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"F" is for Fraud: The ABCs of How to Clean up the Supply Ecosystem

Fraud is expected to cost advertisers $19 billion in 2018, rising to $44 billion by 2022, according to Juniper Research. That’s because fraudsters are smart—as we solve for certain types of fraud, they will increasingly devise new ways to cheat the system. Fraud is likely not a problem that will completely go away, but it can certainly be mitigated with the mix of technological tools and human evaluation. Here are a few of the approaches that might help drastically reduce the amount of dollars that go down the drain due to fraud.

AI: You thought we were going to say ads.txt didn’t you? While the IAB initiative is certainly a step in the right direction and a great tool to have in the fraud-blasting marketer’s toolbelt, artificial intelligence is an evolving technology that can rise to the occasion of stopping fraud in its tracks. How? Well, AI can analyze more data than any human can. It evaluates vast amounts of data at astonishing speeds, plus gets smarter over time. As fraudsters learn how to mimic real advertising behaviors, AI will be able to cut through the data to see what is legitimate and what is not and squash spend on these rogue behaviors in real-time.

Blockchain: Blockchain records and enables, via a digital ledger, a permanently secure and trusted chain of information that you can then utilize across a range of applications. For example, blockchain has been adopted in the finance industry to reduce friction, complexity and costs related to financial transactions. In an ecosystem like marketing that has a lot of intermediaries, shifting to a distributed system will allow marketers to conduct campaign auditing and impression tracking in a secure place to learn if their target audiences, not bots, are actually viewing their ads so they get what they pay for.

Curated supply: As we’ve mentioned before, the supply landscape is currently a convoluted place. It’s hard to know what to buy when, from whom and via which strategy (private marketplace, direct deal, open exchange, etc.). In addition to being educated, having partners who can hand-curate brand-safe, fraud-free supply deals for you means you know exactly what you are getting without having to put in the heavy lifting yourself. Working with partners who have access to technology that uses premium publishers, third-party verification tools and goal-based optimization to orient marketing KPIs to true business outcomes like sales that fraudsters currently cannot mimic will help clean up your supply chain.

Photo from Creative Commons

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