Dear Media Agencies, Minimizing Wasted Ad Spend Is Easier Than You Think

Best Practices For Media Agencies
Cyndi Otteson
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Here’s the deal. This blog isn’t for us. It’s for you. You...the strategists, the planners, the agencies, and the curious. While we do have products and services that we recommend (and we’ll do that in this post as well) what we really want to do is move the ad-tech industry forward. In fact, it’s the reason why NOM exists. The best way that we can effect change is to be transparent partners, and educate and offer guidance wherever we can.

Some agencies have been doing a good job of managing their assets, running their programming like a tight ship. For example, CNN’s Facts First campaign was solid from concept to delivery—successfully overseen by Figliulo & Partners. Most agencies don’t know, what they don’t know. P&G pulled its spending in 2017 from YouTube entirely, unsure that its ads were running against brand-safe content. They’ve since returned to YouTube, but that doesn’t mean that brand safety issues have been resolved.

Although studies have found that poor quality ads cost US marketers $7.4 billion in 2016, what continues to deepen the deficit is the lack of control over inventory. Who you partner with can make or break the entire venture. Before partnering with NOM, our clients had tens of millions of dollars in wasted ad spend. Even with a trusted partner by your side, there are still many ways to metaphorically light money on fire.

Here are some common inefficiencies to avoid like the plague, if you’re looking to maximize spending:

  • Platform Herding (Following the Pack): Are you advertising on the right platform? It may seem like an obvious question, but it’s easy to follow the pack and pick media buys in line with competitors. Maybe that’s not the right answer for your brand.
  • Walled Gardens: Walled gardens, where information is blocked from the people responsible for overseeing it, is a dying model. What agencies need now more than ever is transparency, information, and the means to make change.
  • Measuring Data Ineffectively: You can’t improve on data if you’re not effectively measuring it to begin with. If you can’t see where the wasted spend is, you can’t fix it.
  • Compartmentalized ad-buying:  When different media agencies handle different aspects of a brand’s campaign (digital, social, SEO, etc), the results are scattered, ultimately making it much harder to get a comprehensive sense of whether or not your campaigns are being optimized effectively.
  • Ineffective Targeting on YouTube: This one is huge. If you haven’t yet, read our article on why contextual targeting is King, especially compared to programmatic spending on YouTube. Meet clients where they are and match content with context.
  • Know Before You Let Go: Partner with a solid, transparent vendor who can work the controls more precisely than Google reps alone can. Or, if you’re already comfortable in the driver’s seat, run the campaigns yourself.





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