What’s Audited in Point-of-Care Advertising?

March 12, 2020

An overview of the point-of-care marketing verification process from an AAM auditor’s perspective.

Steve Guenther, Vice President, Digital Auditing Services

 

No matter where you place media buys, trust is the cornerstone for every transaction between buyer and seller. Trust that the advertiser’s message was delivered to the correct location and trust that the campaign reports are accurate. Audits are critical to achieving this trust because they provide third-party assurance that the media provider has been audited and the underlying ad delivery and measurement system meets industry standards.

While third-party audits of traditional media have been taking place for decades, verification of point-of-care marketing channels is a newer concept. Due to concerns about data transparency in the marketplace, AAM is partnering with others in the industry to establish point-of-care verification standards.

In our first excerpt from AAM’s POC Audit Guide for Media Buyers, we explained the three basic steps of every point-of-care audit. Here we delve into the specific types of audits AAM provides: campaign and network audits, and platform certifications.

What is a POC Media Audit?

In any buyer/seller transaction, questions may arise regarding the channel being invested in, such as:

  • Does the POC media provider’s network have the number of locations it says it does?
  • Is the ad reaching the right healthcare providers to match the campaign message?
  • Were printed guides delivered to the correct locations?
  • Did the ad play during office hours on waiting room displays that were functioning properly?

Independent, third-party audits serve to answer these questions.

An audit is a thorough review of an ad delivery and measurement system to ensure that it is producing accurate, reliable and consistent data that is compliant with industry standards. A well-planned and executed audit provides users of the data with the highest level of assurance. Audits assess whether a campaign has met expectations outlined in the contract. They also help buyers make more informed media decisions by enabling them to select a media provider that has demonstrated a commitment to transparency through an independent third-party audit.

What AAM Audits in Digital and Print

Here’s a quick overview of the types of point-of-care media audits that AAM performs:

Campaign Audits

An analysis of a specific ad campaign to determine whether the data collected meets the deliverable outlined in the contract.

  • Digital Examples
    • An ad campaign that runs on digital wallboards, waiting room TVs, or interactive tablets. The audit may include a review of the contract, location list matching, playlog analysis and in-person observations.
  • Print Examples
    • An ad campaign that runs in magazines, brochures, on printed wallboards or free-standing displays. The audit may include a review of the contract, location list matching, analysis of distribution records and in-person observations.

Network Audit

An analysis of a POC media provider’s network to verify the number of devices and/or locations that make up the network.

  • Digital Examples
    • Verifies the number of locations as well as the number of devices per location. In-person obser­vations are a key component of a network audit.
  • Print Examples
    • Verifies the number of locations where there are physical assets in place. In-person observations are a key component of a network audit.

Platform Certification

A platform certification is a complete analysis of the policies, procedures and controls in place to ensure the POC media provider’s ad delivery system is providing accurate, reliable and consistent results. Once certified, continuous auditing provides ongoing assurance.

  • Digital Examples
    • A deep analysis of the entire ad delivery and measurement system including onboarding new locations, device as well as system monitoring, campaign setup, data collection, measurement and filtration processes, general IT controls, data retention and business continuity planning, reporting and general disclosures.
  • Print Examples
    • Includes a deep analysis of the POC media company’s total distribution network and the processes and controls in place to ensure accurate delivery including updating/onboarding locations.

To learn more about the benefits of point-of-care media audits, download AAM’s Point-of-Care Audit Guide for Media Buyers.

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