Why Media Agency Commitments Tracking is Essential After Pitching

Advertising Analytics

May 29, 2024 | Philippe Dominois

Why Media Agency Commitments Tracking is Essential After Pitching

You've just concluded a media agency pitch successfully, securing a top-notch contract loaded with media price and quality commitments that promise to deliver mind-blowing savings in the coming years. 

Happy days, right? Not quite!

Even if you've tied these commitments to your agency's remuneration, there's no guarantee those projected savings will actually materialise.

To ensure your expectations will be met, it's absolutely essential to diligently track your agency's performance against their commitments on a consistent basis.

Failing to do so, and you might find yourself feeling disappointed and missing out on the savings you worked so hard to secure.

Luckily, there's a powerful solution to this problem: Media Agency Commitments Tracking, a process that'll help you keep your agency accountable and your savings on track.

What's Agency Commitments Tracking?

Media Agency Commitments Tracking is the process of monitoring and verifying that the commitments made by media agencies during the pitch process are actually delivered.
These commitments often include media prices, media quality, cash rebates (AVBs), and digital media technical rates.
The purpose of tracking is to ensure that the promised savings are realised and that the agency is held accountable for their performance.

Final Settlement per Media Channel

The Risks of Not Tracking Commitments

Failing to track media agency commitments can have severe consequences for advertisers.

Without independent verification, agencies may not deliver on their promises, leading to inflated savings reports and eroded trust in the agency-client relationship.

Advertisers may find themselves frustrated and unable to achieve the savings they expected.


A Best Practice Led by Top Advertisers

The vast majority of the world's Top 250 advertisers now employ media consultancies to safeguard their investments and ensure their media agencies deliver the expected returns, recognising the critical importance of media agency commitments tracking.

This growing trend highlights the industry's acknowledgement that tracking is an absolute necessity in today's complex media landscape.

At Abintus, we've seen this firsthand through the numerous RFPs we receive from global brands seeking the best partner to provide this essential service.

As the industry evolves and becomes more data-driven, the importance of commitments tracking will only continue to grow, cementing its position as a fundamental pillar of effective media management.


How Commitments Tracking Works

Media agency commitments tracking is a complex process that requires specialised expertise.

It involves comparing the actual media delivery to the commitments made during the pitch, adjusting for complex factors like inflation, seasonality, format and vendor mix to ensure precise like-for-like comparisons.

Media consultancies use sophisticated tools and methodologies to provide accurate and timely results, and deal with media agency queries throughout the process.


Comparable Spend
After collecting, cleansing, and analysing the data, the initial findings are shared with the media agency for validation before being presented to the client.
The frequency of reporting varies for each client, but the more consistent the tracking against media commitments, the better. This approach allows for timely feedback and guidance to ensure the agency stays on track to meet their pitch commitments.

Benefits for Media Agencies

While media agency commitments tracking is primarily designed to benefit advertisers, it also offers valuable advantages for media agencies.

By participating in a fair, balanced, and transparent tracking process, agencies can strengthen client relationships, demonstrate their value, and differentiate themselves in a competitive landscape.

However, the challenge for media agencies is that some media auditors' solutions for commitments tracking are inflexible, opaque, or both. These solutions often provide limited interactions with people, relying solely on data uploads and "Computer Says" outputs without clearly explaining how conclusions are drawn.

An effective commitments tracking solution must be fair and balanced, taking into account the context under which the media agency bought the required media. It's not just about numbers; it's also about understanding the context and employing a transparent methodology.

By engaging with a media consultancy that offers a collaborative, context-driven approach to commitments tracking, media agencies can ensure that their efforts are accurately represented and valued, fostering trust and long-term partnerships with their clients.


Our Unique Approach to Tracking

At Abintus, which means 'From Within' in Latin, we pride ourselves on our innovative and client-centric approach to media agency commitments tracking.

Our name perfectly encapsulates our philosophy of designing and developing tailored tracking solutions that seamlessly integrate with our clients' unique business needs and existing ecosystems, working from within their organisation.

While other media consultancies rely on their proprietary tools and systems, we believe in creating bespoke solutions that empower our clients to take control of their media performance tracking.

Our approach offers several key advantages:

  • Sustainability: By creating a tracking solution that belongs to you, we ensure that you maintain full control and ownership of your data, insights, and learnings, even if you change auditors or agencies in the future.
  • Enhanced Data Collection: Our in-house solutions enable us to set up APIs that collect digital media data directly from your online media buying platforms, such as Google Ads, Meta Business Suite, and Amazon Advertising. This allows for automatic data collection at a much higher frequency, such as weekly, ensuring that your media campaigns data is stored securely within your own data warehouse.
  • Customised Dashboards: We design and develop intuitive front-end solutions tailored to your specific requirements. These dashboards include the necessary calculations and methodologies to make like-for-like comparisons and track your media agency's performance against their pitch commitments in near real-time.
  • Comprehensive Tracking: Our approach empowers you to track your actual media spend across all brands and markets, monitor media KPIs and metrics against specific targets, and have your Performance Related Fee (PRF) scheme calculated live, estimating the bonus or malus on an ongoing basis.
  • Expandability: Our solutions offer the flexibility to incorporate additional features, such as competitor media activities for Share of Voice (SOV) versus Share of Market (SOM) analysis and sales metrics to calculate Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS).

Stage Solution

By leveraging Abintus' unique 'From Within' approach to media agency commitments tracking, you can ensure that your tracking solution is tailored to your specific needs, providing you with unparalleled control, transparency, and insights to drive your media performance and optimise your media investments.


Conclusion & Next Steps

One of the most significant hurdles advertisers encounter is price disparity in media, where the rates they pay for the same media can differ greatly based on the quality of their media agency contracts.

To ensure competitive media rates and safeguard your investments, it's crucial to have robust price and quality commitments in your contracts and track whether your agency is delivering on them.

Allowing media agencies to evaluate their own performance can result in biased outcomes, making it crucial to enlist the help of media experts and professionals for an independent, third-party assessment.

However, not all available solutions are created equal, and thorough due diligence is key to selecting the one that best aligns with your unique needs and goals.

We invite you to explore our innovative 'From Within' approach by booking a demo with our team, showcasing how our tailored solutions can help you take control of your media performance and drive meaningful results for your business.


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About the Author

Philippe Dominois Blog Post 2024-1Philippe Dominois, co-founder and CEO of Abintus Consulting and Head Coach at the Abintus Academy, brings over 25 years of global media expertise to the table. With a wealth of experience from his tenure at leading media agencies such as Wavemaker, Starcom, and Carat, as well as more than a decade at Ebiquity, Philippe has established himself as a thought leader in the industry. He has authored hundreds of articles focusing on media management best practices, sharing his insights and knowledge with the wider media community.

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