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Practical tips for marketers in Southeast Asia to prevent mobile ad fraud

Mobile advertising fraudsters have already pickpocketed marketers and advertisers in 2018, stealing more than $34 billion. It’s predicted though that by 2022 this number will increase significantly and become terrible $87 billion. Statistics show that more than half ($19 billion) spent on fraud comes from APAC countries. Despite these startling figures, they shouldn’t be perceived as unexpected. Al least because of the Southeast Asia region, where market conditions are convenient enough for fraudsters to flourish.

In accordance with eMarketer research, all industries in Southeast Asia met the rise in expenditures on mobile advertisements by more than half in 2018. In the meantime, the rate of mobile penetration is growing in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and others as well, whereas other countries in the region have already achieved the level of mature mobile markets. Simply put, more smartphones mean higher advertisement expenditures and simultaneously these changes attract more swindlers seeking dirty money.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean all marketers in Southeast Asia should quit their mobile advertisement campaigns because of the possible losses and risks in digital advertising. Instead, they’d better focus on actions that allow protecting investments and trustworthy channels, that probably won’t be involved in ad fraud.

Here are the trusted tips for making sure you won’t fall into the fraudsters’ hands:

Rely on partnerships

Every advertiser, who is in need of fraud-free marketing and safeguarding their investments, should pay closer attention and exploit opportunities given by affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a safe place to do business because affiliate partners are paid only for verified actions, such as customers’ purchases. That’s why the occurrence of fraud, in this case, is much lower than in channels, which use softer metrics, such as impressions or clicks.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t imply that affiliate programs are free from dishonest players. In fact, it’s the other way around. Due to the growing share of the revenue generated by businesses with the help of affiliate marketing, the desire to cheat the system is ever increasing. Therefore, marketers should keep pace with the times and challenges. Furthermore, they need to take protective measures to make sure partnerships are reliable and their results won’t be damaged by fraud. The next tips are devoted to the establishment of beneficial and protected partnerships.

Take care of your data flows

It’s fairly reasonable to take responsibility in partnerships as well as in all marketing channels. It’s possible if all parties are ready to provide strong data flows and ensure regular monitoring of input. This is especially important for detecting any unprecedented anomalies and vulnerabilities in a company’s program before they get out of control. Data inconsistency and variance don’t always stem from fraud in one’s partner’s system, but at least you’ll be sure that this part is checked and warranted. Forewarned is forearmed.

Substantial differences in variances in the main metrics of your program will definitely require a closer look. For instance, unexpectedly low publisher conversion rates could signify a click fraud in your cost-per-click (CPC) campaign. Similarly, extremely high rates can be a sign of so-called creative fraud, where an advertisement promises super attractive but unauthorized offers, which don’t exist in reality and that’s why disappoint customers and damage the brand’s reputation.

Establish sophisticated systems to protect your business from fraud

Undoubtedly, it’s better to prevent any possibilities of fraud coming before it can occur or even start damaging your business. Therefore, let’s look at some measures proactive marketers can take to prevent fraud:

•  One reliable way to prevent fraud in advance is to implement fraud protection tools or measures as a part of your affiliate management program. These tools may include utilizing industry blacklists or blocking already identified IPs of known fraudsters.

•  Incorporate your affiliate program with the on-site attribution stack to make sure that the parties allowed for a conversation definitely deserve the credit. It’s common for companies not to include partner channels in their broader attribution efforts. However, realizing the volume of business that flows through these channels, companies can integrate these efforts into a bigger picture, so that they will be able to eliminate suspicious activities in all channels of their business and partnerships.

•  Finally, you can safeguard potential payments, applying strict rules for getting approval. If, after all, illegal transactions happen, your business will be safe, because connecting both your validation and payment process ensures that you won’t approve or pay for suspicious transactions.

Be open with your affiliate partners

We’re moving to the last and probably the most effective tactic for keeping your affiliate programs free from fraud. Make your communication with partners sincere and regular. Always remember you’re working on one common goal. Be cooperative, share data, and discuss malfunctions and anomalies. It won’t only allow identifying fraud before it ruins the entire system, but it will also establish a cycle of continuous feedback and improvement that will eventually turn into a growth of the business.

Unfortunately, reality tells us that the marketing and advertising fields will never be free from fraud due to its huge economic influence. In Southeast Asia in particular, the market will grow in lucrative channels, in which customers are most interested. It’ll inevitably lead to more and more fraudulent attacks. That’s why, to protect your company from dishonest players, choose more transparent channels like affiliate marketing, and set up effective regulations for keeping open communication and constant improvement.

 

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