“I’d never heard of the word ‘ad fraud.’ “I was beyond shocked when I learned that we’d received 90 invalid leads in a single month from our ads.” So says Ms. Kusahara of Porters Corporation. But thanks to Spider AF, she was able to reduce her company’s workload and improve CPA.
“Thanks to Spider AF, our display ads have become more effective.”
“A major deciding factor was the very manageable price of ¥30,000 per month, which made choosing Spider AF a simple decision in the end.”
Porters Corporation provides an application platform for HR business partners.
As head of marketing, Ms. Kusahara handles a wide range of duties, from lead gathering to sales. We asked her to tell us about her recent experience integrating Spider AF into her company's workflow.
Q. What are Porters Corporation’s marketing goals?
For lead generation, our goal is gaining a high lead (SQL, or Sales Qualified Leads) count; for inside business, it would be our appointment count. The definition of both is as follows:
Leads・・・Actions taken as a result of interest in a product. Leads can be seen as actions that turn prospects into proposals. These come from applications for information requests, free trials, etc.
Appointments・・・Appointments that can lead to business.
Q. Please tell us about your concrete advertising goals.
Although we do also try to attract seminar guests, we mostly try to generate leads. Our monthly budget for this is about ¥2,000,000. We use listing ads on Google and Yahoo, and display-type ads on Facebook and Instagram. Those four are our main advertising avenues.
Results Seen with Display Ads After Installing Spider AF
Q. What’s your most effective advertising medium?
Facebook is quite stable.
Our company is very particular to the business world, so randomly showing our ads to just any viewer doesn’t lead anywhere. In that sense, Facebook ads are a stable medium through which we can reach potential customers.
Recently, thanks to Spider AF, our display ads have become more effective.
Clicks Coming from Overseas and Businesses Who Won’t Pick Up the Phone
Q. May we ask you what issues you felt were present in your advertising distribution?
Certainly. From around April of 2021, we began to experience an increase in invalid leads and CVs. Then around May, it hit me that what we were going through was likely the work of bots… When these metrics all began to increase rapidly, I started to investigate what could be done about it.
Although I’d never even heard of ad fraud, I ended up learning that such a thing did in fact exist. Once I realized that Spider AF’s tools might be the answer to our problems, I got in contact.
Q. When did you figure out you were dealing with fraud?
Time and again, we’d make calls and get no response. At first glance, it seemed like a normal part of customer outreach, but once I looked into it, I realized these contact requests were coming from overseas. Our company displays regions via MA (marketing automation), which allowed us to realize these were likely requests for follow-ups coming from beyond Japan.
There were also cases where random lists had been put together of shops in specific neighborhoods. The shops, names, and phone numbers certainly did exist, but it seemed like the names and numbers corresponded to real entities, while the personal names had been added to the lists separately. We decided there had to be some sort of malicious intent behind it all.
There were even periods when we received these kinds of malicious contacts via our ads more than 100 times in a single month…
Q. I see! Just how much do you think this was occurring each month?
At the peak, we were dealing with about 100 cases of invalid leads a month. When I realized that it was all coming from our ads, I felt pretty horrified. Our lead territory is divided between enterprise and SMBs. Small-scale leads are taken care of in the field, whereas large-scale leads are handled internally. Either way, someone has to put in the hours.
Q. Sounds like a heavy workload. How many hours per month do you put aside for all this?
I’d say we usually check our leads for about 20-30 minutes per day.
When I first suddenly realized how odd this all seemed, I still felt it wasn’t something I needed to pursue, so at first we just worked around it, wasting an awful lot of time in the process. And since I was the one who had to check everything, those man-hours were actually my own.
But once it was clear that the attacks were coming through our ads, I started searching for potential solutions based on a new word: Ad fraud.
Deciding Factor in Adopting Spider AF
Q. Before installing Spider AF, you were thinking about working with other solutions, but…
That’s correct. We reached out to a few different options via contact requests or forms. In the end, however, the only one we went all the way to a trial period with was Spider AF.
Another major deciding factor was the very manageable price which made choosing Spider AF a simple decision in the end.
We hadn’t really placed an upper limit on the amount we were willing to spend on software adoption. But since we thought the damages were around $1,000 USD, we decided that should probably be the ceiling.
