The rapidly changing digital media landscape has become the most complex environment for clients in media trading today.
Learn more about the aspects of your digital marketing that Media Marketing Compliance can review for you below.
In addition to completely new channels through which to reach businesses and consumers, the last 10 years have brought new trading practices, an exponential growth in the parties involved in the supply chain and a variety of additional media services.
This developing sector has given many agencies and service providers the opportunity to significantly influence how the whole industry should work and, as you would expect, many have tried to maximise the amount of the advertiser’s overall spend that they will ultimately retain. New practices have also ‘backwashed’ into traditional media through the application of certain practices, as well as the lines between traditional and non-traditional media becoming blurred by the likes of digital out of home and video on demand.
There are a variety of different areas within digital media, each requiring specific approaches when conducting compliance audits, including:
Programmatic Media – with many thinking of real-time advertising using an auction-based model, this is a specific area within this topic. Programmatically bought media simply involves the automated buying and selling of media, using data to decide which ads to buy and for how much. Many of the agency groups now have programmatic buying units as the activities involved require specialist knowledge of demand side platforms (‘DSPs’), supply side platforms (‘SSPs’), data management platforms (‘DMPs’) and application programme interface (APIs). Importantly, a veil has been drawn over these practices with many agencies offering non-transparent programmatic models, but these can also be done on a transparent basis. Auditing focuses on verifying whether buys were appropriately agreed as non-disclosed or should be disclosed and whether the cost paid by the client should be ‘as agreed’ or based on net cost and whether any mark ups are as contractually agreed.
Ad Stack Services & Technologies - within the digital supply chain there are many processes and procedures that need to be applied to a media buy. Many of these involve a cost that becomes a component of the ‘ad stack’. From trafficking, trading desks, DSPs and SSPs, ad exchanges, data providers and ad-serving through to retargeting, ad fraud monitoring, verification, brand safety and many others. Auditing the ad stack involves ensuring that only permitted costs are passed on to advertisers without unapproved mark ups and without duplication through the application of both third party costs and rate cards.
Digital Content Creation – this follows several of the aspects of a creative audit, covering strategy and content-need identification through to the development of creative content and engagement with third party content providers.
Social Media and Influencer Marketing – overlapping somewhat with digital content, this includes the use of data analytics tools to track ad campaign engagement and managing ‘earned’ and ‘shared’ media through the use of influencers and partnerships. Audits focus on ensuring both data and third party relationships are handled in a manner compliant with the contract in terms of transparency and control.
E-Commerce – Online retailing arrangements handled via specialist agencies often involve a revenue sharing scheme. As such, auditing in this area involves verifying disclosed sales positions, share calculations and any authorised cost deductions.