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MediaTrends

Video, Mobile and Native, Oh My! Tips for a Successful Omnichannel Holiday

October 11, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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Written in collaboration with native advertising partner Sharethrough.

It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas—at least at some stores. Not content to wait for Halloween, many retailers this year began putting up their holiday decorations before Labor Day. Christmas is closing in on summer!

The data shows they’re on to something. Some 8% of consumers begin making holiday purchases in September (and another 8% before that), according to the National Retail Federation. Even if they’re not yet purchasing, many shoppers are starting to research items in October, often browsing on their mobile devices. Keep reading to understand the top trends helping marketers capitalize on the evolving shopper journey across devices and the funnel to drive the most impact this Q4.

Mobile merry-making                

Not surprisingly, much of the spending we see in MediaMath’s platform is clustered around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and a lot of the action is occurring on mobile devices. According to MediaMath analysis of 2017 holiday campaigns across the globe, desktop and mobile traffic both spiked during those key days, but there were more uniques on mobile. A good strategy then is to go heavy on prospecting tactics on mobile and use desktop for remarketing where consumers are doing more shopping research. November is when both researching and purchasing spike (at 33% and 36%, respectively) according to NRF, but more people research in October (25%) than in December (11%).

When it comes to the type of ads, in-feed native ads should be on every marketer’s wish list. Some 70% of people use their phones to make purchase decisions during the holidays. In-feed native ads drive 29% higher purchase intent than standard banners. One ecommerce retailer saw a 79% jump in conversions with native compared to display strategies with identical targeting.

The good thing about native is it fits anywhere in the funnel and works for brand objectives ranging from raising awareness to driving conversions. Some 39% of consumers will search a brand online if they see it in a native ad headline. Marketers can purchase native directly in MediaMath’s platform workflow leveraging inventory from partners like Sharethrough.

Storytime

Video can help you capture the emotions and attention of your target shoppers early in the awareness phase. You can follow up video branding campaigns with native, display and other formats to bring consumers down the funnel. Ideally, you can seamlessly integrate video creative alongside other ad formats for your holiday campaigns, reaching your audience with multiple ad formats to build brand storytelling and eventually lead consumers down the purchase funnel.

According to the native advertising specialists at Sharethrough, a few best practices for native creative will go a long way toward improving the story that your brand tells consumers. For instance, while you might assume that shorter headlines do better in this environment, headlines need to tell a story. “Thanksgiving Recipes” gets the point across, but is too generic to prompt anyone to click. But “10 Mouth-Watering Recipes That Everyone Will Love” all but dares you not to click.

Thumbnail images should also tell a story. Don’t just show a product—present a slice-of-life moment where the product is being used. For instance, a picture of a virtual reality headset is dull, but an image of someone engaged with the device as friends look on is more engaging. Finally, on a practical level, avoid using text in images because it might get cut off. If you must place text on images, then make sure the text is centered.

Make your list (and check it twice)

Since many consumers begin thinking about their gifts in October, leverage granular targeting based on real-time browsing when possible. It’s important to reach these consumers early because CPMs spike in December, when everyone else is trying to target the same consumers. The messaging a marketer employs to reach these consumers depends on the industry. CPG brands need to reach consumers when they’re in store, while jewelry retailers might use addressable TV to reach their target consumers.

Wrapping up

This holiday season, marketers have an opportunity to use multiple touchpoints to reach consumers before they click “buy.” In addition to mobile, video and in-feed native, marketers can also employ audio and digital-out-of-home ads to influence target consumers on their list. The trick is to get started sooner than the competition when CPMs are lower and consumers are more open to messaging.

MediaTrends

MediaMath and OpenX Talk Cleaning up the Supply Chain At Advertising Week NY

October 5, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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It’s been a busy week for MediaMath and some of our clients and partners at Advertising Week New York! Our subject matter experts participated in four MediaMath sessions and three partner sessions. One of those sessions was a fireside chat with our partner OpenX on opt-in video with MediaMath GM of Media and Growth Channels Lewis Rothkopf. Lewis later sat down with OpenX Co-founder Jason Fairchild to talk on video about our strengthened commitment to policing fraudulent supply partners and what steps we are taking to ensure quality in our platform (read more in coverage by AdExchanger). Watch the interview below.

IntelligenceMediaTrends

Blockchain and Adtech: First Things First

October 4, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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This byline by Underscore CLT President Isaac Lidsky originally appears on MarTechSeries.

