Full Transparency: The Fearless Media Audit


It's typical to see a media audit as a daunting, almost insurmountable task – but it doesn't have to be that way! A media audit reads like a comprehensive receipt that will show you how your media spend is working. Read on to find out how to approach media audits to avoid the feeling of distrust or dissatisfaction. 

Have you ever reviewed a grocery receipt after arriving home? Most of us have, at least once. It doesn’t come from a place of anger, it’s just checking to see if we’ve received what we’ve paid for.

Media audits are like a giant, comprehensive receipt that brands can review to see if their media spending is working. Too often they’re approached by both clients and their marketing teams as a contentious, relationship-breaking request. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Mutually approaching media audits without fear is a way to create transparency in media spending. The results will give brands and their marketers actionable ways to create more meaningful, impactful content in the future. 

Transparency is not just a buzzword; it is the heart and soul of fearless and fruitful marketing relationships. Just as we want brands and clients to be transparent with their customers and fans, marketers crave the opportunity to embrace transparency about their marketing impacts. With media platforms and content marketing on the rise, the popularity and frequency of media audits are also on the rise.

So why the dread surrounding a media audit?

We all know why. Media audits are a great tool, but many times they’re requested from a place of dissatisfaction or distrust. Then if the results aren’t trusted, it can further damage what may have been a great, collaborative relationship. 

Three Bold Suggestions

  • Agencies need to do a thorough job of discovering and defining what clients are specifically looking for, including their key performance indicators (KPIs.)
  • Consider an audit early in the relationship to set a baseline, or on an established schedule. It’s a good way to ensure more faith in the process, and can build an awareness of the push-pull that can result when either side hears unexpected information.
  • Full-service agencies with many business units and capacity may consider establishing their own media audit consultancies as a neutral, third-party service to sell to others. It would also demonstrate to current clients that it’s a meaningful process that an agency embraces without trepidation. 

Look at it this way, a media audit can be a way to show a lot of positive things to clients. It can prove that you are delivering on your contract. It can show that your marketing efforts are meeting or exceeding their KPI’s. But it can show that both sides are getting less, or more, than was outlined in the contract. Could that cause a different difficult conversation? Possibly, but when it comes to transparency, those conversations are warranted. 

Media audits are too often approached as relationship-busting sledgehammers instead of tactical tools. When approached in a thoughtful, transparent way, they can be informative knowledge-builders. Fearless audits – much like detailed receipts – can help brands understand and improve the many ways their content connects with their consumers.

Are you a brand who is ready to explore a media audit? Review our checklist: 7 Questions Clients Should Answer Before a Media Audit and contact us to get started.

About Ideas Made Measurable!

At IMM, creating action isn’t just what we do — it’s who we are. Our agency is built to deliver full service capabilities while also delivering measurable results. Big data is the marketing buzzword everyone talks about but few understand. We are here to explain in plain English how data-driven, bottoms-up marketing strategies can help generate leads, drive sales and build your brand. We leverage the expertise of the staff at IMM, a data-driven, full-service digital advertising agency based in Boulder, Colorado.

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