Programmatic advertising is everywhere in the digital ad world, with many companies relying on it to buy and sell the bulk of their ads. Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a price, as programmatic ad fraud has emerged as one of the most serious issues in digital advertising today.
According to fraud detection company Forensiq, programmatic ad fraud costs advertisers $7.2 billion each year, with $3.1 billion of that lost from fraudulent impressions alone (Forensiq). That’s an average loss of $4 per every 1000 impressions!
Find8 Performance Marketing is here to give you the scoop on how you can protect your ad spend from this emerging Goliath.
Have Your Agency Monitor Campaigns 24/7
Monitoring is about more than just making sure ads are running correctly—it can also catch fraud that could significantly reduce ROI. If you’re using programmatic buying, make sure you know how closely your agency is monitoring your campaigns.
They should be checking all traffic reports and metrics daily. It’s important to watch Google Analytics data, such as making sure all ads have UTM tracking codes so that you can monitor the bounce rate and time spent on your landing pages and so you can see the geographic location of people coming from the ads.
Taking it a step further, the implementation of third party ad fraud tracking like Fou Analytics can help you more easily detect the signs of fraud before they impact your ad spend.
The Need for Vigilance
Many advertisers stay informed on media-buying trends through industry organizations like IAB and IAB Tech Lab, but many of these companies still use programming platforms (also known as ad tech providers) as intermediaries.
In fact, 79% of publishers don’t sell directly to advertisers.
That means buyers often don’t understand who exactly is handling the inventory once it passes through multiple layers of middlemen—and therefore aren’t able to determine where their ads actually end up or even how much they cost once fees start getting layered on top. In situations like these, monitor your partners and use both third parties and technology vendors with caution.
Analyze Audience Data Regularly for Signs of Fraud
This data is a goldmine for brands interested in targeting their advertising campaigns more efficiently. If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on digital ads, it makes sense to ensure that you’re getting value out of your marketing budget.
The Magic of Audience Data
Audience data can help you identify which kinds of customers are responsive to your campaign, helping you tailor future ads or explore new forms of media—like programmatic video—that work best for your particular target market.
And it can also provide insight into how much impact each ad type is having on your business; measuring things like CTRs, visits per impression, and other key metrics can inform how much time you want to invest in certain ad types in order to maximize results.
And it can also show you where your ad spend may be getting wasted on bots and fraudulent sites where actual users aren’t seeing your ads.
How Audience Data Can Point Out Fraud
Are your numbers higher or lower than they should be? Are they steady, or is there an unusual pattern that might indicate discrepancies in your data? Is there tons of traffic spending little to no time on the landing pages your ads link to?
Don’t just rely on stats—look at trends, too. For example, you may be seeing a sudden dip in total site traffic when it hasn’t been affected by changes in weather or seasonality.
If you notice something out of whack, re-evaluate all sources of audience data for signs of fraud. Make sure everything checks out before making any adjustments to ad spending based on possibly faulty information.
You can also consider enlisting independent analysis services by talking with your Find8 Performance Marketers. We can analyze data patterns, compare stats with benchmarks and let you know about potential problems like cookie stuffing and domain spoofing before your next billing cycle begins so you never pay for bad traffic again!
Find8 – Your Partner in Fighting Ad Crime!
Don’t feel like programmatic fraud is an unavoidable cost of doing business! With Find8 in your corner, you have a watchdog on your side to help keep programmatic companies honest about your ad placement and also keep things like bot fraud at bay.
Get in touch with Find8 Performance Marketing to take the fraud out of your programmatic advertising!