Let’s not get way out ahead of ourselves.

Yes, blockchain will solve many of digital marketing’s longstanding structural challenges. Far better, it will usher in a new wave of innovation. Publishers, marketers and their customers will benefit greatly, with more meaningful interactions that engender trust and loyalty—and produce better results at lower cost.

But first things first.

The mere availability of better technology does not yield the will to adopt better business models that leverage that technology. Quite the contrary, prominent wrinkles emerge whenever technology forces an industry to consider “better.” Better for whom? Better how? Better when? To be extreme about it: those who perpetrate fraud will resist technology that detects fraud. To be less dramatic: innovation is as much threat as it is an opportunity, and it’s often unclear initially which is which.

Here we arrive at a chicken-and-egg problem: Do we blame the internet’s legacy “pipes” for the opacity, complexity and intolerable friction in digital marketing? Or do we blame entrenched interests in the industry for failing to deliver something better?

Either way or both, ours is an industry that has tended to meet intermediation and complexity with more intermediaries and greater complexity. The result is, unsurprisingly, a mess.

Far too often, there is a disconnect between (1) value provided and (2) cost.

A disconnect because thorny, practical realities can impose economic risk or other challenges. A disconnect because pricing models can obfuscate practical realities (with good intentions or bad). A disconnect because obfuscation is an invitation to exploitation—”where there’s mystery, there’s money,” as the saying goes. A disconnect because some deliver too little, charge too much or both.

A disconnect because most ad impressions these days involve numerous companies, and as the circle widens, complexity grows exponentially, and with it the number and extent of…disconnects.

The business of digital marketing is a bizarre poker game in which some folks cheat, everyone bluffs and neither the number of players nor their identities is necessarily known to all the contestants. As advertised, it’s a mess.

Now we have blockchain to help clean up the game, but it has entered the poker room at an awkward time. We’re mid-hand, towering stacks of chips around the table, many players deeply invested in the status quo and champing for another deal.

“I’ve got a great idea,” says blockchain. “Let’s turn up the lights all the way, identify ourselves, flip over our cards and play everything straight. The chips are far more valuable if we work together—let’s divvy them up ‘fairly.’”

Because blockchain is the anointed harbinger-du-jour of transparency—in business practices, economics, functional value, etc.—the poker players are expected to celebrate the suggestion. Make the pie bigger instead of fighting for a bigger slice? Everyone must love that idea. Force out all the bad actors? You’ve gotta want it bad unless you’re one of them (and you’re not, of course). Put down your cards mid-hand and (truly) partner with your committed opponents in a new, as-yet-undefined endeavor? In the name of transparency, we demand an enthusiastic “yes!”

We’ve not been disappointed; the lip service is impeccable. From all corners of the industry, we hear the cry of “blockchain!” Now the buzziest of buzzwords, the message is clear: it’s here and it’s happening, so even if you don’t understand it, don’t believe it or don’t want it, you’d better pretend that you do. There’s a lot of pretending going on.

We know better. In actuality, the thieves lurking in the corners are wondering whether they should run away, cop to their cons, protest their innocence, cook up new hustles, work the old ones a few more times before the curtain falls or all of the above.

Many of the players simply want to keep playing the game they showed up for—or at the very least, to finish the current hand!

Those with the biggest stacks of chips aren’t too excited about redistribution, and those with dwindling stacks are similarly reluctant to let any of their chips go. And yes, bluffing is part of the game. But if you play well, you’re rarely caught doing it. It’s one thing to be suspected in general and another thing entirely to be caught red-handed deal after deal.

Blockchain will not be universally embraced anytime soon. Its adoption is an existential threat for some, a temporary crisis for others, a strategic dilemma for most and a complex reordering of business relationships for everyone. It’s this challenge—the business implications of the technology—that we now confront. We miss the forest for the trees if we see blockchain as a technology. It’s not; it’s a momentous opportunity to improve the way business is done.

  • Are you willing to change the way you do business?
  • Are you willing to carefully confront the real-world practicalities and complexities that have led to this moment—to understand how they’re accommodated today and ask how blockchain can help us do better tomorrow?
  • Are you willing to expose to your customers how you charge, for what, when and why? Are you willing to show your cards, stop playing poker and start rebuilding the industry?
  • Are your partners, vendors, clients, and competitors willing to join you?

