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B2B marketers anti ad-fraud playbook

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what are things that performance marketers can do themselves to reduce their exposure to ad fraud? They dont need specialized verification tech; they just need to know where to look in their own analytics and what to look for. Here are some starting points.

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B2B marketers anti ad-fraud playbook

  1. 1. November 2018 / Page 0marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou B2B MARKETER’S ANTI-AD FRAUD PLAYBOOK Augustine Fou, PhD. acfou [at] mktsci.com
  2. 2. November 2018 / Page 1marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou “Digital ad fraud is literally the bad guys’ ATM – it spits out cash. And every year $300 billion of marketers’ digital ad budgets refills it.”
  3. 3. November 2018 / Page 2marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Executive Summary Marketers can take control and fight fraud with analytics/insights 1. B2B or “performance” marketers should not assume they are immune to ad fraud. Bad guys use tech to easily create clicks and trick performance measurement and attribution. 2. Marketers can run one or more of the following “plays” themselves without any specialized fraud detection tech to see if they are exposed to fraud. 3. Each “play” tells marketers where to look and what to look for in their own reports and analytics, so they can take action when they find fraud.
  4. 4. November 2018 / Page 3marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Despite fraud detection tech… Obvious fraud still gets through; analyze and turn off the fraud Launch Week 3 and beyondWeek 2 Initial baseline measurement Measurement after first optimization After turning off more “sites that cheat” 30% bots 15% bots 3% bots
  5. 5. November 2018 / Page 4marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Ad fraud is at all-time highs There’s $100B in digital ad spend to steal from, year after year U.S. Digital Ad Spend ($ billions) Actuals Projected Digital Ad Fraud ($ billions) ($300B worldwide per year)
  6. 6. November 2018 / Page 5marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Bad guys avoid/ trick detection Blocking of ad tags, altering measurement to avoid detection Detection Tag Blocking— analytics tags/fraud detection tags are accidentally blocked or maliciously stripped out “malicious code manipulated data to ensure that otherwise unviewable ads showed up in measurement systems as valid impressions, which resulted in payment being made for the ad.” Source: Buzzfeed, March 2018
  7. 7. November 2018 / Page 6marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Anti-Fraud Playbook
  8. 8. November 2018 / Page 7marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Measure Full-Funnel, Always Measure Ads Measure Arrivals Measure Conversions 346 1743 5 156 A B 30X more human conversion events • More arrivals • Better quality more humans (blue) good publishers low-cost media, ad exchanges
  9. 9. November 2018 / Page 8marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Shift budgets to higher quality Some channels have more humans, shift budget to these • Blue means humans • Red means bots Where to find this? Your own bots versus humans measurement, with detailed and complete supporting data. What to look for? Be sure to measure for both bots and humans; rank order channels, sources, or sites by highest humans first. What to do? Some channels have more humans (blue) and others have more bots (red); shift budgets during campaign to more human channels.
  10. 10. November 2018 / Page 9marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Very high click-thru rates Click rates that are significantly higher than benchmark are suspect Where to find this? Any placement reports from DSP, ad server, etc. What to look for? If display ad CTRs are significantly above 0.1% it should be investigated. Also, if click rates are identical from day to day, something is strange. What to do? Identify the sites that exhibit abnormally high CTRs and turn them off. Stop buying from them. CTR Benchmarks over Years
  11. 11. November 2018 / Page 10marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Click-thru rates by domain Detailed reports by domain reveal obvious fraud Where to find this? Your campaign reports, with details by domain. What to look for? If click-thru rates are 100%, something is wrong; be sure to ignore low volume rows. What to do? Identify the sites that exhibit these abnormal click-thru rates and turn them off in the campaign interface – don’t buy the fraud any more.
  12. 12. November 2018 / Page 11marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Abnormal traffic patterns Humans sleep at night, visit sites during waking hours Where to find this? Hourly analytics reports (e.g. Google Analytics, ad server reports) What to look for? Are there normal fluctuations in volume (lower overnight, higher daytime); if flat across, then something is wrong. What to do? Identify the sites or impressions that exhibit abnormal patterns and turn them off. Stop buying. Abnormal – flat across Normal daily fluctuations
  13. 13. November 2018 / Page 12marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Abnormal data consistency When analytics are TOO consistent, something is suspicious top 4 referring sites – exact same pattern Where to find this? Hourly analytics reports (e.g. Google Analytics, ad server reports) What to look for? If select parameters look too similar across multiple domains, that is suspicious (e.g. same pages/session, ultra low bounce rates, 99% Android visits). What to do? Identify the sites that exhibit abnormal consistency; investigate further andd turn them off.
  14. 14. November 2018 / Page 13marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Compare to organic benchmarks Paid traffic characteristics benchmarked against organic traffic Where to find this? Your own analytics reports What to look for? Look at organic traffic benchmarks (this tells you what people do and how long they stay). Compare your paid channels to this benchmark. What to do? If your paid channels are significantly different from your organic, then something is wrong. For example if display ads show much higher bounce rate, or much lower time on site, something is suboptimal. Paid channels compare favorably Paid channels don’t compare favorably
  15. 15. November 2018 / Page 14marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Zero conversion sources Zero conversions, no change when turned off; not worth spending Where to find this? Your own analytics reports What to look for? Be sure to select metrics that are not quantity metrics that are easily faked by bots; look for large volume sites/referrers that yield zero conversions What to do? Identify the sites that show zero conversions; pause or turn off ad spend and see if there is any change to overall conversions or conversion rate. If no change, then leave off (it wasn’t driving anything anyway).
  16. 16. November 2018 / Page 15marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefoulinkedin.com/in/augustinefou Display 4 2,036 humans human conversion rate Compare actual outcomes Site Traffic Conversions 8,482 818 4,216 humans 5% human conversion rate 14,539 193 225 humans 9% human conversion rate 2,248 23 168 humans 5% human conversion rate 1,527 9 Display 3 Display 2 Display 1 Humans 40%
  17. 17. November 2018 / Page 16marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou About the Author
  18. 18. November 2018 / Page 17marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Dr. Augustine Fou – Anti-Ad Fraud Consultant 2013 2014 Published slide decks and posts: http://www.slideshare.net/augustinefou/presentations https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/augustinefou 2016 2015 2017