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Media Monitoring: Fixed vs. variable pricing

Alongside missed clips, the single biggest gripe about monitoring has to be variable, per clip or per page pricing, still a dominant media monitoring pricing model for many vendors.

The issue for many resides in the notion of being charged for generating coverage. Under a variable pricing framework, the more coverage a company generates, the more it pays. This means that it receives a “double punishment” should it be on the receiving end of negative coverage, while a successfully-orchestrated campaign will equally result in higher bills.

Variable pricing also makes it difficult to predict expenditure for budgets, causing swingeing cuts to the monitoring brief midway through the year due to costs exceeding forecasts. This sees companies removing sources, keywords, competitors and industry issues to avoid overage charges.

As you can probably guess, at alva we’re not too enamoured by media monitoring pricing using variable models as they appear to benefit the vendor much more than they do the customer. The only real argument in their favour is that they can be more flexible in helping companies reduce expenditure through careful management of keywords. This is resource intensive and will only suit those who have the time and inclination to micro-manage their monitoring, so consider carefully whether you have the bandwidth to take this on.

  • Variable pricing only works if you are dealing with very low volumes and/or are looking to micro-manage your monitoring
  • Fixed media monitoring pricing enables you to free up your monitoring search terms to encompass a wider range of search terms while knowing that your expenditure is predictable
  • Variable pricing benefits the supplier more than the customer – insist on a fixed price when negotiating your contract

Download our full free guide to Media Monitoring

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