Ad fraud solutions are a crucial tool for protecting your organization against the negative impacts of ad fraud. However, not all ad fraud detection and remediation tools are created equally. In fact, some ad fraud solutions fail at providing basic services like data transparency.
Instead, they expect you to just blindly accept their “results” without letting you know why a particular click, impression, or lead was flagged as fraud or any of the supplemental information you need to make more informed decisions in your digital marketing campaigns.
Data transparency may mean different things to different organizations. For example, some organizations emphasize accessibility in their definition, while others emphasize the integrity of data and proactive communication of information.
For an ad fraud solution, data transparency means that you get a complete report of why a particular ad impression, click, or lead generation form fill was flagged as fraud. It means you get a complete picture of your ad fraud statistics that is accessible, has all of the relevant data, and is proactively communicated in the most understandable format possible.
When an ad fraud solution provider is offering data transparency, you shouldn’t have to deal with a lack of vendor communication or detail in your ad fraud reports. It’s your website and your marketing data—so you should have easy access to it.
Why Data Transparency Matters for Your Ad Fraud Solution
Why does data availability/transparency matter for your ad fraud solution? Isn’t it enough to just get a report of which ad interactions are flagged as fraud so you can disavow those interactions?
1. Giving You the Data You Need to Get Credits from Ad Networks and Partners
Getting a refund or credit for fraudulent ad interactions from your online marketing partners can feel like pulling teeth at times. In some cases, an advertising network might assume that you’re simply displeased with the ROI you’re getting from their advertising platform and refuse to provide platform credits without some proof of fraud.
Unfortunately, “this one ad fraud tool flagged it as fraud” may not be enough to convince some advertising partners that you’re owed credit for all of the fraudulent impressions, clicks, and leads that they’ve fed into your marketing processes.
Having an ad fraud solution with excellent data transparency helps you overcome this hurdle and make getting credits/refunds for fraudulent ad interactions significantly easier. With data transparency, you can show the marketing network/partner exactly why specific interactions were flagged as fraudulent. This makes it harder for the vendor to deny a refund for the bad traffic.
At the very least, if you find that an ad network or marketing partner has excessive levels of fraud and continues to deny you ad platform credits or refunds for proven bad leads, you’ll know to cut ties with them and work with another one instead.
2. Helping You Identify Ad Fraud Sources
When ad fraud reports are a complete “black box” where you only get a count of how many ad interactions are being flagged as fraud and not where they’re coming from or why they were flagged, how do you know what the best way to stop that ad fraud is?
For example, say that you work with multiple marketing affiliates in an affiliate program. One day, you suddenly see a massive uptick in leads being flagged as fraud from that program. Without a clear idea of which affiliates added the flagged leads, you might be unable to cut off the source of the fraud.
Alternatively, you might be led to believe that the latest affiliate was the source when it was really another one who simply bided their time before opening the fraudulent lead floodgates—just so you wouldn’t suspect them as readily.
Or, what if the fraudster is routing their fraudulent leads through a massive botnet with multiple proxy networks? Without detailed tracking data, you would never be able to trace those leads back to their true source.
Botnets and proxy networks are part of the reason why IP blocking is worthless as an ad fraud mitigation strategy—the fraudster can simply switch to a new node in the botnet or route through a different proxy server to render IP blocking completely ineffective.
3. Potentially Mitigating or Preventing Legal Disputes
What can you do when an advertising network, affiliate partner, or other traffic source provider refuses to give you credits or refunds on the bad leads they send you? In some cases, it may be necessary to take legal action to recover your losses from fraud.
However, without detailed data about why an ad interaction is flagged as fraud, disputes with traffic providers can quickly devolve into pointless arguments where neither side can “prove” their assertions in a legal setting. This can make successfully reclaiming your stolen ad spend extremely difficult.
Having an ad fraud solution that provides transparent access to your data can help you if events reach litigation—though merely having the data to show to ad networks and marketing affiliates may prevent things from going that far.
4. Putting You in Control of Your Marketing Data
Data transparency means that you have access to some of the data collected by your ad fraud solution provider along with why a visitor was marked one way or another. This can prove invaluable for supporting your future marketing efforts by providing insights about the ad fraud targeting your campaigns.
For example, say that you notice a particular campaign is doing incredibly well. Normally, you would want to double down on this success—investing more in that campaign to boost results. However, when you check your ad fraud solution data, you notice that 90% of those leads are fake.
After accounting for the fraudulent leads, you realize that the campaign is actually underperforming compared to your other ad campaigns. So, having access to data that shows which leads were fake and which ads those false leads interacted with can help you make more informed decisions about your marketing. This, in turn, can help you avoid wasting money on ineffective ads and marketing channels.
Work with an Ad Fraud Solution That Provides Data Transparency Now!
Need help removing ad fraud from your online marketing and want to make sure you're getting all of the data you need? Reach out to Anura today to get started!
Anura customers have used their detailed ad fraud reports to show ad networks and marketing vendors exactly why their traffic was flagged as fraud and where it came from. This helped those ad fraud solution users reclaim their wasted ad budget. It also helped those advertising networks scrub bad partners from their platform so they could increase ROI for their customers (and thus, improve customer satisfaction and retention).