Quality Control:

The business world’s way of measuring twice

There’s an old saying in building: Measure twice, cut once. Builders have learned the importance of quality control. If they measure once and cut, they might be right. Maybe. But if they’re wrong, they lose valuable materials — and valuable time. A costly setback.

The same holds true for advertising and marketing. A small investment in the form of quality control pays big dividends down the road in the form of meeting your budget, reaching your goals, avoiding revisions and sticking to your timeline.

We’re all tempted to cut steps to save money. Why measure twice when you can save a little time? Why proofread when you can save a few dollars?

But are those savings really savings? The quality control process — whether it’s specifying construction materials for a skyscraper or fact-checking a sales brochure — in the long run saves time and money by preventing something from going awry. That’s why the process is there. With quality control, you ensure that your project is on time, on target and on budget while it progresses.

Does your agency measure twice?

A $125 million testament to quality control

On September 23, 1999, NASA was hoping to celebrate the Mars Climate Orbiter’s entry into Martian orbit. Instead, the spacecraft disappeared.

NASA later discovered the orbiter dipped 60 miles closer to the surface than intended. The orbiter either burned up entering the atmosphere or ricocheted out into space. What happened? Teams in California and Colorado had been using different measuring systems: One used standard units (feet, pounds), while the other used metric (centimeters, kilograms).

An oversight in your line of work may not crash a spaceship. But misspellings, misrepresentations and other miscues all lead to hassles and headaches, such as legal review or worse — regulatory intervention.

That’s why we take quality control so seriously. Thorough quality control processes forge confidence in the accuracy, clarity and consistency of your advertising and marketing messages. The very qualities that lead to a strong brand.

Quality control from project initiation to archiving

Misspelled words. Unattributed facts. Electronic files that won’t function or have been lost. Quality control defends against those problems — and more. Things that can bring unwanted attention from management, your legal department or regulatory agencies. Here are measures we at 5MetaCom take to protect your work:

Job process checklist:

Helps to ensure that no step in your project will be skipped.

Creative brief review:

Provides the creative team with clear and concise direction. Also provides reviewers down the line with information to detect if the project has accidentally morphed into something other than what it was supposed to be.

MetaSystem tracking:

Continuously tracks your project’s status and budget, so you always know where your project stands.

Version control:

Helps ensure that revisions are made to the correct version of a project. This reduces the risk of unwanted changes or edits ending up in the final piece.

Footnote auditing:

Confirms the order, style and content of all footnotes, shielding your credibility.

Fact checking:

Cites and verifies project content against authoritative documents to confirm that all facts, data, claims and information came from suitable sources.

Proofreading:

Ensures accuracy via a multi-faceted system which verifies grammar, punctuation, style, brand guidelines, trademark use, logos, visuals, etc.

Specification verification:

Sets the foundation for accurate production by verifying data such as quantity, dimensions, format and production materials.

Error tracking:

Identifies where an oversight occurred so it can be remedied.

Budget review:

At least once per month, your 5MetaCom Account Executive compares your budget with the current state of your project. At your request, you receive an easy-to-read budget summary.

Post-project analysis:

Assesses your project’s results against its expectations, helping to ensure that your goals are achieved and any emerging issues are addressed.

Archiving/electronic sampling:

Safeguards your property and provides quick access to projects for review or future use.