As technology advances, media channels become more nuanced, limiting the accuracy of digital planning. Going forward, media buyers, sellers, and planners need a reliable way to measure and compare ad spend for better decision-making and overall performance in the market.

Guideline Data powered by Standard Media Index is a data acquisition and visualization tool that collects and aggregates media intelligence according to actual spend from the world's largest media buying groups and leading independents. As a trusted global source of ad intelligence, Guideline delivers a standardized currency for category spend across all media channels.

Setting a Higher Standard for Media Intelligence

The index works by capturing more than $100 billion in advertising spend and breaking it down into 87 subcategories. Depending on the agency holding companies involved, Guideline obtains anywhere from 70-95 percent of total agency spend so you can more effectively size up your competition. In the United States specifically, Guideline’s pool delivers insights that consist of more than 90 percent of major marketer ad spend.

By providing an unbiased, comprehensive, and truthful account of ad spend, media companies can be sure the intelligence they’re receiving is objectively factual. Guideline’s platform is a cut above the rest, boasting unrivaled:


The data Guideline presents provides a level of insight that translates into better intelligence into what’s going on in the ecosystem as a whole. The advanced database gives agencies access to actual spend data as opposed to projections or modeling, which are essentially educated guesses.

The promised accuracy of the aggregated data effectively drives benchmarks and investments with more reliability. Facilitating more precise predictions and better forecasting potential streamlines digital planning and media budgeting processes.


Since Guideline takes data directly from the billing source instead of making predictions or modeling, the index can fill in gaps and reveal blind spots in ad spend. This detailed media intelligence provides historical data that companies wouldn't otherwise have access to, paving a clearer path to marketing and advertising success. Furthermore, because Guideline has privileged access to this data, competitors are unable to replicate this level of transparency.


Guideline’s efficiency demonstrates our dedication to optimizing timelines for every user. Collecting and storing such an immense amount of data takes significant time and effort, often resulting in considerable delays. Guideline’s acquisition reports on all media types, publishers, and categories two weeks after the end of each month, so decisions aren’t just smarter—they’re also faster.

Additionally, this tool helps leadership teams better understand and conceptualize their position in the market. This visualization allows them to execute decisions without requiring time-consuming course correction or the upheaval of an entire strategy.

Unlock the power of precision data and confidently navigate the media landscape. Request a demo of Guideline’s data solutions. →

Guideline Data Use Cases and Applications

This unique look into ad spend makes media buying and digital planning more robust than ever. By providing media agencies with exclusive access to an expansive database, Guideline allows these entities to receive timely intelligence data, enhance decision-making, and create competitive benchmarks with more ease.

Guideline retrieves ad spend data directly from agencies and aggregates it to deliver significantly more value to its users. From budgeting and market sizing to client prospecting, this transparency offers various opportunities for optimizing media planning and buying.

Who It Services

Media owners in particular can greatly benefit from access to Guideline’s expansive database. With the vast amount of relevant media intelligence they receive, media owners, publishers, and agencies can more easily:

  • Clarify their competition and position in the market.
  • Gauge channel growth and monitor emerging trends.
  • Tailor proposals to account for specific changes.
  • Make decisions about operationalizing sales efforts.
  • Budget ad spend.
  • Uncover smaller media trends and find acquisition targets.

In addition to maximizing media buying reliability for advertising agencies and holding companies, Guideline Data powered by Standard Media Index offers numerous additional advantages for:

  • Advertising agency professionals
  • Brands and consulting firms
  • Investment managers
  • Content owners and rights holders

Guideline Adds New Meaning to the Media Marketplace

By capturing the majority of overall ad spend data and meaningfully mobilizing it, Guideline presents insights unmatched by any other media intelligence distributor. In the dynamic media selling space, such transparency and accuracy are rare. Media owners must take advantage of the top-notch granularity offered by Guideline Data to execute successful trades in the media landscape.

By leveraging actual ad spend data, the index allows agencies to bypass far-off predictions and streamline decision-making. As a result, Guideline’s organized database makes forecasting, budgeting, and digital planning easier than ever.

Contact our team to learn more and discuss how Guideline Data can help your media entity stop guessing and start knowing.


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