Warner Music Group

The Challenge

In common with most companies who use digital as part of their media mix, the CFO & CMO wanted to fully understand the effectiveness of their digital advertising. They knew that historically traditional media had performed well, but they needed a firmer grasp of what was happening across their digital platforms. The second key challenge was to deliver a clear set of results that were as easily digestible as those in traditional media. Enabling them to pinpoint where it was working, where they could improve and what metrics could be used. The CFO had previously been told that you couldn’t effectively audit digital, as it was too complicated and price was irrelevant due to the buying process.

Our Analysis

We agreed that just looking at price in isolation was irrelevant. However with over 500,000 data points to analyse and numerous metrics that required explanation, we needed to assess how this could be simplified and delivered to show actionable points.

Brands need to understand what digital can do for them within the customer journey, it is not a separate entity, it is part of the media mix.

Representative – 23 Media Audits

We invited all key stakeholders to be involved as all too often digital advertising is pursued because everyone else is using it, rather than because it actually works for the brand. In our experience digital campaigns get signed off and presented back separately and distinct from other media, and so within this ‘digital bubble’ everyone is convinced the strategy is working. We needed to challenge this perception and ensure that it was part of the overall media mix and fulfilled its role within the customer journey.

Audit Approach

Stage 1

Our first challenge involved the data collection, looking at all available metrics from each platform and then working out what results could be monitored at a top level to give an efficiency value.

The top line data was gathered across every available metric by platform, all metrics were looked at individually, grouped and split by platform; the metrics were checked versus KPI’s and discussed with the advertiser separately to ascertain which internally were seen as most important for the brand. Key questions asked were:

  • What KPI’s should we be tracking to fully understand if our digital display and video advertising is successful?
  • Did these advertising KPI’s match the brand KPI’s?
  • What was the overall marketing goal for the advertising burst? Were the short-term burst KPI’s different from the longer term KPI’s? If so why?
  • How could we aid tracking performance from an internal viewpoint? What were the best analytics tools on offer?
  • How would Warner Music ideally want to best optimise KPI’s?

All this information was gathered via workshops with the brands. We view it as extremely important that in the initial phase of any audit the brand is fully engaged with the process and that the project is tailored to their needs.

Stage 2

23 Media Audits then carried out a full analysis of key criteria to answer the following:

  • Did the media agency provide best-practice media delivery across the digital advertising platforms?
  • Was the media buying process – from planning to buying – resulting in a cost efficient, highly efficient media delivery?
  • Was Warner Music receiving an efficient cost and quality advantage versus the market?
  • Did the media agency deliver against the KPIs that matter most to the business?
  • How well was the media being optimised on a daily basis?

What the Digital Audit Provided:

  • An enhanced understanding of the delivery versus planned KPIs and were the KPI’s being monitored and achieved
  • Assurance that the brand teams fully understood the reasons for a campaign over or under delivery versus target and what this meant for the brand.
  • Full efficiency scoring that covered numerous metrics across inventory, creative, format and platform to ensure all relevant data is reported transparently. Allowing the advertiser to understand the true value of their digital performance on metrics key to their performance.
  • The data and efficiency scoring gave the advertiser the ability to internally re-forecast and re-plan activity based on reallocating budget into higher performing media channels.
  • In conjunction with their media agency, brand teams and 23 Media Audits a three stage process is now followed:

Pre Plan (Strategy & Key Metrics). Are we all in agreement before sign off?

Audit of digital media within full media audit – fully focused around the customer journey.

Action points and discussion between advertiser, agency & 23 Media Audits.

Post Audit Deliverables:

23 Media Audits worked alongside the Warner Music team and their media agent to set up a best practice cost/quality efficiency index for both digital and traditional media via an audit of the customer journey from awareness through to engagement.

Results

+90% digital efficiency savings versus pre audit
A set of actionable data allowing the brand to select their media mix based on what is beneficial for brand performance and not what is deemed correct by the industry.
Provided media training and performance metrics to all the brand teams following the digital audit.
Agreed KPI’s and trackable digital metrics that all parties can monitor.
Brought the whole media process into the customer journey across TV, print, radio, OOH & digital – all areas now covered by efficiency level guarantees that incorporate strategy, cost and quality measures at each touch point.