I am seriously tired of lazy agencies and media outlets. You know, the ones that think their clients are too dumb to know better! So, let me give you an example.
I won’t mention the social vessel by name, so let me just say it starts with a “T” and has a little bird as its logo. Got it? Good. So, my agency has been utilizing this vessel for multiple clients lately, the paid portion, not the free organic portion.
As is typically the case, we establish the daily budget and aspire to deliver a minimum number of paid impressions based on the demographics and markets we are searching for daily.
When you establish the account and parameters, they offer you two choices. You can either set your own cpm rate or simply divulge your daily budget allowance to them and they promise to optimize the results and impressions. Many agencies utilize this tool and proudly convince their clients that they are receiving “the best.” The “T” vessel and agencies call it budget optimization. I call it Bullsh-t!
So, my social director and I decided to run a test. For the first two weeks we ran their optimized plan. Their average cpm was nearly $11. Then we reset the parameters and established our cpm not to exceed $6. Do you know what happened? Our daily impression levels nearly doubled at no more cost to our clients. Finally, to test our theory we lowered the cpm to $5 and our impressions rose by nearly an additional 50% over the impressions we were receiving at the $6 rate. So, in every case our daily budget was honored, and “T” got their money, but the substantial difference was the clients got much more. How much more? In the end we were receiving nearly 150% more daily impressions at $5 cpm as compared to their optimized plan at $11 cpm, with all the same parameters.
This leads me to the meat of this blog. Has our entire industry become dishonest, stupid, or lazy? It’s obviously easier to “trust” a vendor but are they really doing right by your client. Maybe, maybe not, but in actuality that’s not the vendor’s job, or not solely their job. However, some honesty from them should be expected. But the truth is it’s the responsibility of the agency to protect the client’s interest. And while I hear everyone say it, how many truly mean it and work hard to prove it?
By the looks of all these shady, fat digital platform systems I’m being peddled every day, I suspect most take the easy route because it’s better for the agency buyer personally and for the agency, but not necessarily for the client. In most cases it’s all about billables in an agency. Sure, they want results; but to what extent are they willing to work hard to achieve them?
I honestly believe our industry is getting lazier, because they are more data driven but lack the common sense it takes to think for themselves. And they are confident and believe they are smarter than their clients, after all it’s their world! And data may make you appear smarter, but are you really? (I’ll get really deep in this area in my next blog)
Many will and many do get away with this nonsense every day because their clients are kept in the dark. But if we keep that attitude moving forward don’t be surprised to see more companies take their media in-house and agencies become defunct. Because eventually someone in every company will figure it out. Because to start, own, grow and operate a business, the owners and management team are usually neither lazy nor stupid!