Boosting Subscribers and Maximizing Budgets: Why Your Cybersecurity Strategy Should Extend to Ad Fraud

Boosting Subscribers

The rise of remote working and cloud-based environments has triggered important conversations about cybersecurity in telecoms. Robust security training is a guarantee in organizations concerned about the repercussions of fraud to their subscribers, employees, and budgets. Tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have also seen huge amounts of investment from telcos to preventing huge losses and boosting subscribers.

So why, when Juniper Research estimates that an advertiser displaying 1 million ads in a 24-hour period will pay for more than 100,000 fraudulent ads on average before detection, is this not being addressed? Telcos concerned with cybersecurity and fraud need to extend their cybersecurity coverage to cover advertising if they are to truly gain a competitive edge in the pursuit of new subscribers.

The Pain Points for Telcos

Invalid traffic refers to any clicks or impressions that may artificially inflate an advertiser’s costs. Invalid traffic is generated by actions that provide no legitimate value to the advertiser and covers both fraudulent activities as well as accidental clicks—in essence, any activity that doesn’t come from a real user with genuine interest is invalid. The impact is so great, that Juniper Research predicts the global cost of digital advertising fraud will reach $100 billion by 2023.

Often dismissed as solely the marketing team’s problem, ad fraud and invalid traffic impact every area of the business. This includes:

Compromised Campaign Data 

Without complete certainty in the validity of traffic, telecom marketers may struggle to make efficient campaign optimisation decisions. Any changes they domake that are influenced by invalid traffic could be detrimental to campaign success. Data is gold in the world of digital marketing, so the cleaner and more accurate you can make your data, the better your campaigns will be.

Misplaced Resource Investment

As well as compromising campaign efficacy, large volumes of invalid traffic can cause marketers to direct spend to traffic sources that appear lucrative but are in fact producing non-opportunities. Precious time, effort, and budget are at risk of being funnelled into sources that do not produce a strong ROI.    

Reputation Damage

Every industry player knows the impact a cyber-attack can have on a business’s reputation and ad fraud is no different. Back in 2020, it was revealed that T-Mobile’s reward-based campaign ‘T-Mobile Tuesdays’ was suffering from fraudulent bots, maliciously created and distributed to take advantage of the monetary rewards offered. Legitimate participants, many of whom were T-Mobile’s own subscribers lost out on prizes that were instead won by criminals.  

Lost Revenue

All of these consequences ultimately add up to lost revenue and a lessened ROI. Misleading analytics results in you allocating resources to areas of advertising that aren’t actually producing legitimate results. This means there’s less money for sales, innovation, and legitimately successful advertising efforts. 

Ad Fraud in Action

Ad fraud is often dismissed as a small-scale problem, but the involvement of high amounts of money and sensitive data adds up and can be detrimental to the business. Not to mention that this data could be then used for higher-stake crime and cause irreparable damage to your business and boosting subscribers.

When speaking to telcos, a repeated complaint is that they just don’t have the visibility into the scale of the impact ad fraud is having on them. When an audit was carried out for one MNO, it found:

  • 9,687 clicks were invalid of the total 52,684
  • This equates to an invalid click rate of 18 percent
  • This is higher than the global benchmark of 10 percent
  • $4,603 (12 percent) of the total Google Ads budget was lost to invalid clicks.

This was money they weren’t even aware they were losing. With a clearer understanding of the problem, they were able to take the necessary steps to tackle it.

The Next Steps for Telcos

Stopping invalid traffic doesn’t have to be complex, costly or time-consuming. It is about gaining visibility into the problem, building a business case, and finding the right partner.

Telecoms markets that are able to verify advertising engagement can protect their budgets, hit their KPIs, and capture and boosting subscribers. Tackling invalid traffic becomes a competitive advantage for the entire organization. 

  1. Understanding the scale of the problem and recognizing that there’s an  

opportunity in addressing invalid traffic.

2.   Making a business case for combating invalid traffic and examining the ROI. 

3. Identifying a partner that has the skills, technology, and expertise to make an 

immediate impact.

Increasing Visibility

Due to a lack of visibility and awareness in the industry, ad fraud is prevalent and has a huge impact on telcos that don’t have sufficient protection. MNOs that are already dedicating time and resources to cybersecurity should extend their strategy to ad fraud, in order to access 365° protection and reach new levels of boosting subscribers.

About TrafficGuard

TrafficGuard detects, mitigates, and reports on digital ad fraud before it hits your advertising budget. Sitting within the advertising journey, TrafficGuard analyses impressions, clicks, conversions, and events to mitigate ad fraud at its earliest reliable detection. Our proactive approach keeps your performance data clean and helps you scale and optimize your advertising confidently.