Melbourne agency's auditing tool finds $3 billion wasted on digital ads

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 24 May 2021
Next&Co head of organic search John Vlasakakis

Melbourne-based digital media agency Next&Co has built an auditing tool to help advertisers determine the efficiency of their digital ad spend.

Prometheus, which has a global patent pending, has been used by more than 300 companies, including SMEs, multinationals and ASX-listed companies.

An analysis by the tool found that almost a third of digital media ad spend, or around $3 billion, across the 300 advertisers is wasted each year.

“We built Prometheus because internal marketing teams and agencies’ first port of call to improve the commercial objectives for the businesses they are working on is to spend more rather than improve the efficiency of current spends,” says Next&Co head of organic search John Vlasakakis.

“We have been testing Prometheus for the past 12 months. It has the ability to tell advertisers exactly where and how their ad spend is being wasted on digital platforms and by how much. Prometheus is able to accurately determine how well advertisers’ media agencies or inhouse digital teams are performing down to a very granular level."

Vlasakakis says that within a minute of using its tool, a financial services client determined that more than $333,000 of its digital spend within one platform was being wasted annually.

"It shone the limelight on the lacklustre performance and lack of service the client was receiving from its agency," he says.

The self-serve tool looks at digital ad spend across Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Bing. Next&Co is also negotiating with TikTok and Snapchat to integrate with the platform. It can be used across any digital publisher with an API, including catch-up TV.

Prometheus has inbuilt KPIs advertisers can select from, including leads, customer conversions, ROI, reach, and they can choose their targets across each metric. The auditing tool then determines the exact wastage of their total annual digital spend in dollars and where that wastage is occurring campaign by campaign and on a creative level.

Prometheus provides a score out of 100 on the overall performance of each metric and the exact amount of media dollars wasted. The data is then individually audited for each type of advertising activity run within the tool and an individual score for each.

Prometheus can predict how many conversions advertisers could potentially achieve, make creative recommendations and CPA (cost per acquisition) improvement recommendations.

“There is no tool anywhere which can calculate the exact amount of media dollars wasted on these platforms as this is a unique algorithm which checks each platform’s best practice for campaign setup and optimisation,” Vlasakakis says.

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