Results of Installing Spider AF | Detecting $1,100 USD of Wasted Ad Spend
Q. These results happened during your 7-day trial period. What did you think when you saw the actual data?
I remember that I wasn’t surprised, like, “It was that much?” What I actually felt was more like, “Ah, so it really was true.” I had only seen the CV data, so I couldn’t speak to anything else. But since I didn’t know how much ad fraud was coming from clicks without CV, I’m glad I was able to have the actual ratio shown to me.
・Results of installing Spider AF: Breakdown of $1,100 USD (Corresponding to approximately 12% of advertising expenses)
- Invalid access costs: $730 USD × Blockablity at 83%
- Invalid placement amount: $560 USD × Blockablity at 100%
・How invalid access costs are calculated
- 65 cases of invalid accesses over 7 days (12.45% of the whole)
- Calculating the total amount of damage, $185 USD → $740 USD per month
Results of Installing Spider AF | Invalid Leads Reduced by 95%
Q. We see that invalid leads were reduced by 95% before and after introducing Spider AF. Was your sales staff’s workload reduced as a result?
My own workload was made considerably lighter. Since our ads are distributed the same way throughout the whole company, our entire team really felt the impact of the reduced workload.
Results of Installing Spider AF | Valid CPA Improved by 15%
Q. At a glance, the data for this section looked pretty low before you adopted Spider AF…
That’s correct. Although a CPA of $40 USD may look low at first glance, when you narrow it down and focus on valid CPA, it was actually $50 USD. I think it’s a little lower now, at around $300 USD.
Q. So improving CPA is a pretty difficult hill to climb?
I do think it’s difficult. Although I had focused on leads and rarely paid attention to CPA, when it ended up being worth more than $500 USD, it was hard to avoid feeling like, “Well, I guess I do have to try something out here.”
Q. By the way, do your clients take responsibility for making those minute adjustments?
We decide the unit price, keywords, targeting policy, etc, on our end. We leave the adjustment details about spend and the intricacies of daily operations to our clients.
Q. I suppose you must still come in contact with some detailed metrics, despite the cooperation you have from your clients. Do you have someone knowledgeable on the topic in-house?
No, not particularly. I do, however, feel it’s important that we can understand the reports we receive from our clients, so I do the checking myself. I think that we need a process by which we can really put our minds to work regarding how to increase the amount of leads we generate.
Q. Since marketing at your company includes inside sales, it’s important that the person in charge of managing ads set the KPI, correct?
Yes, that’s right. We have our KPI set as SQL (Sales Qualified Leads), so right from the off, invalid clicks aren’t counted within our system. If the right person (in terms of normal personal information) comes around, we still don’t count them if they’re from the wrong business sector, and so on. I feel in that sense that our work is being carried out in a fairly substantive way.
Q. How do you currently use Spider AF?
I feel a bit apologetic having to say this, but we don't actually do all that much in terms of operating your solution. The reason for that is pretty simple: at this point, we hardly deal with any invalid CVs. When we do occasionally get one, we simply ask your company to perform an IP block and that’s usually all it takes to solve the problem.
The Most Effective Consequence of Implementing Spider AF Is Being Able to Block Invalid CVs
Q. Could you tell us about the biggest change you’ve seen since adopting Spider AF?
The eradication of invalid CVs. At the peak of the problem, we were easily dealing with more than 100 cases of invalid CVs, but in September, we only had five—quite the difference. We hadn’t even noticed them until last year, meaning we must’ve wasted an enormous amount of both money and effort in the past.
Q. Finally, could you tell us about anything you’re considering in terms of future strategy?
Our company needs to take on anything from small-scale projects to enterprise clients, but we’re especially interested in gaining more big-name clients. We're in the midst of changing our LP and messaging for both small/large scale, and we’re also working on switching up the creative side of the ads themselves. We’d like to achieve all these goals in the near future.
Thank you very much for today! Please leave us with a final message, if you would.
Following Spider AF’s Introduction, Porters has Been Highly Rated for its Detail-Oriented Support
If you're reading this and you’re in the human resources business, please feel free to reach out to us. Our HR business cloud serves to improve operation for employee sourcing and dispatch, and given our highly positive evaluation from current customers, we’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in our services. Our consultants will give their all to provide plans for the improvement of your business environment. For more information, please see our homepage.
Porters Corporation supplies application platforms for human resources businesses.