With growing concerns over media transparency, we have seen an increase in the number of advertisers conducting audits over the past 18 months as a way of ensuring their agency is fulfilling its obligations as a service supplier of media and a partner in terms of strategic planning. However many companies are still unsure of what a media audit is, what results it yields, and whether it’s actually worthwhile.
So, what is a media audit? Essentially a media audit is a third-party analysis of a company’s advertising spend. Advertisers employ 23 Media Audits to ensure that their advertising budget is being utilised to the best of its ability, and if it isn’t, we help facilitate the changes your company needs to make it work more efficiently.
The 23 Media Audits evaluation is a comprehensive review of your media agency’s planning and buying and a measure of how they are delivering on their contractual obligations.
For example, if your brand has a target audience of ABC1 Men 25-44, we would evaluate across all media where best to target and what platforms or channels yield the best results, in order to determine if your agency is targeting your audience efficiently. As well as delivering cost effective pricing we ensure the quality levels are not impeded, so that agencies deliver the media as a commodity and act as your media partner across both price and strategy.
How Can Media Auditing Help My Business?
The primary reason for carrying out an audit is that media is generally the largest ‘line-item’ in a company’s marketing budget (with the advert production itself usually about a sixth of the total of media spend). Therefore it requires rigorous monitoring in order to provide the greatest impact for your business.
However, based on feedback post “Media Health Check”, our audits deliver far more than just a price check:
Most advertisers we work with use our services as an effective way of ensuring their agency is working both efficiently and smart to stay ahead of the curve. We always make sure that clients are fully aware of how to get the best out of our media audit before entering into it. It isn’t just a tool used to apply pressure on your agency to get the cheapest cost results; it is about making sure that, as an advertiser, you get the best out of your agency from a strategic angle as well.
The media pricing, quality, targeting and strategic direction are all part of the trade off that needs to be understood by the client and agency before signing off media plans and an audit.
Understanding the methodology used by 23 Media Audits and the media agency in terms of scoring and attributing media value helps the brand to fully engage with the process, apply the results to their business and ultimately allow all parties to make improvements year on year.
Consequently, it’s a fundamental element of best practice to ensure your company is spending money efficiently and effectively in the sector. It’s also worth remembering that ultimately your auditor works for you and if they deliver results that are below expectations, there needs to be a collective effort to make the required improvements that will benefit the business in the long term.
How Can a Media Audit Help with Advertising Effectiveness?
If you have ever spent money on advertising with a business objective to increase brand awareness or sales then you will be able to check the data and analyse the performance. A number of advertisers will let their media agency report the results through a post campaign analysis report. This in effect means the agency is scoring their own planning and buying performance and can lead to potential improvements and insights not being recognised. Our media audits analyse which medium resonates with your target audience and identify what had the biggest impact (and equally what didn’t), all backed up with statistical data.
Brands can analyse campaigns to highlight which areas were the most efficient and impactful in turn linking media to business objectives, sales and brand awareness.
Access to this data enables you to highlight areas that require adjustment to maximise both quantity and quality of your media delivery, follow them up with more detailed discussion and finally see the implementation through by members of the team. Of course the data is vital, but the direction and decisions still need to be made by the individuals working on the process.
When conducting an audit for our clients, aside from any specific areas they may want to focus on, we ask these key questions on their behalf:
In essence did the agency understand what we want to get from our media and tailor it to my strategy?
These questions shape the whole audit as the areas they cover are fundamental to setting future goals and ensuring your business is on track.
A comprehensive audit should also focus on your competitors as well as the new and trending media innovations in your market. Our high-quality media audit will analyse your competitors’ media strategy and coverage to get a sense of both whom they target and how they target their campaigns. This provides a more detailed illustration of potential focus areas as well as highlighting any opportunities in media channels not currently utilised.
What Results Will I Get From Media Auditing?
In 2018, based on volume increases of media improvements in placements and actual cost savings, 23 Media Audits saved clients up to 17% on their advertising budget. Aside from delivering savings we also establish inclusive relationships with both advertiser and agency from day one to help create the foundation for a focused media relations strategy.
Armed with the information about how your organisation, your competitors and your market are being covered you can now identify gaps in the market and any areas for improvement. Subsequently you can set targets for the future and work on brand development by using the media to supplement this objective, thus better equipping you to identify whom to target and research.
If you don’t currently exercise your right to audit your media agency, it is something you should seriously consider. To make sure you’re clear on what you want from your audit speak to us at 23 Media Audits to ensure you are making the right decisions for your company’s requirements.
Carrying out the “Media Health Check” on our website will give you a broad sense of where your company should be and enable you to get a clearer idea of whether you should be auditing or not.