

Why Use 23 Media Audits?

The simplest way to achieve smooth and accurate year-end reporting is to engage with 23 Media Audits, as we pride ourselves on getting to know your business in-depth. We understand year-end reporting can be a pretty challenging process but, with our years of experience, we aim to make it as painless as possible.

23 Media Audits are not just an insurance policy for your media. We provide a far more comprehensive and transparent return on investment. Our unique Media Metrics system lets you tailor your media buying goals in line with your media strategy. In doing so, you not only secure increased media value year on year but also increased media value in the areas that are most important to you.

At 23 Media Audits we carry out multiple year-end media audits to ensure that media agencies have delivered efficiently across targeting, coverage and pricing to provide your business with accurate information on media performance and potential improvements for the following year.

We’ve been using 23 Media for 4 years now and they continue to improve our media value year on year
Client – FMCG advertiser
It’s reassuring to know that they (23 Media Audits) are there to make sure we are getting the best deal
Client – Retail Advertiser

Media Audit Guide

Find out the key steps involved in Media AUditing

Our download provides a complete list of the parameters required to maximise your media advertising potential alongside sample reports and charts.

Get the Free  Download
Media Audit Guide Download