Performing a media audit is a lot like going for an annual check-up with your doctor. You’re pretty sure that you’re healthy, but having an expert verify things can help catch major issues before they get bad or give you peace of mind if the check-up confirms that everything is alright. That’s why doing a media audit annually makes good sense.
You can DYI a media audit as a self-assessment if you believe that you can be totally impartial and have the time to do it or you can hire an independent consultant to perform the audit for you, which will save time and will be impartial. How deep you wish to dive and how granular you wish to get will determine the time/cost involved. For those who are interested in the DYI approach here are the basic steps in the audit process:
Audit Your Audience Targeting.
Business and marketing goals often change with time, competitive factors, and available opportunities. Review the targeting parameters that you established for defining or profiling your target audience(s). Have things shifted or have all your marketing priorities and audience parameters remained unchanged?
Audit Your Media Mix.
Are the media channels that you’ve been using efficient in reaching the audience you are seeking and are they delivering the results that you anticipated? From both a quantitative and qualitative standpoint, are you deploying the optimal mix of digital, traditional, and social media?
Audit Your Budget Allocation.
Are you getting the “best bang for the buck” from each media outlet that you are spending advertising/outreach/lead-generation dollars with? One measure that helps to equalize things is to do a cost per thousand (CPM) calculation for impressions generated and for other relevant media-specific metrics (i.e., leads, clicks, replies etc.). Knowing what you are getting for your money is a critical step in optimizing your media plan.
Audit Your Brand Image.
Each media format communicates the brand’s identity somewhat differently. Is the brand’s identity consistent across all media channels from the standpoint of the visual identity, the messaging, channel/outlet/influencer association, and its brand persona? This aspect of the media audit is very difficult to do as a self-assessment because the evaluation is primarily qualitative.
Audit Your Analytics.
Campaigns change, metrics change, Google Analytics features change too. Periodically review how and what you are tracking to be certain that your settings, UTMs, and reporting are all correct and accurate.
We recently completed a media audit for a financial services client and identified a number of media outlets and digital tactics that they could deploy to broaden the total universe of prospects reached while improving the cost efficiency of the media outlets and digital advertising tactics deployed. Through the media audit, we were also able to identify a flaw in their digital ad performance tracking/reporting interface with Google Analytics and HubSpot that we are now working with them to fix. This is just one example of why performing an annual media audit is important to maintaining your marketing budget health.
Written by Ira Lieberman || Brand Communications Expert