In the digital advertising ecosystem, ad fraud is a serious problem. Ad fraud comes in many different forms, like click fraud, search ad fraud, ad injection, ad stacking, domain spoofing, and pixel stuffing. Each of these schemes are damaging to the advertising industry, costing businesses more than 6.5 billion in 2017.
It’s easy to fall victim to ad fraud, but it can be difficult to beat fraudsters at their own game. Hiring an ad fraud protection vendor is a smart move that adds an additional layer of protection against fraud.
When shopping for a vendor, you want someone who’s familiar with the industry and knows exactly what to look for. To ensure you choose the right one for your brand, you’re going to need to ask questions.
When vetting an ad fraud protection vendor, make sure they can answer questions like:
What Are the Early Warning Signs of Fraud? Make sure your vendor knows what to look for. For instance, common signs of ad fraud are high click through rates with no conversions, high rates of abandoned shopping carts, or traffic coming from areas outside of your target range. If your potential vendor can’t answer this basic question, then they certainly can’t protect you from ad fraud.
What Is Your Track Record of Success? Don’t be reluctant to ask for a proven track record of results. If a vendor claims to have great results, ask for evidence like a case study. This will allow you to see other businesses’ experiences with this vendor, and will help you decide if they’re the right choice for you. However, a caveat to this is some businesses may not divulge data due to non disclosures, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
What Am I Paying For? When investing a significant amount for ad fraud protection, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting. Do you get access to an analytics dashboard, an account manager, 24/7 support, etc.? Does the vendor just identify bad traffic, or do they scrub it, too?
How Does Your Technology Work? Knowing how the vendor’s technology works will reveal how they plan to mitigate and protect you from fraudulent activity. Ideally, your vendor should help you avoid paying for non-human traffic sources, like bots, which could give you false impressions and clicks, ultimately wasting your advertising budget.
Can a Third-Party Evaluate the Ad Performance? Make sure there’s no stipulation in the contract that only your vendor is allowed to evaluate performance. You may also want a second vendor to audit and analyze your results, too.
Almost a quarter of all digital spend is lost to fraud. With fraud on the rise, it’s best to consult an expert if you don’t feel comfortable managing your ads alone. But, before doing business with an ad fraud protection vendor, you should feel assured that they will support your business and negate ad fraud.
Don’t be a victim, demand transparency. Ask about your vendor’s technology, successes, failures, and accreditations. This will give you a better understanding if the vendor is a good fit with your brand.
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