You're with the media buying agency for that 'monthly' in arrears review meeting, the stage is set for them to take you through how they (invested) spent your ad budget, they even provided a big plate of chocolate cookies, muffins and fruit to help get you through to the lunchtime hurdle where a platter of sandwiches and other goodies will help to continue to distract.

The slide deck turns up and way you go;

  • Here's what went well - (fancy chart/graph)
  • Here's what we learn't - (fancy chart/graph)
  • Here's what we think we 'could' do better for next time - (fancy chart/graph)

Then the people who've actually done most of the placement, legwork, and were still working on those charts/graphs until 10 minutes before you arrived turn up to take you through 'the detail'.

"Marvellous, these guys are really on top of things, they have some very clever people who can produce charts/graphs that we can also use in the board pack to show why our budget is still required" - box ticked for this month!!!

Can I suggest that before you attend the next meeting you make sure you eat a hearty breakfast, that way there's no distractions, maybe you might also want to ask for the following ahead of that next meeting;

  • How much of our budget was wasted, and can you show me the audit trail that highlights that waste?  
  • What we can do to reduce it?
  • How much of our budget went to ad fraud?
  • Can you show me the audit trail that gives me comfort you guys are looking after my budget as if it was your own?.

However the one suggestion that will undoubtedly alter the relationship dynamics and reverse the client/agency value proposition......

  • "Can we do this meeting every week with a mid-week update session"  

Yup, that will never, ever happen, and if your'e honest you know why?

The only person responsible for your budget is you!

There isn't an agency I know of that's prepared to provide that level of support, which is why you get your headline report, review meeting, and of course, chocolate cookies. 

Agency land whilst plumbed into 'programmatic' are still locked into the mindset of weekly/monthly planning sessions, whilst your customers thinks 'NOW'.

If this was your own cash I'm pretty sure you would be taking a closer look at why circa 50% - 70% is being wasted and should be totally disheartening, but you still believe your agency has got your back.

2 things to consider;

  1. Try turning off Ad tech - see what happens, even if its just for one day, or one week.
  2. Take a very serious look at how you're using social media, you might just be surprised that the 'advertise and promote' mentality you think is the right one is actually adding to that waste and fraud.

If you would like to explore how to utilise social media as a huge strategic value please contact the author of this blog.