The Crucial Role of Post Campaign Reports in Advertising Media

Media Process

Aug 16, 2023 | Philippe Dominois

The Crucial Role of Post Campaign Reports in Advertising Media

In today's dynamic world of advertising, where every penny spent needs to be accounted for, advertisers are constantly on the lookout for effective tools to maximize their return on advertising spend (ROAS). One such tool that has proven to be invaluable is the Post Campaign Report (PCR), also called Post Buy Report (PBR). This meticulously crafted document acts as a compass, guiding advertisers towards more efficient and impactful campaigns.

The Post Campaign Report (PCR) is a comprehensive analysis that provides advertisers with valuable insights into the performance of their advertising campaigns. It delves deep into the data, examining key metrics and indicators to gauge the effectiveness of the campaign. From reach and impressions to engagement and conversions, the PCR leaves no stone unturned in evaluating the success of a media campaign.

Media agencies, as the custodians of advertising strategy and execution, play a pivotal role in ensuring the accuracy and informativeness of the PCR. They are armed with the expertise and knowledge to dissect the data, uncovering hidden patterns and trends that can shape future campaigns. By analyzing the PCR, media agencies can identify areas of improvement and recommend strategies to enhance the ROAS for their clients.

The PCR serves as a valuable tool for advertisers in several ways. Firstly, it provides a comprehensive overview of the campaign's performance, allowing advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their investment. This analysis enables them to make data-driven decisions, optimizing their future campaigns for better results.

Secondly, the PCR acts as a benchmarking tool, allowing them to compare the performance of their campaigns against historical campaigns and media agency commitments. This benchmarking helps advertisers identify areas where their media agency excel and areas where they need to improve, providing valuable insights for future campaigns.

Furthermore, the PCR facilitates transparency and accountability between advertisers and media agencies. By providing a detailed breakdown of the campaign's performance, advertisers can have a clear understanding of how their investment has been utilized. This transparency fosters trust and collaboration between the two parties, strengthening their partnership and paving the way for more successful campaigns in the future.

The Current State of Post-Campaign Reporting

In our experience working with advertiser clients, it is concerning to discover that numerous campaigns are overlooked, despite the vital role of post-buy reports. Our latest research has uncovered two worrisome patterns:

a) A significant number of campaigns, particularly those not considered 'major', do not receive any post-buy reports.

b) Even when reports are provided, they often lack depth and quality.

For advertisers, this situation is comparable to navigating through the vast seas of media without a map or compass. The implications are numerous: missed opportunities for optimization, potential financial waste, and a growing lack of trust between advertisers and their media agencies.

The Significance of Comprehensive Post-Campaign Reporting

Picture yourself participating in a marathon, completely unaware of your pace or the direction you're heading. It's almost certain that you would end up tired, off-track, and nowhere near the finish line. This is the exact risk that advertisers face when they operate without thorough PCRs (Post-Campaign Reports).

1. Insights and Recommendations:

A well-crafted PCR goes beyond simply presenting data; it provides a narrative. It offers valuable insights into the successes, failures, and most importantly, the reasons behind them. These insights lay the foundation for actionable recommendations, guaranteeing that each campaign becomes a stepping stone towards future success.

2. Accountability:

Trust is a crucial element in any partnership, especially when advertisers entrust media agencies with their budgets, brand reputation, and business goals. In return, they rightly expect transparency and accountability. A comprehensive PCR goes beyond being a mere report; it serves as a testament to an agency's unwavering commitment to the success of its clients.

3. Minimising Wastage:

In the complex world of advertising media, having knowledge is truly empowering. Advertisers who have a deep understanding of their campaigns' performance are able to optimize their media budgets effectively, allocating less or no money to underperforming media channels and investing more in those that yield better results. This strategic approach minimizes wastage and maximizes the impact of each advertising effort.

The Ideal Post Campaign Report: What Should It Entail?

A PCR is not just a collection of numbers and charts; it's a narrative of a campaign's journey. It is a comprehensive report that provides advertisers with a detailed analysis of the campaign's performance and offers valuable insights for future success.

