It's a little unsettling to read that marketers expect to waste $11.6 billion in advertising budgets this year due to bots, up 22% from 2013, according to the Solve Media survey findings released Tuesday. Fake traffic costs advertisers big bucks.
Some 59% of agency media buyers participating in the survey see bot traffic negatively affecting campaign performance. About 34% of online publishers surveyed admit they will implement technology to combat the decline in revenue media buyers have seen as a result.
Rob Griffin, EVP and global head of digital at Havas Media Group, said this problem doesn't affect direct-response search marketers as much. Major brands with conservative approaches to media buys don't worry as much because the losses are smaller for them. He said his agency does a lot of analysis to estimate and reduce losses.
The impact of bot traffic on campaigns can send a successful campaign to the grave. Some 41% of corporate brand marketers participating in Solve Media's survey said bot traffic leads to inefficiencies, steals their ad budgets, and hurts overall campaign performance.
Not only do advertisers run the risk of a bot clicking on ads, but the ads can also become injected with malware. These bot clicks not only costs advertisers money, but affect consumers who click on the ad, too. The fake click injects the malware in the ad and the consumer downloads the malware to their computers, smartphones and tablets.Solve Media surveyed 600 digital media buyers, senior marketers and online publishers in the United States during October and November of 2013 to estimate the amount of wasted budgets.