Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Each advertiser would, of course, want to invest their budget in media that allow them to communicate with their target group (consumers or users of services), and in the media in whose circulation they are certain. A problem arises with the latter when a publisher doesn’t have an ABC certificate of circulation, so the advertiser is forced to believe the data submitted by the publisher, which are usually not true and reliable data. Publishers typically ‘inflate’ their circulation, trying to justify the costs, and convince advertisers that they are the best choice for them.
In the Adriatic region, ABC certification, an internationally relevant document of circulation, can be obtained only in Croatia, where the ABC has achieved full recognition, garnering support of publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies alike. Considering that in other countries of the region there is no possibility of auditing circulation, ABC Croatia decided to offer their services to publishers in neighboring countries. Media Marketing tapped Igor Kern, director of ABC Croatia, to tell us what it’s all about.
Media Marketing: ABC Croatia has decided to offer audit to media in countries of the Adriatic region which don’t have ABC, or where ABC is not active, which is the case with Serbia. Why did you decide for such a step?
Igor Kern: Over the past seven years we’ve developed a system of circulation audit in Croatia. While doing so, we’ve been through all the stages, from presumptive rejection, indifference, interested hesitation, to a market standard. There are still managements that are not concerned how their marketing budgets are spent in print, but their number is reducing. If you advertised in a media whose circulation is not checked, you are venturing into a serious risk, both for the brand, and for you personally. Fewer and fewer people want to do so.
In parallel with our own development, we observed the wrong approach in the neighborhood which ended the only way it could – badly. Today’s situation per country is as follows:
– Serbia – ABC at rest, whatever that means,
– Bosnia and Herzegovina – they started the same time as we, but never started seriously functioning,
– Slovenia – they have something similar within the SOZ; they are not part of IF ABC,
– Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo – 0 points.
Our idea is to use knowledge and the IT platform that we have developed, in a way to offer service to areas that may not have the critical mass necessary to bring ABC office to life, but they have several serious publishers who believe that with a controlled circulation they can establish better long-term contracts with advertisers.
Another motive is to offer advertisers the opportunity to ask for information in all markets and when they do so not receive the answer “we would do it, but there’s no such thing here.” If you are compatible with their consumer habits, the greater the chance they will pay a more substantial check in your house.
Media Marketing: What does this mean for the media in practical terms?
Igor Kern: A publisher who wants to have certified data on circulation can now obtain it.
The rules by which we do auditing are the currently applicable standards for reporting for paid, free and digital editions in Croatia. The audit is conducted in Zagreb (per publisher’s demand it can also be done elsewhere) and is performed by a versed audit team with five years of experience in auditing circulation. Costs are slightly higher than those for our publishers, which is mainly conditioned by the distance and the fact that you can’t do everything through a wire.
No matter how big of an issue inflation of numbers is in individual markets, you should always start with yourself, and not the market. This is the only way to move forward. Larger publishers should realize that misleading advertisers brings them more harm than benefit, because a well regulated market would favor them, while with the things such as they are, with imagination running amok, both Pero from a garage and Ljuban from a major newspaper become equal – implausible.
If the publisher doesn’t want to tell the truth, it’s better for them to go into politics, the stakes are higher there. Right now, they season their hard work of creating and selling newspapers with some unfair data dressing, and end up as a fraudster for peanuts.
Media Marketing: What is it that media can get from ABC Croatia?
Igor Kern: Same as the publishers in Croatia, as well as an additional regional certification of circulation. This is a novelty that we can offer to those who have the same issue in all countries, and want to certify their publication everywhere. Then, in addition to individual certificates, the publisher also gets the aggregate certificate of copies sold.
For example, some XY publisher in six countries in the region issues a magazine Horse and dog. If they decide to certify it everywhere, in addition to six separate certificates for each market, they also get a regional, cumulative certification. On it they will have a proportionally large (confirmed) number, which for a quality dealer should be an icing on the cake in the sales process. And this doesn’t go only for the international advertisers, the region is also interesting to our leading companies.
Media Marketing: How to start cooperation? What are the steps?
Igor Kern: The first step is making the decision that you really want to do transparent business. The only decision worse than doing business without our certification is an attempt to “fool” the system.
The procedure is rather simple: publisher contacts us, fills in the application form, pays the registration, signs the contract, pays the membership fee and the initial audit and off we go …
After the initial audit, the data entry process and their audit is regularly repeated: for dailies and weeklies in semi-annual cycles, and for the rest on an annual basis.