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Invalid traffic and SDK spoofing: The battle digital marketers must win to protect ad spend

Ad fraud detection company mFilterIt’s co-founder, Dhiraj Gupta talks about the challenges of digital marketing, impact of invalid traffic, and more.

As digital advertising continues to acquire bigger portions of ad spends, marketers are aiming to eliminate the pre-exisiting challenges that hinder their ability to reach out to their audiences.

Addressing the audience at ad:tech New Delhi, the marketing and media technology event, Dhiraj Gupta, co-founder of ad fraud detection company mFilterIt, in his session titled ‘Advertising Fearlessly’, shed light on the pertinent concerns that digital marketers face on account of invalid online traffic.

Bot traffic, or invalid traffic, is one of the major roadblocks in organic measurement of ad performance digitally. According to Gupta, the prevalence of bots has impacted digital advertising multi-dimensionally, including leakage of ad budgets, disproportionate customer acquisition costs (CACs), SDK (software development kit) spoofing and even conversion rates.

Many of these issues have made the advertisers cautious in their selection of the right publishers for their ads, in order to drive better performance.

Another facet of ad fraud predicament, as per Gupta, is the impact of invalid traffic on the way brands interact with users online. This often leads to fake leads. 

“Invalid traffic is a major issue in the ad world. Whether in OTT, social media or even homepages, the bots have infiltrated the system.”

Much of the invalid traffic is designed to emulate real user behaviour in order to evade detection. Consequently, many marketers are involuntarily wasting large portions of their ad budgets on fraudulent clicks and impressions that have no chance of converting into real business.

In addition, SDK spoofing is becoming an increasingly prevalent form of fraud, where fraudsters create fake mobile apps or manipulate legitimate ones to generate deceptive ad impressions. 

“This has led to a dysfunctional interaction system between brands and consumers. More than 27% of leads are filled with bots, and are entirely fake,” Gupta adds. 

Despite these challenges, many digital marketers are continuing to experiment with new technologies and strategies, in order to stay ahead of the curve.

mFilterIt provides ad fraud solutions to brands. In a bid to offer higher media optimisation, the platform offers solutions for app, web, lead and programmatic advertising. 

Gupta shares that mFilterIt helped Tata Play reach a clickthrough rate (CTR) of 120% for their campaigns. mFilterIt also pushed Tata Play’s CACs up to 30%. 

The growth, Gupta opines, is the outcome of a robust fraud detection system that can help brands maintain a progressive hygiene. 

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