Get MMi's Media Watchdog delivered to your inbox.

Not everyone can be a super hero, or a sports legend, or a rock star.  You can, however, be a hero with your company’s paid media investment by making sure every advertising dime spent to drive sales delivers what was promised.  You can be the champion of your organization’s media accountability.

Companies invest tremendous time and effort creating “lean” organizations to maximize value for their owners or shareholders, and then leave media value that they’ve already paid for to languish in someone else’s pocket.  We regularly see media value left on the table, shrugged off, cast aside by advertisers who do not have an internal stakeholder demanding that their media agency and media vendor obligations be fulfilled, and with the authority to make it happen.

Are you that person in your company, or should you be?  Do you know who it is?  If you’re interested enough in this topic to be reading this post, and you don’t know who that person is, chances are your company doesn’t have one.

Here’s how you can be a hero with your company’s media investment:

1.  Assure that pre-paid advertising expenses are fulfilled

  • You made business deals with media vendors (stations, networks, etc.).  You paid in full.  Did you receive the audience you paid for?  Were buys in accordance with the terms of your agreement?  If not, your organization is owed audience recovery weight.  Are you receiving it?
  • “We made delivery of purchased impressions a requirement for each individual supplier, whether or not our total media plan was achieved, and re-captured $1 million worth of commercials the next quarter.”

2.  Realize increased efficiencies or cost savings

  • Your pricing could be high relative to the marketplace.  Perhaps your own organization’s behavior is driving up your pricing unnecessarily.  Are there simple changes that you or your agency can make to drive more efficient buys?
  • “By moving our agency’s cost achievement goals from “average” to “1% below” marketplace averages, we were able to deliver the same number of rating points year over year for $1 million less.”

3.  Improve productivity

  • You expect your commercials to run in front of 100% of the number of people you discussed, planned, and purchased.  Do your agency or your partner media properties guarantee this?  Are your delivery and compliance expectations aligned with industry best practice?  Do they recognize the reliability of the measurement in place for each individual component?
  • “We increased the ratings guarantee thresholds in our Top 25 largest advertising markets from 90 to 95% – because the measurement is better in those markets – and prevented permanent losses of $1 million in value from our partner TV stations when their audiences did not meet their delivery guarantees.”

4.  Ensure you only pay for commercials that meet your strategic objective

  • You have a developed brand strategy that includes the types of content in which you want you commercials to air and the time-of-day.  Are your buys aligned with your brand and your strategy?  Do you have specific scheduling strategies (firm start/end dates, spot separation requirements, etc.) and did the agency and stations meet them?
  • “We identified $1 million in commercials the networks ran in programs we restricted due to content and were able to run more holiday commercials at no additional cost as compensation.”
  • “We refused to pay for our commercials the station ran twice in the same commercial break, or in the same break as a competitor, and saved $1 million last year by monitoring this behavior and taking dollar credits for violations.”

5.  Quantify why your media agency and vendors are doing good work and worth keeping

  • You have an agency and team of people working hard for you.  Do you have quantifiable, measurable agency and vendor performance expectations, and are they being tracked on an ongoing basis?  Or, are you and your organization satisfied because they “seem to be doing a pretty good job”?  If you have new stakeholders in your company, are you able to demonstrate this “meeting and beating” expectations?
  • “Here are their defined performance metrics and a third-party evaluated that they exceeded them the past five quarters.”

It isn’t always easy to be a hero, but it can be rewarding.  If your organization is not receiving full value for their media investment – or doesn’t know definitively whether they are or not – then they may be in need of a media accountability hero, and you might be just the person to wear in the red cape.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like "3 Cautions For Advertisers During Onslaught of Media Agency Reviews".

Subscribe to receive Media Watchdog updates in your inbox.