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Today's Question – What If I Don't Trust My Agency?

This just hit the One Degree inbox:
bq.. I have a quick question for you.
I am working on an online banner advertising plan. What third party resources are there that track the impact each website may have. I don’t trust my ad agency in their selections and I seem to rely only on the post-campaign reports.
Is there something like a Print Measurement Bureau for online advertising?
p. Any thoughts? Who in Canada would you point this person to? Or is the question fundamentally misguided?


  1. Paula Skaper
    Paula Skaper September 14, 2005

    Whoa?! If you don’t trust your agency, there are issues much larger than finding an online version of PMB. Like why are you spending any money at all with an agency you don’t believe is competent to do the work you’ve hired them for?
    What is it you don’t trust – the quality of the creative they provide, the choice of media they’re recommending, that the results they’re showing you are true and accurate, the mix, the length of the campaign?
    There are so many factors that will contribute to the success or failure of your online advertising that a PMB style report won’t address or fix. Maybe it’s time to find a new agency.

  2. Leslie Andrachuk
    Leslie Andrachuk September 15, 2005

    Agree wholeheartedly with Paula. Your agency must be your trusted partner. If you have issues with your agency, talk to them immediately. Remember that an agency can only be effective if their partner (the client) is transparent, and is able to brief in an impactful way that helps them help you succeed. If you cannot collectively find the means to rectify the issues, and you have given them a fair chance to do so, find a new agency pronto.
    Live reporting (or at least daily) on an on-line camapign is fundamental to the success of your marketing. You should be able to track how each ad unit is performing across all metrics, and your agency must be able to provide you with this information, on the fly. In fact, they should be tracking and adjusting for you. Additionally, consider setting up a system to measure the performance of your campaign once the user has clicked through the ad unit. In other words, make sure you establish your performance metrics prior to launching the campaign, and work to set up measurement that will help you tweak on the fly.
    Comscore will not help with live campaigns, as they report (as do all circulation auditors) post-campaigns only. You must rely on publisher log information with regards to live campaigns.
    Hope this helps.

  3. Drew Fiala
    Drew Fiala October 18, 2005

    Whether you stay with your agency or find a new one, you need to make real time ad performance tracking a criteria for whoever is producing and placing your ads.
    They can use an Ad Server to deliver the ads, or simply append a Tracking Code to the URL on the ads. Even the most basic ad tracking / reporting will give you access to real time data on each ad placement.
    You need to see; Impressions & Click Throughs + “Objective” ie. The Call to Action (Opt In to newsletter, make a purchase, etc).
    You or the agency can then add in the placement spends to determine the relative value of each placement. Without knowing the real time stats during the campaign, you don’t know if you are spending your money in the right place(s).

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