Marketing decisions are not made in a vacuum.
Metric and every dollar is closely inspected by CMO’s to ensure that the provider is receiving maximum return. If campaigns are unsuccessful, they will be pulled and tools redirected to channels that are lucrative. Digital advertisers are beginning to understand that reality.
Not because digital advertising or more effective than conventional methods, but due to a phenomenon specific to the digital world: ad fraud.
Ad fraud has become a bit of an epidemic in the marketing market. Forrester Research estimates that it led to an estimated $7.4 billion in losses in 2016 alone.
Forrester estimates that this number will swell to almost $11 billion if immediate steps are not taken to root out fraudulent action and create a secure environment for advertisers.
Why is this our problem?
This is a harmful and short-sighted perspective, while on the surface this might seem a problem for advertisers compared to publishers. This advertising market’s viability is dependent on advertisers having confidence in our ability to efficiently reach their target buyer.
Every fraudulent click or opinion represents advertising dollars wasted
If the data indicates that our marketplace is rife with fraud and massive percentages of funds is being wasted, advertisers won’t hesitate to pull away from digital and invest in marketing channels.
Advertisement fraud is can and multi-dimensional impact advertisers on many fronts that impact their bottom line. Every click or impression represents ad dollars wasted, and those dollars accumulate quickly. Our customers, that would be the advertisers, expect and are demanding. If we handle these issues to advertiser’s gratification and as an industry can not reverse this trend, a drop in earnings is almost certain to follow.
What could be achieved?
To effectively fight back against advertising fraud, publishers should make a significant investment regarding both technology and work force to track and prevent traffic and malware. In the 24/7 world of electronic advertising, this is what is required to provide a product that advertisers can anticipate.
For starters, the standard operating procedure should be that both inner and third party MRC tools scans traffic. It’s vital that they live on all webpages, monitoring IP addresses and the traffic’s quality, so publishers make certain people that are actual are seeing ads and may affirm site traffic. This monitoring ensures that any malicious or suspicious activity is soon identified and mitigated, saving the advertiser out of paying for views that are fraudulent.
How should advertisers shield themselves?
Brands need to take proactive steps to help ensure that their advertising dollars are delivering a return, since the advertising market continues to evolve. As a beginning point, they should work with publishers that are transparent with in terms of their data.
Complete transparency is key to conducting a successful campaign
Quality publishers offer you viewability and data into what audiences that the advertisements are being placed in front of and how ads are currently preforming. There is an problem if a publisher is not getting this amount of insight into their campaigns. Transparency is key to conducting a successful effort and should be demanded by most of advertisers.
Additionally, manufacturers should be placing the onus in their publishing partners to fix the ad fraud problem as part of earning their advertising dollars. At a minimum, publishers should be able to prove that they’re taking steps to resist advertisement fraud like MRC and TAG though business accreditations and certifications.
Where do we go from here?
We’re seeing the pendulum swing in the direction before getting an actual dollar commitment of publishers wanting to show the quality of the offerings to advertisers. Ad fraud has risen to a level where several top brands are demanding effort and greater transparency out of their publishing partners. By way of example, Procter & Gamble has said that it will not work with any media partner that does not take the required steps to become TAG.
As a business, it’s in our interests present our advertising partners with an excellent product and also to fight against fraud. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has implemented a mandatory requirement that all members register with TAG as a way of demonstrating the businesses commitment to eliminating fraud.
We as publishers know better than anyone that providing our clients with a quality product isn’t only our responsibility, but that our very survival as a business depends on it.