In an age where digital ads are clicked on average by only 3% of viewers, it is vital that every part of the funnel is protected. When left unregulated and unmonitored, ad fraud can destroy a business's profits before the company breaks even. It is by no coincidence that ad fraud remains one of the biggest threats to the digital advertising ecosystem.
When should you be expected to take measures to protect your ad campaigns? If you run online ads, the answer is yesterday. The next best time is right now. While many brands are worried about their competitors dominating the market, this more significant threat is lurking deep within everyone's pocket.
This brief article is meant to help you gain a better understanding of the ad fraud protection tool to choose in strengthening the core of your marketing strategies — and yes, getting this right can make or break your business.
We explored why companies use anti-ad fraud tools and why they are instrumental in all advertising efforts. We then looked at some of the effects of implementing the tools, offering insights into how the tools will help you refine your marketing operations.
Why Companies Use Ad Fraud Prevention Tools
Ad fraud identification process
Some companies may be able to manually monitor their ads to figure out if they have been compromised by fraudsters. There is, however, a problem with drafting such a plan.
In our interview with Interspace, they discussed how grave a concern this used to be before they implemented an ad fraud tool: “I think it was great that all members [their marketing team] could now easily understand/grasp what kind of web providers were suspected of fraud and for what reason because there was now an admin screen where we could monitor the numbers.”
The team’s expectation of anti-ad fraud tools was the provision of a mechanism in place where they could understand “what kind of logic is being used to identify fraud.” It worked. As such, it's not enough to simply want to identify ad fraud by yourself. Establishing a stable process, and with ad fraud tactics becoming more subtle by the day, is a challenge in itself.
Zucks Co is one of the largest smartphone-specific CPI ad networks in Japan. As a CPA ad network with a large number of projects, the company developed and used its own fraud detection tool.
When asked when they felt the need to then incorporate a third-party tool with their internal detection tool, Zucks Co’s Mr. Misawa replied: “We wanted to visualize the time between a click to installation but we ran into some difficulties at our admin screen when we tried to figure out how to graph this out when dealing with such large quantities of data.”
Taking the right steps in growing a business properly entails visualizing relevant data, especially if you have a customer base as large as Zucks Co's. Ad fraud detection tools can greatly help in this regard. “With Spider AF, I can look at data that couldn’t be visualized at our company,” added Mr. Misawa. “Through this, I got new information that I hadn’t noticed until now and began using it in our operations.”
Drecom is a company that does its business in the game, advertising, and web industries. Initially, they would link up the data that’s been totaled up from each of their web partners with their own SDK data and use that to adjust operations for canceled partnerships on the media side. This quickly became ineffective as the details on ad fraud were black-boxed, and “investigations into the causes as well as fraud prevention took up a lot of man-hours,” explained their specialist, Mr. Suzuki.
Everything got interesting when they decided to unionize the process by adopting a third-party fraud prevention tool. “After introducing Spider AF, out of the 10 million yen we spent on monthly advertising costs, about 55% or approximately 6 million yen was detected to be ad fraud,” said the specialist.
Anyone would agree that this money is better invested elsewhere. By automating part of the ad fraud prevention process, Drecom gained a competitive advantage over their old, daunting method.
Impacts of Implementing Ad Fraud Detection Tools
There are countless reasons to implement ad fraud prevention tools — from preventing click surges in ad campaigns, minimizing invalid or low-quality leads, recording more app installs but next to no user engagement, to blocking your ads from displaying on unrelated or inappropriate sites.
We have a bucketload of these use cases from several other brands, including how we helped Japan’s largest SSP operator clean its inventory of fraud.
Almost all of them reported a better business operation upon implementing an ad fraud prevention tool. Another theme we identified is that they all needed this solution, often more than they originally thought. In the interviews, these companies all shared how using ad fraud prevention tools saved them a lot of time.
Having an ad fraud detection and prevention system in place will help de-risk your brand of media backlashes, improve your ROAS, and much more. Better than anyone else, you know precisely where your ad operation needs help. Make it happen.
There is only so much you can learn from examples. Test out ad fraud prevention tools to find out if they are right for your business. Many of these tools have a free trial feature, so you can simply opt-out if the solution does not meet your expectations.
Regardless, keep in mind that without a system in place to correctly identify and eliminate ad fraud, your business could be endangered. In all your advertising campaigns, there is a risk of getting nothing but false positives and a lot of wasted time and effort.
We’ll leave you with these words from Drecom’s Mr. Kondo: “... I think that anybody that is affected by ad networks must work on fraud protection.”