Digital Budgets Are Becoming Harder To Audit

New research from the World Federation of Advertisers finds that a majority of respondents believe media auditors will become more important in the next few years particularly for assessing performance in the programmatic buying and online viewability tracking areas.

In both cases, 87% of those surveyed said the use auditors would become more important.

The WFA survey is based on responses from 29 companies across 15 different industry sectors representing a total of about $35 billion in annual media expenditures.

Advertisers say the use of auditors will also be more important in the future for measuring media value in emerging rapid growth markets and for measuring online paid search, the survey found.

But the ability of auditors to actually measure a sizable proportion of digital budgets remains problematic, per the survey. In the U.S. and Canada, an average of just 12% of digital budgets were capable of being measured by auditors, down from 25% in 2012.

In Europe, 23% of digital budgets could be audited, up from 17% in 2012. In Latin America and Asia, the numbers were lower.

To optimize the use of auditors, the WFA survey concludes that advertisers should “embrace new evaluation tools” that can assess metrics such as ad viewability. “But consider that auditors administer these systems but rarely own the software.

Agencies should have regular access to audit data to optimize campaigns, per the survey.

Another essential: Make sure that all media contracts have a “right to audit” clause. Also, advertisers should set objectives based on real business outcomes. “Invite your auditor to be part of the discussion to avoid agencies buying media just to satisfy audit results.”

More on the survey can be found here

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