Search Affiliate Looks To AI, Machine Learning For Ad Fraud Detection, Attribution

Affiliate marketing company Impact Radius has locked its sights on artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques, with aspirations of integrating the technology into attribution modeling and ad fraud detection to monitor campaigns across devices.

Overtime programmatic technology combined with unified measurement and optimization will increasingly automate processes, according to Per Pettersen, CEO and co-founder at Impact Radius. "At this point you're really competing on the merit of margin and lifetime value," he said.

When asked how artificial intelligence will change affiliate marketing and search, Pettersen said computers will analyze the data and make specific recommendations. "In theory, as systems get more sophisticated, the technology will make buying decisions," he said, without the marketing having to cap the bid.

Marketers are drowning in data and starving for actionable insights, Pettersen said. So the company's technology automates processes. It not only aggregates the data, but presents it in dashboards so marketers can spend less time crunching numbers and more time optimizing campaigns. 

About 275 employees support brands like Lenovo, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ticketmaster, tracking the consumer journey from clicks to conversions across devices. In 2015, the company acquired eBay Enterprise's Clearsaleing attribution business, and most recently in June 2016 it acquired Forensiq, creating what Pettersen believes to be the "world's first" marketing system of record with built-in fraud detection.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) estimates that ad fraud costs the U.S. marketing and media industry $8.2 billion each year.

Impact Radius also recently made three new hires in Europe. Safiyya Riyadh comes from Affiliate Window to head Impact Radius' onboarding and technical services group in EMEA. James Bennie comes from Affilinet to join as customer success director, and Clinton Liem joins Impact Radius from Thomson Reuters in the newly created position of sales development associate manager.

Riyadh and Bennie are working on a project with an unnamed global airline that will change and optimize the way airlines work with aggregators, according to Pettersen.

Company engineers are building what the company calls "the new digital currency of attribution" by exposing and removing fraudulent traffic across devices. The goal is to create a pure, real-time data hub for media buyers, analysts and the C-suite, so all remain on the same page.

It will combine the advertising and consumer journey data and remove fraudulent data and signals from the recommendations and algorithms running on top of the system.

Pettersen co-founded Commission Junction, as well as, which Cox Communications acquired in 2012.

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