Up to 25% of all media buys are not fulfilled correctly! Advertisers are leaving thousands on the table every year because they don’t understand how to audit their media invoices correctly.
We recognize that business owners oftentimes find themselves spread thin in the day-to-day practices of their business. This is very common. Auditing every invoice that comes through and checking that they are correct in every way is just something that most business owners claim they do not have the time to do.
First of all, it is important that you have a very organized way to keep track of what items have been placed with vendors, what amount has been agreed upon for the marketing items you are placing, and exactly what you are buying. For example, if you are buying TV or Radio spots, you will want to specify when, where and how much you would like each spot to run for. That way, when you get your itemized report for the spots that ran, you can verify that each spot ran according to what you requested. Also, that they are the price agreed upon, and that they ran in the appropriate radio timeframes or TV show spots.
You may be thinking that this sounds like way too much work. But you would be surprised how many times we find errors with these kinds of buys and end up getting added value by receiving free spots for the next go around or whatever we can negotiate based on the error.
Another example would be if you decide to run a print ad. You will, again, want to specify what publication, date, price, and what kind of ad you are placing. When those invoices come through, you will want to verify that everything ran according to your specifications. There are times when vendors will tack on charges you are unaware of. Sometimes they may run the ad, but not in all the zones you specified. There are times when they change the date of when your ad is run and do not inform you. All of these things are unacceptable. For any kind of marketing you place, you should be informed if the vendor needs or would like to alter your original order. If your marketing is altered in any way, you should be given the option to cancel or ask for other options if what they want to do is undesirable. Oftentimes, the vendors are looking for availability, not necessarily what is best for your marketing campaign.
Simply put, the purpose of auditing your media invoices is to confirm that the intent of the objectives of the contract is being fulfilled to the specifications outlined. To do so could mean saving a lot of money that was misplaced when contracts were not fulfilled or gaining added value by receiving free advertising items or discounted items. At Epic Marketing, we audit every single spot, ad, run, impression, etc. to ensure our clients get everything they paid for. If your business could use help with media invoice auditing, give us a call today.