Avoid Those Dark Alleys

By: Neil Weitzman, Managing Partner, Data2Decisions & Genevieve Guay, Managing Director,  AMNET

Neil Weitzman, Managing Partner, Data2Decisions
Neil Weitzman
Genevieve Guay, Managing Director, AMNET
Genevieve Guay

Fraud is an issue. That is no longer up for debate. We can argue what percent of impressions are fraudulent. We can discuss if it should stop us from investing in digital advertising (the answer is no, we should not stop investing in digital advertising, we just need to be vigilante and measure results effectively). But, there is no doubt that digital fraud is an issue.

So, how do we at Data2Decisions & AMNET work with advertisers to ensure the most effective advertising possible?

We hold true to three principles;

1)     Focus on REAL ROI Measurement

Set clear objectives for your media campaigns that focus on the measurement of real ROI. This makes it more difficult for fraudsters to falsify. Measurements such as click-through-rate, completion rate, or traffic to a site can be easily faked or gamed. You should always be measuring and optimizing based on a clear “conversion” activity (i.e. a sale, time spent, a subscription or a desired social engagement), since bots typically do not display human behavior.

2)     Data is NOT perfect, but what is?

At Data2Decisons and AMNET (the data & analytics marketing effectiveness arm and the trading desk respectively, of the Dentsu Aegis Network) we understand and evangelize that while data is never perfect, we must never stop asking questions, learning from the answers and optimizing to improve.

Fraud is a cause of imperfect data, and it’s important to remember that other media channels also have imperfect advertising data. When thinking of television advertising, the industry measures and trades on program ratings which do not effectively measure commercial breaks. Therefore there is certain degree of imperfection within TV advertising numbers as well. This has not stopped us from investing in TV advertising and shouldn’t stop us from moving forward in digital.

We believe that those who take action through analyzing and learning will make more profitable decisions and ultimately win!

3)     You get what you pay for!

Consumers always get what they pay for and marketers are no different. We must be willing to pay for the quality we want to receive. For digital advertising that means investing your money with trusted business partners that invest in fraud technology and verification that allows for blocking against inappropriate content, hidden waste, invisible ads, fraudulent sites, ad farms and ad stuffing.

So, in conclusion, where there is money to be made there will always be fraud. There is no perfect way to combat digital fraud. However, like street crime, there are ways to stay safe. There are ways to avoid those dark alleys with suspicious looking characters.