Why Media Audits Are a Good Thing

Why Media Audits Are a Good Thing

Why Media Audits Are a Good Thing


Question and Answer with pioneer of media auditing Stephen White, founder of EMM, London, Eng. Audits are essential in assessing Risk and Accountability

Stephen White, who set his media audit services in dubai, EMM (Effective Media Management),over a decade ago to evaluate the performance of benchmarks and monitor the media investment of advertisers, believes that as media gets more complex, "there is absolutely no chance that agencies [should beengaged by "marking their own homework.

"Independent evaluation and scrutiny is demanded by advertisers," he says, "and from that standpoint there can be no role for the agencies other than delivering great results."

White knows what life is in the world of agency work When he began the career of a trainee at Unilever and later at McCann-Erickson both in Europe and New York. And prior to EMM, White was a director of Aegis Group. Alongside its London headquarters, EMM has offices in New York - where it runs its U.S. and Canadian business - as well as Miami, Singapore, and Dubai.

Auditing media for audits has become an accepted practice across the U.K. for 25 years and today 55% of all consumer media expenditures in the United Kingdom are audited. Penetration of the service is slow in North America, but White declares that it is due to the WorldCom, ENRON and Parmalat failures have helped independent oversight of financial transactions gain speed.

Some media auditing is taking place in Canada however, it's mostly done by internal auditors or firms like KPMG. It is believed that the U.S. is taking the same method as Europe and using third-party auditors that include EMM and yet another U.K.-based auditorcalled Billetts Media Performance Monitor America.

White recently discussed the reality and myth of media auditing MIC:

Q What is the reason advertisers should invest in media auditing?

A: I'll try to tackle a fundamental misunderstanding that seems to be prevalent throughout North America regarding the role of media auditors. We are not spot checkers however that is an element of our service . We are top-quality media management processors who serve as a media agency for numerous international advertisers.

A confirmation that the advertiser receives the price they paid is 25% of our costs. The rest goes to general efficiency and efficiency comparisons. A well-planned media management system that incorporates programs to evaluate media will deliver an average ROI of 20 to 30 times our cost.

Because media is often the second most expensive capital expenditures that a manufacturer can make (typically 4 to eight percent of sales is spent in media), it is unusual and unacceptable to give all that cash to a third party external supplier without any logical check and balance. Media accountability must be handled by an independent party to ensure optimal results, and also for assurance to shareholders due to the volume of the money involved.

Q: Does media auditing play an integral role in increasing the effectiveness of advertising campaigns?

A: The kind of auditing we perform is entirely focused on improving both media efficiencies and the effectiveness of media.

Whilst verification is one of the aspects we will be addressing in North American, we will also spend more time with upscale evaluations of strategy for media, targeting, media weights and effective frequency bands etc. rather than what some might want us to.

Remember, it's the clients who hire us rather than the agencies. We're meeting their requirements.

Q: Does choosing to engage a third-party for a media audits signal that there is a lack of trust with the client's media management agency as well as the media providers?

A: Media companies that haven't delivered top-quality media planning and buying and who haven't declared the additional volume-related revenue they can earn from media owners have everything to be worried about from our coming. Our experience has shown that the vast majority of these agencies have produced excellent media results for a lot of their clients, so they don't have anything to be concerned about when it comes to independent companies that evaluate the performance of their media. As agency directors are aware they don't all of clients are able to achieve great results all the time. It is our job to make sure that our clients get the results they deserve. In many instances the audit program reveals the value added by agencies can deliver.

Q: What are the benefits of media auditing to media companies?

A: In simple phrases, we're able to verify when excellent outcomes have been achieved both in terms of cost and quality terms. We can also introduce incentive programs that are based on superior execution to allow agencies to generate more revenue legally, of course, we are able to make a short list of new business agencies who consistently perform exceptionally.

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