Why 2 or 3 year media monitoring contracts are a trap, and how to avoid them
When it comes time to switch or renew your media monitoring, there’s always a temptation to achieve a saving with a long term agreement. Aggressive sales tactics from some media monitoring providers add to this, making it look like a good deal to lock in for multiple years.
Media intelligence is now a fast moving space. The entry of a new, credible and comprehensive choice, as well as other smaller niche providers gives your organisation real options. By locking in for a long term contract of more than 1 or 2 years means you are not only reducing your ability to re-negotiate for a saving or additional services each year, you are potentially locking yourself out of real innovation and value-adds that your competitors are accessing.
Streem is an example of a media intelligence company that is consistently enhancing its platform, listening to customers and charting the future of monitoring and analysis. Signing a 2 or 3 year agreement restricts your ability to access new technology and pricing models and acts as a disincentive for your current provider to innovate.
Further, because technology is moving at such a fast pace, it’s difficult to predict what will be on offer in the future. Shorter contracts keep your monitoring provider honest and driven to retain you as a customer. If a provider knows they have you locked in for 2 or more years, there’s little incentive to work hard for your business.
If you do end up signing a multi-year agreement, it’s worth ensuring there are real protections in the event your provider fails to deliver, has consistently late or inaccurate content or poor customer service. It’s also worth ensuring you have the ability to terminate for convenience in that 2nd or 3rd year should a better option come along. It’s the same reason why Streem uses Service Level Agreement (SLAs), keeping our business at the forefront of quality news and information which satisfies customers.
If and when Streem does sign multi-year agreements, we go above and beyond to ensure a customer has the protection of an SLA throughout the period - meaning we don’t assume your business for multiple years.
With media intelligence advancing quickly, we recommend:
- Signing agreements 12 months in duration
- Removing any automatic roll-over clauses that may impact your ability to choose a new provider in the future (remember that you need to give your current media monitoring provider 90 days notice before your contract signing date in order to switch)
- Ensure your provider is held to a high standard on service levels, and if they fail, you have the ability to terminate
All of this amounts to a better relationship with your media monitoring provider, based on a foundation of honesty and transparency about their service.