POC 101: audit terms and definitions

A look at several terms commonly used to discuss third-party audits of point-of-care advertising networks, campaigns and measurement systems.

Ad Delivery System: The method by which a point-of-care media provider distributes digital or printed content.

Campaign Audit: An analysis of a point-of-care ad campaign to determine whether the media provider met the deliverable outlined in the contract.

Continuous Verification: Ongoing auditing of a point-of-care media provider’s measurement system to ensure benchmarks established during the initial audit continue to be met and that any anomalies detected are mitigated in a timely manner.

Field Testing: In-person observations conducted by an audit representative to verify the marketing program is operating as represented. This may include confirmation that the printed materials are being displayed or that a digital device is fully operational. Geo-timestamped digital photos may be made available to the POC media provider to support audit findings.

Geo-Timestamped Digital Photos: Photos taken during a field test to confirm location, time and date of product delivery, placement and functionality of a device.

HCP: Health care provider.

Industry Guidelines: Industry-established guidelines ensure that the measurements reported to the marketplace are comparable across point-of-care media providers. Examples include the Point of Care Marketing Association's (POCMA) Verification and Validation Guidance, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Ad Campaign Measurement & Audit Guidelines, and the Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines. AAM audits are performed with consideration to these guidelines as well as generally accepted industry best practices and AAM’s proprietary audit techniques.

List Matching: A process that compares the media provider's distribution list against the media buyer’s location list to identify matching locations. List matching is an important part of audience targeting within a campaign. The audit looks at the media provider’s process to ensure list matching is accurate.

Network Audit: Verification of the size of a point-of-care media provider’s network, including the number of locations and devices that make up the network.

Platform Certification: Analysis of the policies, procedures and internal controls in place to ensure that the point-of-care media provider’s measurement system is providing accurate, reliable and consistent measurements.

Playlog Analysis: An analysis of the ‘proof of play’ logs for digital ads. Proof of play logs provide transaction-level insight into the location, device and time that certain creative was played. These proof of play logs are included in a report for clients that cover a specific timeframe (i.e., typically a one-month period).

Point-of-Care Media Provider: The company that provides point-of-care marketing services or a channel through which print or digital advertisements can be delivered to HCPs.

Provider Network: The health care facilities or medical providers included in the point-of-care media provider’s distribution network.

Risk Assessment: A process where auditors ask questions to uncover potential areas of risk or known limitations that may impact the point-of-care media provider’s ability to meet their clients’ expectations. Point-of-care media providers should also regularly perform their own risk assessments.

Statistical Sampling: A sampling methodology that validates a number (i.e., number of locations) by examining a subset of the population. The sample size is formula-driven and depends on the number of locations, confidence level and margin of error.

To learn more about point-of-care marketing audits, download our Point-of-Care Audit Guide for Media Buyers.