The Importance of Vetting Digital for Regional Companies

Mid-market companies need to make wise decisions when investing in digital, and that starts with their agency’s expertise.

There are more than one billion active websites on the web and thousands of audience profiles turning to them. So, if digital advertising is a card in your advertising deck and you’re a regional company with a modest digital budget be very careful.

Media agencies have quickly turned to programmatic advertising and RTB for their client’s digital needs while not ensuring their client’s interests are best served. While this process reaches a targeted audience through a multitude of websites, it really may not be the best strategy for a regional company.

Agencies representing regional companies may need to dig deeper than national companies to find the best digital fit and that starts by vetting the actual digital partners. It takes more time and the agency needs to be highly experienced in the digital realm but vetting any site is critical to a mid-market company campaign’s success. It may seem like vetting a site is all about audience and ensuring the right people will receive a brands message, but there is so much more that needs to be evaluated to make sure digital dollars aren’t being wasted.

It’s important to understand not just what the sites demographics are but if they offer geo-targeting and their accuracy, since a regional client needs more exact placement than a national advertiser or their digital spend could be wasted and appear in the wrong markets.

They need to inquire as to typical ad sizes, unique pages, guaranteed above the fold placements and whether the video is pre or post roll and whether it’s pre-emptible or not.

The agency needs to understand if a website is dynamic or if they have a desktop and mobile version and whether rates vary for them.

The agency needs to question ad delivery and whether ads can be page specific or if they are ROS? Is the campaign delivery paced by day, week or month?  These are all questions that need to be answered and can be by direct vetting.

Direct vetting of a website also allows for a concrete understanding of how the site handles tracking and reporting delivery. What are their standards for delivery and viewability? And do they work with a third-party ad delivery system and if so, which ones.

An agency should have a full written understanding of the media terms pertaining to “delivery”, “viewability” and “chargeable” ads. Without the proper parameters the level of acceptability in these areas may be very low. The media outlet gets paid but the client misfires on results.

When an agency simply uses a third-party bidding platform there will be key elements missed which could derail the entire digital campaign. For a regional company that means a swing and a miss for their digital buy.

Author: Frank Gussoni

President & Founder of A3 media. We're Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.