Digital advertising is the bedrock of internet and the single most powerful source of revenue. Every other revenue model, including subscription, will see few takers who move fast and have a competitive advantage, but the larger bunch will rely on ad revenues. This means market leaders will have to increase transparency on metrics, bring in accountability and make ads that can be served to the right audience. A little more than a decade back, the idea of a clickbait farm was conceptualised. Today, it’s a thriving industry. Thousands of mobiles working in unison to unethically rake in ad dollars are putting brands in a dilemma — is my ad budget worth the price if it’s not reaching a human being at all? According to eMarketer, Indian digital ad spends are expected to touch $1 billion in 2017 and mobile is likely to account for nearly $460 million of that pie.
Ad fraud is a $16.4 billion industry globally. Facebook has admitted to misreporting its data by over 10 times and Google has been pulled up for showing ads from big brands alongside content that promoted terrorism and hatred. With fraudsters upgrading their systems and skills, even independent ad networks are being victimised by bot traffic. Solving this menace involves creating an ecosystem across networks, and an attribution and measurement platform to form a united front to combat fraud. Companies need to build in-house solutions and actively participate with third-party players who help in preventing and detecting fraud. Campaign metrics need to be vetted by independent measurement platforms around performance of the media that advertisers are buying, if a human being is indeed viewing the ad, and how advertisers can measure campaign safety of where their ads appear.
The author is VP & global head of marketing, InMobi