As the impact and likelihood of encountering ad fraud increases, advertisers grapple with finding a reliable way to combat it. And while there are many tactics that brands can deploy to thwart ad fraud, it is easier said than done.
Many marketers are familiar with basic advertising concepts, from lead acquisition to conversions — both via organic and inorganic efforts. They analyze each step along the way to understand the success or failure of their ad campaigns. But, ad fraud is... well, different.
The primary culprits behind ad fraud are bots and scripts that siphon money off the system and make it look like advertisers had the desired impression, click, or both. In other words, ad fraud is the shadow in the shadows.
We want to believe you already know that. We also want to believe that you're aware of other dangers of ad fraud. In any case, we're assuming the question is already circling your mind: "How do I fight ad fraud in my online marketing efforts?" Hey, for all we know, you might even have the all-out version: "Why do I need to invest in ad fraud tools when there are lots of other things I can do to fight it?" Our response: you're in the right place and at the right time.
In this article, we'll help you understand why implementing ad fraud tools is the most efficient way to combat ad fraud. Among other things, we'll look at the benefit of using these tools and compare them to a few other valid options for tackling fraud.
Moving Back to Move Forth
Let’s start with the big picture. Before the late-90s, there were no bots and no easy or inexpensive solutions to flag potential ad fraud. In fact, there was no such thing as online ad fraud — it began only five years after the first internet ad went live. This was as archaic as online advertising gets.
Additionally, ad networks charge based on volume, which can lead to ad fraud and false impressions going undetected for months. At the time, and to prevent ad fraud, advertisers had to rely on ad networks to guard the advertising industry against these baleful practices.
And then *drum roll*... ad fraud detection tools made an appearance. They weren't as efficient as they are now, of course. Nonetheless, it was a start that gave companies a new perspective on how to fight back.
Advantages of Using Tools to Fight Ad Fraud
Things are much improved today, and that’s saying a lot for both ad fraud and the detection and prevention tools bent on combating it. Nowadays, ad fraud tools do much more than just detect fraud on ads — they make ad operations faster, easier, and more accurate.
This allows you to focus on other marketing operations. Manually analyzing and detecting unusual patterns in your live ad campaigns, while ineffective but still doable for some, will take up a lot of time that is better spent delivering an exceptional level of service to your customers.
Automatic adaptation to traffic changes
Most anti-ad fraud technologies are AI-driven. Taking a lot of factors into account, they can differentiate between fraudulent activities on your ad campaigns and a spike in traffic that is caused by a trend or news headline, for instance.
Ad diagnosis reporting
The tools provide detailed, granular ad diagnostic reports of your ad campaigns, allowing you to cut through the noise and focus on the data that matter. If you were to establish insights behind the data, it would also mean fewer skewed numbers.
Identity monitoring and fraud prevention
There is more to this than meets the eye. Distinguishing between fraud accounts and actual users can help reduce your cost per acquisition. Unlike the manual inspection of ad campaign reports, anti-ad fraud tools can identify and filter out shady traffic from legitimate sources that might have been doctored.
Companies who use these tools will have a more transparent view of what is or isn't working in their ad operations. Wave goodbye to finger-pointing contests or the need to reinvent the wheel every time you have an issue with your ad campaigns. Using ad fraud tools will lead to improved analysis, focus, and, in turn, more effective execution.
Most of these tools can be integrated with a wide range of marketing channels. The integration options also range from mobile apps, analytics software, email services, ad networks, and more. This will help your company further streamline its ad operations.
The Other End of the Rope
Ad fraud detection tools can be used to detect and flag fraudulent activities on ad campaigns, but advertising policies geared towards eliminating fraudulent activities may also be effective. The problem with this, as with manually detecting ads, is its inefficacy.
Policies limiting ad fraudulent activities will negatively impact ad operations too. Fraud is a pest, and hitting it with the policy hammer will also hurt the host.
These are aside from the fact that it is unlikely to enact a global policy that appeals to all regions of the world—with the differences in culture and values, which inevitably pierce through mediums such as internet advertising—and does a good job of discouraging ad fraud in the industry.
Why not have each local regulatory body set its own policies? Concerns remain about dealing with different brands with different customers from different industries. The sheer number of variant ad fraud tactics is enough to make policymakers shiver.
Anti-ad fraud tools are instant. You can implement them regardless of your company size, location, or growth stage. Instead of waiting for policies that might take years before yielding any result, we recommend taking full responsibility for protecting your brand.
Ad fraud may be causing your ad performance issues and wasting your ad budget. Check out our free trial to identify and stop ad fraud, and start seeing the campaign performance you deserve!