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Know your own Product and KPIs
- How many MB does your app weigh?
- What is a typical user flow ?
- how long does it take to achieve a certain milestone within the app ?
- Can one milestone happen before the next one ?
If your App weighs 250mb to download, it would take users a few seconds (at least) to download it. You don’t need any 3rd party solution to point this out.
If it is typical for users to download your app but open it later, a publisher providing conversions that instantly open the app - does not play well logically.
Compromise for nothing
There’s no reason for a media vendor to be opaque. And no real media inventory is generated without impressions.
Demand full transparency so that you can see the placements and full reporting over impressions, clicks and conversions attributed by your media vendor.
Some of the most sophisticated companies could have eliminated millions of waste by demanding transparency.
Even the best attribution solution available is a 3rd party solution. While your app is hosted on the app store and downloaded to users devices - the fact that a 3rd party solution handles attribution leads to a potential break in the chain. Fraudsters know this and know that many Advertisers rely on their attribution solutions blindly, to the point where they operate their entire marketing budget based on their attribution solution reporting.
Comparing the count between your attribution solution and the app store stats is critical to spot for major discrepancies. If your attribution solution shows 1M installs, but your app store only reports 100,000 , that may mean that you either made decisions based on wrong data , or worse , paid for conversions that never happened.
No one expects you to check every single variable, and no one expects you to be a master in statistics. The reason so many anti-fraud platforms exist is to help you catch activity at scale.
But as creative fraudsters invest resources, time, and effort, to do fraud , you should allocate some time to spot checking your activities.
But using a routine spot check, looking at reports, and asking questions about the obvious, you will be able to spot a lot of waste.
And remember the saying we started this article with: “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”
Five Easy Ways to Catch Ad Fraud
(and Save Your Budget)
Mobile advertising is infested with fraudulent players, ranging from small affiliates to companies who develop technologies to steal advertising budgets by gaining credit for results. Fraud has no incremental value to advertising.
We wrote about attribution fraud and the most common methods it is done.
There are numerous anti-fraud platforms available for Advertisers. Some anti-fraud platforms protect advertisers against attribution fraud, certain platforms work to show advertisers where their ads have been displayed, and some technologies maintain a database of IP addresses known to be fraudulent.
Solutions such as WhiteOps, TrafficGuard, interceptd are examples of dedicated anti-fraud solutions, protecting Advertisers by sampling traffic patterns, or by connecting to other analytics/attribution solutions to provide detection and prevention in real time.
Attribution solutions such as Adjust, Appsflyer, Kochava, Branch, and Singular, have also been offering some anti-fraud solutions - some, as part of their core offering, and some as a premium feature offered to Advertisers.
Whilst the various solutions offer detection and at times, prevention - there are a few additional things every marketer should consider doing to save a lot of hassle and waste. These five easy ways do not require any additional technology, either than a calculator 😬
Being King of the obvious
There’s a known saying: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is”
- Fraud traffic being artificial, usually provides Advertisers with results that are so perfectly aligned with their expectations that one would say it was obvious in hindsight.
- Premium placements offered by an unknown media vendor (“we represent Forbes.com, CNN, ESPN US inventories, from our small 2 people office in Cambodia”)
- Exceptionally low customer acquisition costs (“This new publisher is generating 1,000 conversions a day at $1 eCPA, when our target is $50. Amazing!”)
- Illogical stats (No, it’s not logical to see 100M clicks / day in a country of 80M people)
- Consistent, almost robotic patterns of performance
- Perfect correlation to organic results
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