In an era where users spend, on average, 69% of their media time on smartphones, it’s clear that the mobile revolution presents a new world of opportunity.
There are real risks that come with these rewards, however. Mobile advertising is probably the least well-lit channel you can place your ad dollars in, given the rampant fraud -- from both unintentional actions and intentional fraud -- that exists.
Unintentional actions come from users who inadvertently engage mobile units. As most ads are much smaller than their desktop counterparts, scrolling your finger through your smartphone can easily activate these ads. Advertisers who are measuring impressions or clicks/click-through rate can be falsely led to increase spend for unqualified audiences.
Intentional fraud is also a big risk factor. The largest hit is app download fraud, including click fraud, install fraud and compliance fraud. Non-app download advertising has its own set of fraud tactics as well, including viewability fraud, targeting and compliance fraud, and invalid traffic (IVT)/bot fraud.
To kick-start or improve mobile investments, marketers should be mindful of these tips:
Protect against fraud: Brands must safeguard their mobile investments, and there are a number of ways to do so. For viewability and IVT, enable a provider such as Moat, DoubleVerify or IAS. These solutions offer pre- and post-bid media monitoring allowing you to preselect higher-quality inventory while reporting post-bid on any suspicious traffic sources.
Companies like White Ops and TUNE also offer deep-click forensics down to the sub-publisher level, so you can see past the simple ad network or publisher level. Buying on a CPM makes it a lot easier for fraud to occur, so if you must do this, measure bounce rates as well as other key actions you want a user to perform on your website. With your data, keep a running tab of suspicious traffic sources to create block lists for ongoing campaigns.
Separate campaigns by funnel or purpose:
-- Upper is used to generate awareness, so brands should use higher-impact mobile units like those offered by Kargo. Some units allow you to take advantage of the haptic functions of your phone -- like shaking it to reveal content -- and can help connect a brand with the consumer in a fun way.
-- Middle is used to generate consideration for your product. By using a DMP or 1 x 1 pixel within the creative, you can produce retargeting audience pools from users who engage with upper-funnel creative. This time, use standard mobile units, focusing on larger units to communicate features and benefits and then sequentially serve these messages.
-- Lower is used to drive conversion, so you can use a DMP, smart pixel or conversion pixel to create retargeting audience pools from users who engage with middle-funnel messaging but have yet to convert. It’s best to use hard-hitting messages and offers here.
Optimize: The beauty of programmatic is the transparency and control that you have given the various existing levers. You can pull inventory reports weekly, and optimize as needed, by bidding up on higher-performing inventory partners, data sources and ad units; creating a site list (white and block); or optimizing time of day (device). Inventory and third-party data sources act wildly different, with some having higher instances of fraud vs. others, so it’s important to learn about the options
Understand the nuances of in-app vs. mobile web advertising: Breaking out each channel is key to ensure ideal tracking and clean optimization. Though more time is spent on mobile apps today, the majority of time is spent on just a handful of them vs. the multitude of mobile sites typically accessed by consumers. Different fraud issues run rampant on each channel, so it’s critical to keep the above safeguards in mind when running your campaigns. Tracking conversions, especially view-based conversions that occur post-impression, is also much easier on the mobile web.