Mobile app ad fraud is still a huge problem.
PubMatic recently released its quarterly mobile index for Q2, 2019. Among the findings in the report: the mobile advertising ecosystem, although improving, still isn’t clean. The report referenced data from DoubleVerify, which in April said that impressions for mobile app sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) have doubled year-on-year since 2017, and that the total number of fraudulent apps increased by 159% from 2017 to 2018.
If you’re bidding online for mobile in-app inventory, you can’t guarantee that all your ads are hitting real people. There are a few ways to combat this.
One is to work with a company that’s fully integrated in SDKs and knows that the devices they bid for are owned by real people. If they’re a legitimate people-based marketing platform, they’ll have a full, 360-degree view of those people’s digital selves (mobile, desktop, Connected TV, everything) and their real selves (ethically-sourced PII, demographic, and psychographic data).
This is a sticking point, however: many companies market themselves as people-based platforms, but don’t actually meet the criteria. Sort of like a pre-packaged “organic” food that has ingredients you can’t pronounce.
In open, real-time bidding, you’re bidding for mobile app impressions without a clear view of the whole picture. In addition to not knowing if you’re bidding for impressions that will reach an actual human being (and not, say, a bot), you may also be bidding for impressions in apps that drum up their numbers fraudulently.
There are third-party companies that help you audit the impression before the bid is placed, and you can leverage those companies. However, it’s best to work with a partner that has direct relationships with the app developers, has previously vetted them, and can prove your ads are hitting real people.
The biggest thing is making sure you’re targeting devices owned by REAL people, not bots.
Any partner you work with needs to show their work. At BRIDGE, we run reports for our customers that show how many REAL people saw their message, engaged with it, and performed the desired action based on the campaign’s KPIs. Because we’re a legitimate people-based marketing platform and deliver media across channels we can tell our clients when the people they’ve targeted have done things like visit their in-store location. We can also tell them if they’re missing opportunities by not targeting likely customers who have visited those locations.
Work with a partner that targets devices they KNOW are associated with real people. It’s the only way to ensure that you’re not wasting dollars by marketing to bots.
In the end, the best way to protect yourself against ad fraud is to not go where it is. Work with a partner that targets devices they KNOW are associated with real people. That way, you’ll know you’re not wasting dollars by marketing to bots.