Meet ALL CONNECT, Ltd., developer of internet connection distribution projects with among the top market share in Japan. We recently had a chance to sit down with its manager in charge of market unification to ask him about how he implemented Spider AF’s anti-fraud methods and what the results were.
Q. To start, please tell about how your company is structured and what your advertising goals are.
Our marketing consists of three departments; out of those three, two departments are involved with digital advertising. We manage our listing ads in-house with a little fewer than twenty marketing staff members. The purpose of our ad distribution is to complement sales—incoming communications from those ads are followed up on by our call center.
Reducing Invalid Clicks by Even 1% is Well Worth the Effort — But the Work Needed to Manually Block Users Using Other Solutions Creates a Bottleneck…
Q. It sounds like you were using another company’s tools before adopting Spider AF. Could you tell us more about that?
Since we invest a fairly substantial amount in listing ads, we would consider cutting even just 1% of expenses to be a significant improvement. Our internal search for cost-cutting methods led us to discover anti-fraud tools for reducing the amount of invalid clicks.
My predecessor as department head had used another company’s tools for six months, but those tools required users to be blocked manually, and the man-hours involved meant we weren’t seeing any real effectiveness in terms of cost reduction. It would take about three hours every week to manually operate the other company’s tools, so we were spending about twelve hours per month on refining those block settings. We decided to look for a replacement tool and eventually came across Spider AF, which was attractive because you can set it to block users automatically.
The Free Trial Detected that Approx. 20% of Conversions Were Invalid. The Results Exceeded Expectations and All Connect Decided to Move Forward with Adoption
Q. You analyzed 14 days’ worth of data using the Spider AF free trial. About 20% of all your conversions were detected as being invalid. How did you feel about these results?
While we'd expected to find some invalid conversions, the sheer amount of them we discovered surprised us. Like, “That’s a lot of invalid clicks!” The stats proved to me that this was something we needed to get a handle on, so we decided to go with Spider AF.
The trial period happened to run during one of our busiest periods, and our ads are distributed in such a way as to produce an upswing of 10-20% in CPA. Over time, these costs add up, which makes these types of invalid conversions especially problematic from a business perspective.
Essential Reading for Businesses Dealing with Sudden Jumps in CPC! How Harassment from Competitors Can Squander Your Listing Ads Budget
If we take a closer look at the breakdown of the invalid clicks, duplicate UIDs (at 87.2%) account for more than 80% of the total. An even closer examination of the data reveals that the same user made 41 phone call reservations during the 14-day period. And when we dove into the breakdown of invalid access cases, we discovered that the same user made up 64.5% of the total clicks.
Not only does having our budget taken up by this sort of thing result in meaningless expense, it renders us unable to get ads out to our target users in a timely fashion, causing us to lose out on important opportunities.
Spider AF detected clicks coming from numerous rival entities that were targeting ALL CONNECT. Clicks coming from a certain IP address occurred between the hours of 9 AM to 6 PM, which the fraudsters likely believed to be our work hours. The clicks usually briefly calm down around lunchtime, while our analysts also ascertained that the clicks tend to dissipate over the weekend.
Even though we want to block clicks coming from rival companies, it’s difficult to find them on the management screen.
I think there’s a great deal of value in trying out Spider AF’s product, in particular for sectors like real estate and the insurance business, where CPC, especially for listing ads, can rise sharply—as well as for sectors where competition is fierce.
Switching Tools Meant Cutting the Manual Workload to 1/6th, Reducing Time Spent Fielding Calls, and Upping the Conversion Rate
Q. You previously used another company’s tool which had you carry out blocking manually. How have operations changed since you switched over to Spider AF?
The twelve hours per month we used to spend on maintenance for our blacklist is now just thirty minutes per week spent checking the Spider AF dashboard. We were able to achieve some really effective cost-cutting results without putting in much effort at all. In terms of performance, we reduced our invalid conversion rate—and with the ratio of valid conversions increasing, productivity and capture rate both went up.
Our call center used to follow up on contacts coming in from ads, but half of the time the call wouldn't go through—the listed number was invalid. These days, the ratio of valid numbers has increased, which also helps our performance in other areas of the business.
Seeing Real Results – A Monthly Reduction of $20,000 USD worth of clicks!
Q. You were able to reduce your ad costs by $20,000 in a single month. How has your ad improvement progressed since then?
Reduced Ad Costs
3rd month after introduction - $7,000
4th month after introduction - $20,000
We’ve carried out LP optimization as we continue A/B testing. Our goal is to fine-tune the degree to which each listing ad matches our interim goals with regard to customer purchase motivation.
Doesn’t the Hosting Platform Handle Anti-Fraud? Why Should the People Running Ads Do Their Own Anti-Fraud?
Q. We often have people ask us, “If the hosting platform deals with this, then what’s the point of your product? Is there really a need to introduce this product on the ad submitter’s side?”
Yes, I believe there’s real value in doing so. Although steps to combat ad fraud are taken by the hosting platform, I believe it’s important not to accept these measures without critically questioning them, and also to introduce third-party tools so that you can maintain an environment in which you’re able to properly verify how things are going. I happen to personally come from a media representative background, so I’ve seen the advertising industry from a variety of angles; I know what I’m talking about here.
Q. Finally, please give our readers a word of advice regarding marketing fraud!
Ad fraud is like an unseen cancer. The way to start is by getting a medical exam (or a free trial, in this case) to get a sense of the numerical values involved.
Thank you very much for speaking with us!