Aishwarya Ramesh

Can multi-touch data points, data access help reduce ad fraud?

The final session of the MMA Ad Fraud Roadshow saw a discussion on mobile marketing and evaluating the effectiveness of touchpoints.

The final session of the Mobile World Congress held by the IAA was on mobile marketing being the next frontier of attribution for marketers. The panel included Uday Sodhi, business head - digital at Sonyliv; Vishal Kamath, director - digital, Nielsen South Asia; Dhiraj Gupta, CTO and founder - mFilterIt; and Neeraj Sharma, Country Manager - South Asia & MEA, Mobvista. The session was moderated by Rahul Sethi, senior vice president of marketing at Edelweiss Financial Services.

Can multi-touch data points, data access help reduce ad fraud?

From left to right: Uday Sodhi, Dhiraj Gupta, Rahul Sethi, Neeraj Sharma and Vishal Kamath (Click on the image to enlarge)

The evening's topic was multi-touch attribution in mobile advertising. It is a method of marketing that evaluates the different points in a consumer's journey and accordingly pushes relevant ads. Take, for example, a consumer who wants to buy a pair of branded sneakers. Once he does some research, he is sent targeted ads by sportswear companies such as Nike and Adidas. If he ignore the ads then he sees a native ad on his social media feed (Instagram) that drives him to the brand's site. Finally, he receives a promotional offer on his mail, either in the form of a coupon or a cashback or whatever else. Multi-touch attribution evaluates the impact of each of these touchpoints in driving consumer conversion.

There are two types of attribution - single point attribution and multi-touch attribution (MTA), but Sonyliv's Sodhi admits that MTA is still a work in progress for most advertisers. "Enablers in between who are providing these services should be able to give a better view. From our end, it helps us as a publisher to ensure that we can get credit for multi-touch attribution. If we can get credit, it will ensure that whatever influence there is on a purchase decision, (it) is captured," he pointed out.

Nielsen's Kamath pointed out that there are 300 billion-plus smartphone users in the market and this changes the way impact is created. "Consumers are spending a lot of time on their smartphones, which means they are consuming content and, in the process, coming across ads. This creates an impact in terms of the way media space and media dollars are moving towards digital," he said.

He brought up a number that was mentioned in an earlier panel discussion. "Digital is already worth about $1 billion in India, and growing 30 per cent year-on-year. If you're talking about such a large scale, where advertisers are spending so much money on a mobile platform, there is a need to have robust measurement solutions out there and MTA is one of them," said Kamath.

Despite being from a global data analytics company, he pointed out that the amount of data that can be accessed is fairly limited.

Gupta of mFilterIt pointed out that MTA is a powerful tool and is important from an analysis and channel efficacy perspective. "In terms of analytics, channel frequencies, empty is the way because you should know which channel is a provider, which channels know, which channel is contributing what to the channel user, should you use that to decide payouts?"

Mobvista's Sharma shared some interesting insights with the crowd.

Can multi-touch data points, data access help reduce ad fraud?
Can multi-touch data points, data access help reduce ad fraud?

Click on the images to enlarge

"Considering the complexities which are required to implement MTA, are we actually ready for that or not? Because if I compare it, while with the desktop, you have cookies, to trace the user journey. But if I come to mobile then from a performance perspective, you only have the click which you can track. But in between the lines, as a publisher, as an enabler, if I have the data in terms of either the searches or the in-app activity that the user is doing before the final purchase - that data is the key today. We need to know if the user is actually a genuine active user or not because there are certain elements, product results, the number will just keep on growing, but we need to analyse whether a consumer has actually searched for our product or (for) us. It will not help us eliminate but it will help reduce the fraud factor when it comes to clients and customers. It will tighten the process against fraud."

He emphasised that the flow of data on a real-time basis is something which is required to do the optimisation of ads at the right moment.

"If there is a certain reporting format that is being followed for data, it still gives those fraudsters a chance to kind of manipulate information. To manage that, if we work on a real-time basis, I think you will know within two to three hours whether it is something which is going basis the front line, and it is going to the right side or not," he concluded.

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