Blockchain has already given us magical technological achievements to celebrate, and there will be many more, in our industry and others. But first things first: are you really ready to use it?

Media

MediaMath Pens An Open Letter to SSPs About the Way They Conduct Business

October 3, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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Today, MediaMath sent an open letter to our 50 directly integrated suppliers telling them that we will stop buying from partners that play auction games. The announcement of our rollout of policies and procedures in the name of creating an economic incentive for fair, transparent programmatic auctions is covered in AdExchanger with commentary from MediaMath GM of Media and Growth Channels Lewis Rothkopf and Director of Product Management, Supply Anna Hewitt. An excerpt of the letter is below—read the full article here.

It’s been a challenging time for our industry, and for digital media more broadly: Congress continues to probe the activities of social media giants, again putting tech companies in the hot seat. The role of the “platform company” was spotlighted yet again as part of the seismic shift taking place in the marketing world. You can see aftershocks of this throughout ad tech: although not social platforms, our respective companies happen to be platforms as well, and we each have a critical role in maintaining the integrity of our own market. At risk is the ongoing sustainability of our industry. We can’t wait for government intervention to bring about true transparency and accountability.

Fighting over market share has diminishing returns when the pie starts shrinking due to an erosion of trust. Look elsewhere for an analogy: who “trusts” the cryptocurrency markets right now? We are facing a choice: clean up our act as an industry or hand the keys over to the Walled Gardens, who can apparently afford to apologize and move on when they experience lapses.

Marketers are tired of games, and don’t want to hear yet another explanation about something obscure in the auction that has inadvertently subtracted value from their marketing efforts. In response, MediaMath is rolling out policies and procedures to make even more clear our current prohibitions against auction manipulation, and any supply-side tactics that solely exist to unduly disadvantage other SSPs. We believe that SSPs can add the most value when they put their energy towards improving marketer outcomes, instead of myopically focusing on killing each other at any cost.

MediaTrends

CBSi Adopts Omnichannel Strategy Across the Richest Media to Build Subscriber Base for All Access Service

October 1, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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CBS Interactive (CBSi), a division of CBS Corporation, is the premier online content network for information and entertainment. More than 1 billion users visit CBSi’s 33 properties every quarter. With MediaMath, they increased their subscriber base by 25%.

In 2014, CBSi launched its subscription service, CBS All Access, with the goal of securing 2 million subscribers by October 2017. All Access differentiates from other streaming services by offering access to live events online, and is unique from CBS’ TV offerings through its exclusive content such as “The Good Fight,” “Star Trek: Discovery” and Will Ferrell’s “No Activity.”

To entice its consumer base to change their viewing habits and subscribe to a new service, CBSi needed to make high-impact placements on premium inventory to leave its audiences wanting to follow exclusive stories online. CBSi also sought to ramp up its online audiences across enough niche group types to support a wide range of programming and content.

CBSi began partnering with MediaMath in 2014 and chose the technology company for its omnichannel demand-side platform. Through a combination of MediaMath’s omnichannel social offering, cookieless, cross-device identity solution ConnectedID and proprietary data solution MediaMath Audiences, which uses predictive modeling to reach high-value audiences based on their demonstrated interests and behaviors, CBSi executed true omnichannel campaigns around several of the marquee shows exclusive to CBS All Access.

See how a true omnichannel campaign across five channels drove results  

Download this case study to learn how:

  • A privacy-compliant, cross-device identity graph helped accurately attribute mobile conversions
  • Facebook’s traditionally walled garden inventory purchased through an integrated, streamlined workflow allowed CBS to extend its programmatic audiences and attribution data to the social media platform
  • Digital-out-of-home impacted brand lift

 

MediaTrends

Announcing a New Workflow for Native to Help Make Marketing Consumers Love

September 5, 2018 — by John DeFilippis0

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Native advertising is projected to reach $41.14 billion in the US alone in 2018, and is growing at an even faster rate outside of the US, accounting for the majority in ad spend for the first time ever. While a large portion of that metric is made up of social websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, non-social advertising has actually been growing at more than twice the rate of social, and will continue to overtake other forms of media as marketers recognize that consumers react better to higher-quality creative units. Additionally, native ads have demonstrated a much higher engagement rate than other types of display inventory because ads match the format of the page they appear on for a seamless online experience with quality content.

