It’s just as important to monitor traditional ad delivery as it is to monitor digital delivery.
When the topic of ad trafficking and transparency is discussed, it is primarily associated with online digital and video ads. There is a lot of controversy and uncertainty as to whether advertisers are getting what they pay for or if fraud issues are plaguing their digital campaigns. But why aren’t other forms of media evaluated with the same scrutiny?
Maybe, it’s because there aren’t servers that measure the delivery of traditional media exactly like digital ads and there aren’t systems in place to tell you how long it took for someone to see a billboard or if they even looked at it at all.
However, that doesn’t mean that traditional media shouldn’t be monitored, trafficked and verified as closely as possible. Regional companies who advertise in multiple markets and spend so much time ensuring their budgets are maximized with strategic media schedules, should get the same attention ensuring that every form of media purchased runs as ordered.
There are adequate systems in place for television that allow a media agency to match ad spots based on daypart and time ordered and delivered. While these systems help monitor TV ad delivery, they cannot find other issues that may arise.
When an ad is ordered for a specific show but the show time changes or is preempted, the software will verify the ad ran as ordered but, is only matching daypart and time and not the show nor the audience of the show. This mistake can be caught but requires a human not a software to verify every delivered line item individually.
For out of home there is similar software, but they also don’t allow for discrepancies in matching everything exactly as ordered. Without a monthly proof of posting and manually reviewing each posting the board may be switched and usually inferior, which will alter impressions, reach and frequency levels. Another concern is incorrect creative. If you have a multi-image campaign this happens more than you might think. Make sure to get actual images and posting dates for all out of home, including buses, taxis, newsstands, train stops, etc.
For radio advertising, the best option is to evaluate invoices and match them directly with the order. You might be surprised how many times a radio spot is delivered out of time. If an invoice is paid solely because the number of spots and dollars align with the contract, the advertiser could be receiving inferior times which would affect targeted listenership.
The bottom line is that transparency in trafficking in multiple markets is a huge concern for a regional company. They have many more media outlets to deal with than the national companies, so they need to have eyes in the back of their heads. Having an agency that offers multiple layers of monitoring is truly the best way to guarantee that regional clients receive what they ordered.