1. Comparison of Outcomes:

At its core, a PCR should compare the planned outcomes of a campaign with the actual results achieved. This comparison allows advertisers to understand the effectiveness of their strategies and identify areas for improvement. By analyzing the differences between planned and actual outcomes, advertisers can gain valuable insights into what worked well and what can be optimized in future campaigns.

2. Discrepancy Analysis:

It's not enough to simply identify differences between planned and actual outcomes; a stellar PCR goes beyond that. It delves deeper into the data to understand the reasons behind these discrepancies. By analyzing the factors that contributed to the gaps between planned and actual results, advertisers can gain a deeper understanding of the campaign's performance and make informed decisions for future campaigns.

3. Actionable Insights:

Data, when interpreted correctly, provides a wealth of insights that can guide advertisers towards success. A comprehensive PCR should not only present the data but also offer actionable recommendations based on those insights. These recommendations serve as a roadmap for advertisers, ensuring that they are always moving forward and making data-driven decisions to optimize their campaigns.

4. Timeliness:

Time is of the essence when it comes to post-campaign reporting. Insights are most valuable when they are fresh and can be acted upon promptly. A PCR should ideally be delivered to advertisers no later than 4 to 6 weeks after the campaign's completion. This ensures that advertisers have timely access to the report's findings, allowing them to make strategic interventions and tweaks to their strategies for future campaigns.

The Adverse Effects of Inadequate Reporting

In the absence of comprehensive post-campaign reporting, advertisers are left grappling with a host of challenges:

1. Missed Opportunities:

Every campaign, regardless of its scale, offers valuable insights and learnings that can shape future strategies. Without a PCR, these learnings are lost, and the same mistakes are doomed to be repeated. Advertisers miss out on the chance to identify what worked well and what didn't, hindering their ability to optimize their campaigns and achieve better results in the future. The absence of a PCR means that advertisers are essentially flying blind, unaware of the opportunities they have missed and unable to make data-driven decisions for future success.

2. Financial Implications:

Inefficient campaigns aren't just ineffective; they can also be costly. Without insights into what's working and what's not, advertisers risk pouring money into strategies that simply don't deliver the desired results. By not having access to a comprehensive PCR, advertisers are unable to identify the aspects of their campaigns that are underperforming and allocate their budgets more effectively. This lack of optimization can lead to wasted resources and unnecessary expenses, negatively impacting the overall return on advertising spend (ROAS) for advertisers.

3. Erosion of Trust:

A lacklustre PCR is more than just a missed opportunity for insights; it's a breach of trust. Advertisers rely on their media agencies to provide transparency, guidance, and accurate reporting. When a PCR is inadequate or lacking in depth and quality, it undermines the trust that advertisers have placed in their media agencies. Without comprehensive reporting, advertisers are left questioning the accuracy and reliability of the information provided by their agencies, which can lead to a breakdown in the advertiser-agency relationship. This erosion of trust jeopardizes the partnership and collaboration between advertisers and media agencies, hindering their ability to work together effectively and achieve successful outcomes.

Conclusion & Call to Action

Advertisers, it is crucial for both you and your agency to understand the importance of comprehensive post-campaign reporting. Demand excellence and transparency from your agency and ensure that every campaign, regardless of size, is accompanied by a PCR that provides valuable insights and actionable recommendations. Remember, you are not just seeking a report; you are seeking a roadmap to success, and it is your right to have it.

Recognize that the PCR is not an afterthought, but a critical component of the media planning and buying process for both advertisers and media agencies.

Do not leave your campaigns in the dark. Instead, ensure that they are illuminated with insights and guided by expertise. Contact us today to receive a copy of our free checklist and discover the essential elements of a best-in-class post-buy report. Together, let us transform the world of advertising media, one campaign at a time.

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Author Expertise and Experience:

Philippe Dominois is co-founder and CEO of Abintus Consulting, and Head Coach at the Abintus Academy. He has over 25 years of international media experience, having worked on the media agency side, client side, and media auditing side throughout his career. Philippe has authored hundreds of articles over the years that focus on media management best practices.

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