MediaMath is making an enormous stride towards improving the quality of advertising that programmatic marketers deliver with our official launch today of native creative and supply within our DSP.  Now our clients can use a single platform to coordinate an even larger share of their media spend to provide a better experience for their consumers online and build the trust that translates into business outcomes, not banner ads. By partnering with Sharethrough, TripleLift and PowerLinks, MediaMath clients can now upload ad assets such as images, headlines, descriptions and click-through-URLs into their system and then use those assets across any one of those partners. In addition, MediaMath is testing running those same creatives across Facebook and Instagram, all in a single campaign.

MediaMath’s native launch will have several benefits that clients will begin seeing immediately:

  • Single platform workflow: Easily activate native as a channel within existing campaigns, and leverage creatives across all compatible inventory.
  • Improved customer experience: Native ads are less intrusive, and including native in omnichannel campaigns allows advertisers to employ frequency capping and creative sequencing.
  • Premium inventory: Premium publishers that care greatly about creating a good UX experience use native formats to seamlessly incorporate advertising into their site.
  • Bulk creative upload: We have an industry-unique capability to upload creatives in-bulk for compatibility across the widest range of inventory.

Want to learn more? I’ll be at Dmexco next week and would love to talk more about our native offering. Visit us at Hall 6.1, Aisle D, No: D041! We will also have a joint happy hour with native partner Sharethrough at our booth from 6.30 – 8.30pm on Wednesday. Come join us.

 

 

MediaTrends

Achieving Supply Chain Transparency, Avoiding Fraud And Dissecting The Working Media Fallacy

August 23, 2018 — by Lewis Rothkopf0

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This byline originally appeared in AdExchanger’s Data-Driven Thinking column. 

The legacy media supply chain is a mess, and marketers are fed up with it. Years of nontransparent practices up and down the media supply chain, which originated when buying from opaque ad networks was de rigueur, have taken their toll on the industry.

The supply chain is not just convoluted and prone to abuse – there’s much value being sucked out by those who just don’t need to be there. These same middlemen bring auction pricing challenges that need to be carefully and manually managed. Then, there’s often more than one aggregator in the mix who adds no value but introduces fraud risk and the need for third-party verification vendors.

The publisher starts from a standpoint of not knowing much – or anything – about the shape of the incoming demand. What are the marketer’s objectives? What is the most suitable ad environment for the message to be successful? And the ancient tech underpinning this whole thing – ad tags – are low-power, low-security, high-latency and easily co-opted by bad actors.

Frustratingly, fraud remains a meaningful problem in virtually all digital advertising channels, largely due to the historically low cost of perpetrating the crime. Fraudsters constantly try new ways to separate marketers from their money, including geotargeting fraud, wherein bots simulate presence in one or more high-value DMAs to tap the richest veins of demand. Location and other types of fraud will only grow as new channels and marketing tactics emerge.

The ad tech (non)tax

Unlike actual taxes, which are mandatory, no one would imprison a marketer for not using the services of one or more vendors. Indeed, if marketers want to buy media from publishers, with no intermediaries involved, they are generally free to do so: They can pick up the phone, negotiate a rate and mail a check to the publisher.

But they also need to be prepared to:

  • Pay more than necessary for media, because they lack the aggregate buying power of an agency or demand-side platform (DSP)
  • Accept without recourse any fraudulent impressions, nonhuman traffic or brand-safety issues that arise
  • Be responsible for any counting discrepancies between marketers and publishers
  • Actively monitor campaign performance and hygiene, with dozens of disparate nonstandardized reports from publishers
  • Hope that a critical mass of their target audiences is organically present to see their ads on the publishers’ sites or apps
  • Independently measure the campaign’s success at converting consumers or influencing perceptions
  • Pay in advance or promptly within 30 calendar days via automatic charge or consistent commitment

There are significant costs involved in making media transactions possible, safe, efficient and performant. But the current paradigm, in which publishers too often receive 20-45% of spend and much of the rest goes to intermediaries that don’t add value, is both unacceptable and unsustainable and has a deleterious effect on marketing spend and trust.

How much of a marketer’s dollar should reach publishers?

Marketers are right to insist that their suppliers provide transparency into their media procurement practices and eliminate players that add no value or do not align with their principles. But to consider only those dollars that have reached the media property owner to be working media is dangerous and self-defeating. The question marketers should instead ask: “Is our media working for us?

