While both parties are pivotal in this process, the question of who is checking the measurable return on investment (ROI) is not always easily answered.
To ensure in-depth, independent media analysis, Johanna McDowell, CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS) and Scopen partner, has announced a partnership between the IAS and global media and marketing consultancy, Eley Consulting.
“In offering media assurance auditing, we review every area of a media process across all platforms to help marketers and media agencies see whether each area is aligned with best practice, while also ensuring good governance and compliance,” says McDowell.
Eley consultant Richard Edwards highlights the importance of impartiality in the auditing process: “We are not agents and our fees are fixed and entirely transparent. Not only does this enable us to give clients the assurance that their money is being well spent, it also means we can suggest a more profitable direction for the agency to take if their return on investment is lagging.”
McDowell notes that by conducting a series of interviews and collecting media data and supporting documents from a client over a two to four week period, the IAS and Eley are able to undertake regular analysis over a number of campaigns.
“While the traditional platforms like TV and print are still a mainstay, digital is growing and changing rapidly, and often presents complications with the benchmarking of costs,” she says.
“Through regular auditing, we’re able to give media agencies and marketers the figures and direction that are the vital ingredients in delivering media effectiveness.”
Edwards adds that improvement is always a good thing, especially where it results in time and cost savings. “Our audits may not necessarily mean cheaper media in cash terms, but will certainly ensure an agency is delivering as rich a schedule as possible.”
Both Edwards and McDowell believe the partnership’s independence is key to its ability to empower clients to better understand the spectrum of advertising opportunities and take control of it, in conjunction with their media agencies.
“We see media assurance auditing as an enormous benefit to marketers, agencies and media houses, enabling the transparency in cost and compliance industry-wide that is vital to the trust that long-term relationships between all parties require,” McDowell concludes