How Bots Steal Your Online Advertising

The business of web advertising can be a lucrative one, especially when you just need to deliver an illusion of what you promise. This is done by the portion of the internet that has built itself on fraudulent advertising. A study by White Ops revealed that ad-fraud sites constitute about 20 percent of all ad sites on the internet — it’s a billion-dollar industry.

These sites don’t even invest in human labor; they rely entirely on traffic bots that mimic human behavior, the result of which is revenue generated for the advertising platforms but no revenue for the advertiser because there was no potential customer in the first place. It’s not a win-win like it’s supposed to be. And that’s just the problem with banners on content sites, search advertising and social media platforms have been known to face similar woes.

Unfortunately for advertisers, much of the fraud goes undetected. They keep investing, and every year they expect to increase their spend.

Most ad buyers will never know what’s going on and why they have to waste half of their advertising money. Why? Because what they are measuring isn’t enough to signal them that something is wrong. If you want to attract attendees to your event, for instance, you might decide to pay for clicks or impressions. After all, this can show you the extent to which people are excited about the event, right? It’s straightforward and economical. But what would be even more effective is to pay for actual attendees. Sure, it might cost a little more than paying for impressions, but it’s worth it because it’s a return you can see.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the amount of profit gained by a business for the period of a particular customer’s retention. It shows your organization how valuable your relationship with the customer is and what you should do next.

In one recent CLV study, 81 percent of U.K. marketers attributed sales spikes to their CLV measurement practices, and 79 percent said they were able to implement marketing initiatives in a more timely fashion after tracking CLV. However, despite the proven benefits, only 24 percent of marketers are effectively monitoring their CLV figures.

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” These are the undying words of 19th-century business magnate, John Wanamaker. Unfortunately, almost 100 years after his demise, modern advertisers can still relate — whether they make mistakes knowingly or unknowingly. However, there’s really no reason to live with fear and doubt about your advertising efforts.

By applying user-behavior-tracking tools afforded to us by great advancements in technology, modern advertisers are a step ahead because they know which five to 10 percent of their budget yielded and focus special attention on it.

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