Consider an out-of-home advertiser that wants to launch a massive advertising campaign on billboards across America. It’s going to cost $100 to lease all the billboards. Everything else will cost $300, including designing the creative, hiring painters to paint the billboards and updating them throughout the campaign. Would the marketer conclude that 25% of the spend went to working media and the rest was a tax? Definitely not.

It is tantalizing to imagine that the executional science to make marketing safe, performant and effective is free. That is simply not true. By artificially limiting their success via the working-media thought trap, without the necessary context of the ingredients that make the media work, marketers risk leaving money on the table and their best consumers wanting more.

Where do we go from here?  

Marketers have the right to understand how their money is spent. They deserve to know what media or data they are buying and pay a fair price for it. They should work with suppliers and counterparties that respect this principle and enforce it up and down their own value chains.

Marketers should be wary of those who claim to add value without providing evidence. And they should discuss with their service providers how they and their downstream suppliers make money.

Marketers should not fall victim to the logical fallacy that says working media means the percentage of the marketing dollar that reaches the media property. Instead, they should maintain a sharp focus on driving real, measurable business outcomes, which can’t be faked, gamed or easily defrauded.

MediaTrends

Why Consumers Love Opt-in Video

July 26, 2018 — by Floriana Nicastro0

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In today’s media environment, attention is a valuable and increasingly scarce commodity. Consumers are exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day and switch screens as much as 21 times an hour. The average attention span is eight seconds.

In that light, asking a consumer to sit through a 30-second video ad is asking a lot. Consumers know this, which is why they are more open to the idea if they get something in return.

That’s the gist of some new research MediaMath recently conducted with the Mobile Marketing Association and OpenX in a report titled “The Consumer Engagement Crossroads: Getting consumers to opt in, before they opt-out.” The TL:DR version: most consumers prefer opt-in video ads, which reward them for their time and attention. Marketers who aren’t using the format widely might consider expanding their use.

The clear favorite

The study found that 80 percent of consumers are so dissatisfied with digital advertising that they’re considering ad blockers. That’s largely because the ads they’re seeing are irrelevant. Some 67 percent of respondents said the mobile ads they see are never relevant to them or are not relevant very often. When those mobile ads are relevant, they work very well. Sixty percent have clicked on a mobile ad, and some 20 percent of consumers say they bought something in the last week because they saw a mobile ad.

But not all mobile video ads are created equal. While only 12 percent of consumers said interstitial ads are very good and 19 percent said the same of pre-roll, 30 percent liked opt-in ads. Though marketers don’t use opt-in ads as much as the other formats, nine out of 10 agree it provides a better consumer experience than other ad formats; 80 percent say it offers a better ROI.

Why opt-in ads work so well

Opt-in ads originated in gaming. Usually, consumers opted to watch an ad in exchange for a reward or unlocking a new level. Its applications transcend that category, though. Consumers calculate that their time and attention is worth something. As is the case with their personal data, many are fine with trading their attention to get something in return. The research showed that more than 50 percent of consumers would be willing to watch ads up to 60 seconds long for discounts from retailers, premium video content and more. Some 77 percent of consumers would watch a 30-second ad to get a discount from a retailer.

Opt-in ads work so well because they give consumers control. By using the format, marketers communicate to consumers that they recognize that their time is important. The format is a rare win-win in the current media environment that both marketers and consumers find amenable. Combined with effective targeting, consumers may find such ads not only tolerable, but welcome.

MediaPeopleTrends

Connected TV Plays To Upper And Lower Funnel Metrics: MediaMath’s Fisher

July 20, 2018 — by MediaMath0

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Mike Fisher joined MediaMath almost a year ago to head up our video and Advanced TV and video efforts. He recently sat down with Beet.tv to talk about the space and what MediaMath is doing to position itself to capitalize on these channels in the years to come. An excerpt from his interview is below.

While connected TV definitely is the “low-hanging fruit for what we’re doing at MediaMath today,” within three to five years all linear impressions will become one-to-one addressable and targetable through the rise of IP video, “so we want to be well positioned to be able to play in that space as well.”

MediaMath doesn’t buy or arbitrage TV inventory. Rather, it sees itself as the connection point between buyers and sellers, according to Fisher.

“We’ve curated our list of supply sources that we do most of our transactions with down to, say, the top twenty percent of supply sources that drive eighty percent of the meaningful impressions that marketers are looking for,” he says.

Those sources include five network groups and three big virtual MVPD services in a fraud-free environment. “We’re never more than one hop away from the end seller,” Fisher adds.

