The Seasonal Shopping Surge: Maximizing Cyber Monday ROI by Stopping Ad Fraud
Each holiday shopping period presents massive opportunities for advertisers. Many online retailers are preparing their media campaigns to take advantage of the expected surges in traffic, both in-store and online.
With the global economy, and consumer behavior, impacted by COVID-19, successful shopping seasons are more important than ever. Retailers are targeting an increasingly digitally savvy audience, which requires tailored campaigns to match. This increase in spending on digital advertising encourages the presence of ad fraud. Even brick-and-mortar retailers will still be using digital marketing techniques to drive footfall.
The Scale of Fraud
When we discuss ad fraud, we’re referring to traffic that's generated with malicious intent to either sabotage the advertising efforts of another business or for financial gain.
For example, a business may intentionally click its competitors’ advertising. They can click themselves, use programmatic scripts, or engage third parties that are experts in this kind of activity. The objective is to drain their competitors’ ad budgets so that fewer ads are shown to real users, making it harder for those retailers to attract new customers.
Engagements from ad fraud deliver no advertising return on investment. When online retailers are losing as much as 20 percent of their digital marketing budgets to fraudulent or invalid traffic, advertisers with no protection in place are essentially throwing away budget. Putting that in perspective, an e-commerce vendor with an advertising budget of $150 million could be losing $30 million to ad fraud and bots.
The problem doesn’t just stop with the largest retailers. SMBs with limited budgets are also victims of ad fraud as they generally have less or no protection, which makes them an easy target for bad actors. In an opportune period, it’s a loss they just can’t afford.
The Consequences of Low Conversions
Advertisers want their millions of ad impressions to drive a lot of clicks — strong vanity metrics of campaign success. However, when a large portion of this engagement is invalid, actual conversion rate is limited. Competitors that have factored and planned for ad fraud aren't exposed to low-quality, invalid or fraudulent sources and are therefore capturing more of the genuine target audience, leading to longer term growth.
During the busiest retail season conversion means more traffic and sales. For retailers, it’s about seeing the bigger picture and the impact proactivity to preventing fraud can make.
Planning and Prevention
A wave of consumer spending is always a high-pressure, yet exciting period for retailers. Marketing teams invest so much time, creativity and effort into producing a campaign that captures the attention of its target audience. Therefore, every potential loss must be considered and planned for, including ad fraud. Preparation is key to scaling with confidence.
The upcoming holiday shopping season will be a huge opportunity for retailers to generate elevated sales and make up for the losses unfortunately suffered over the past few years. It’s important marketing teams make every penny count by investing in better awareness, education and solutions that produce maximized ROI and help you conquer the competition.
Focused marketing teams, driving effective outcomes via solutions that deliver increased return on ad spend, as well as drive customer lifetime value, will conquer the competition. According to Statista, by 2023 ad fraud will be costing advertisers in excess of $100 billion per year. Is your business protected?
Scott Hamilton is the global senior vice president, industry solutions at TrafficGuard, a triple layered ad fraud detection and protection software for brands, agencies and ad networks.
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