Media Auditing

Get The Full Value of Media

Dollars allocated for media generally make up the largest portion of a marketing budget. So, paying close attention to how you invest those dollars is critical. What that investment ultimately buys can have a tremendous impact on your success.

RCG delivers powerhouse media buying. We also have systems in place to monitor and audit buys to make sure our clients get the full value of media they’ve paid for.

The Most Common Media Mistake

Effective media auditing takes expertise and powerful internal systems. It can be tempting to ignore media buys after they are placed and simply assume that everything will run as intended.

This “set it and forget it” approach is one of the most common mistakes in media buying. It can potentially “rob” large media schedules of tens of thousands of dollars.

The alternative is to build in regular checkpoints and controls to ensure that media vendors are providing what was promised. Monthly audits can identify potential issues with how advertising schedules run. For example, if an advertiser orders and pays for spots in a 7:00 prime TV program but is repeatedly placed in the 6:58 pm break, the advertiser will not be getting all the impressions assigned to that program since an interior break almost always garners more impressions than a time period adjacency.

Get the TV Audience You’ve Paid For

Television advertising can deliver impressions at scale and is a great medium for reaching a mass audience. This also means that even a small mistake can add up to tremendous lost potential.

Here’s an example. If several spots are scheduled from 7 am – 9 am and the majority land in the 8:30 am – 9:00 am half-hour, then the advertiser is missing out on impressions from the typically-higher-viewed 7:00 am – 7:30 am half-hour. This is why checking spot rotation and ensuring balanced weight is an important part of getting what you’ve paid for.

Consider the 7 am – 9 am time period. The reach for any given target audience for that period is based on the average impressions over the entire hours. But, if spots consistently land in one particular break, they are likely either to over-deliver or under-deliver impressions. Over-delivery is acceptable, but if there is under-delivery, the advertiser is not receiving what was contracted.

Programming changes can also result in changes to the actual audience numbers delivered. An NFL game that goes into overtime can push a spot that was ordered in the Tonight Show (for example) back into the wee hours. Or a show that is canceled might result in spots running in less desirable re-run or replacement programming.

It Pays to Monitor Radio and Digital, Too

Similar examples apply to radio. If an advertiser orders twelve spots Monday-Friday from 6 am – 7 pm and all the spots end up on Monday and Tuesday or they all run between 7 am and 9 am. The advertiser is either not reaching listeners for the remainder of the week and/or missing different listeners throughout the day.

The wealth of data available through reports for digital media presents both advantages and different challenges when ensuring that contracted value is delivered. The very first consideration is working with reputable platforms that provide appropriate transparency. Beyond being able to trust your platform partners, it’s important to define the correct metrics for measuring your digital impact and having decision rules in place that identify and adjust to exceptions. It is important to be as granular as possible.

Effective Media Buying is Only the Beginning

As we’ve discussed, buying media effectively is only the first half of getting the most out of your media budget. RCG combines decades of experience with powerful auditing best practices and automated systems. Your RCG team will create and manage the checks and balances to ensure maximum performance of your media investment.

Be confident that the largest portion of your marketing budget is delivering what it’s supposed to. Contact RCG today.