MediaMath’s pitch to traditional TV buyers is one of reach and frequency and how they can shift a portion of their spend “to the same inventory and the same viewer model and the same screen they know how to buy but doing it in a smarter, more measurable way.”

The company tells the same story to digital buyers but with a twist since they already know how to buy audiences, measurable impressions and retargeted campaigns. “For the first time, a digital buyer has the ability to transact on the biggest most trusted screen in the house in a way that they know how to do and in a way that fits into their business model.”

MediaTrends

Ad Fraud is a Problem We Can Solve

July 12, 2018 — by Rahul Vasudev0

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This article originally appeared on CMO Innovation

Ad fraud is a major concern in the media industry, being rated as anything between a mild annoyance to the very death knell of programmatic advertising, depending where one sits on the issue. And if you thought this was a programmatic issue, studies show that direct to publisher campaigns also have 12% fraudulent impressions.

In the Asia Pacific (APAC), this is increasingly a critical issue, as the region’s total digital marketing spend is expected to reach $61 billion this year. As the market grows, the need to keep ad fraud at bay remains even stronger, especially when two out of the top five countries targeted by fraud on mobile are right here in the Southeast Asian region – Singapore and Malaysia. As consumers in Southeast Asia spend more time on mobile than any other market, the issue of fraud prevention warrants increasingly more attention.

With advertisers globally expecting to lose $19 billion to fraudulent activities this year, platform providers are certainly taking this issue very seriously. Beyond financial losses, what is even more valuable and can’t be measured is the loss of trust within the industry, which makes it evident that we need to take serious steps to address this issue.

Everyone has a part to play

While regulatory bodies work on achieving a set of common operating standards, ad tech platforms have the power to get on board and make serious inroads into cleaning up the industry.

As part of the industry’s efforts to curb ad fraud, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)’s ads.txt initiative, for example, gives content owners the power to deny access to fraudulent and spoofing sites. It is even more encouraging to see platform players jump on board and bolster antifraud suits with the addition of ads.txt across supply footprints.

Yet, adoption is still slow. For a publisher, removing part of the market is a potentially costly exercise and marketers ultimately want to reach as many potential customers as possible. The balance lies between a market that is more trustworthy and an industry that has much to gain from optimising buyer experiences.

Leverage data to clean up the ecosystem

At the same time, marketers need to have a strong company-wide position on what constitutes their programmatic strategy. It is incumbent upon marketers to understand exactly who they are targeting, know where to find those consumers and have a clearly defined set of high-quality, target inventory that matches their interests.

The knowledge of who the audience is, what they are interested in and what they’ve browsed recently is today radically enhanced by data from programmatic platforms. The same concept can then be applied to avoid fraudulent inventory, by leveraging algorithms that ensure an ad runs alongside authentic content that is most relevant to a brand and is being viewed by human consumers.

Other examples include partnering up with either blacklist or whitelist providers, or a combination of the two, to prevent the buying of false inventory. For example, marketers can blacklist pornographic, gambling or piracy sites to ensure that their ads are not featured on such websites. On the other hand, whitelists allow advertisers to assess a page and its suitability before placing an ad, effectively minimising the risks of fraud.

Working with programmatic platforms and brand safety vendors, the more the ecosystem pulls in the same direction to curb fraud, the closer the market will come to be a safe place for marketers to project their brand image.

Chase the right goals

Additionally, it is increasingly apparent that inappropriate or irrelevant goal setting can lead to an increase in fraud for a campaign. It’s easy for a bot to mimic a click, generate non-human views to a video with high completion, and drive downloads of an application. However, it is extremely challenging for them to purchase something, or use the application. In essence, bots cannot drive true business outcomes.

The better marketers get at clearly linking media spend to business outcomes, the lower the chances of them getting caught up in the vicious web of ad fraud. This, of course, isn’t easy and requires a lot of effort, but the prize is well worth it.

Education – the way forward

The final piece of the puzzle is education for the ecosystem to understand and address this challenge. There is a need for stakeholders, such as brands, advertisers and agencies, to come together and push for the understanding of ad fraud. As marketers arm themselves with the necessary knowledge, they will then be able to question their agencies on the measures in place to tackle ad fraud.

Ultimately, a multi-faceted approach such as the deployment of ads.txt tools, well-defined metrics, education and ensuring a clean supply chain is the way forward to eliminate ad fraud.