Reputation is crucial in today’s increasingly competitive business world, and even more so when your brand identity is outsourced to third-party advertisers. In this article, the mobile marketers at Remerge examine the risks and security measures businesses should consider when running in-app advertising campaigns with external advertising partners.
In-app advertising and how it works
With mobile devices accounting for more than half of all internet traffic, app usage naturally accounts for a significant portion of that. This makes in-app advertising an essential channel for any brand’s marketing mix. Promoting your products or services on mobile, however, can be daunting. There’s an endless amount of ad space to choose from considering the sheer number of apps available – and negotiating the terms with each of them would take far too long. Brands considering in-app advertising can simplify the process by working with third-party entities known as Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) that operate on an ad exchange, much like a centralized auction or a marketplace for in-app ad placements.
DSPs simultaneously monitor thousands of apps to help brands locate relevant users to display mobile ads. Based on the data points available for each individual user, DSPs use intelligent algorithms to assess how closely an app user resembles the intended target audience for a brand’s advertisement. The higher the user’s perceived conversion potential, the more the algorithm will be willing to bid for ad space. This automated process (known as programmatic advertising) gives brands access to a huge pool of customers they can advertise to – and the algorithm ensures ads are shown to the right people, at the right time. , in the right place, for the most profitable price. All of this usually happens in just a few seconds and happens every time an ad is shown.
What are the risks of in-app advertising?
While automation makes many aspects of the ad buying process more efficient, it comes with a host of risks that could negatively affect a brand’s reputation or ad spend budgets. When it comes to image, targeting parameters should be carefully defined before launching a campaign so that a brand’s advertisements are not displayed in inappropriate places at inappropriate times, as this could harm their image. reputation. An example would be if a brand’s products or services were advertised in apps containing explicit content. Certain ad placements could also negatively impact business relationships or cause conflicts of interest if inadvertently displayed in partner or competitor apps. Only human intervention can recognize and resolve these issues, so working with a diligent advertising partner is essential.
Another risk associated with in-app advertising is mobile ad fraud, which poses financial risks to a brand’s advertising budgets. Fraud exists in several forms, the most common of which is “click spamming” or “click injection”. Under normal circumstances, clicking on an ad is a strong signal that the app user is interested in the thing being advertised. The danger is that some applications may belong to fraudsters who initiate fake click-throughs without the user’s knowledge. Apps are then able to generate illegitimate revenue from the ad placements they sell, even when the user has not seen the ad. This leads to high (but fraudulent) click-through rates, giving brands and their DSPs misleading data about clicks that ultimately won’t convert into top-down actions such as purchases.
How to Mitigate Risk and Protect Your Brand When Advertising on Mobile
For any business that dabbles in the complex world of in-app advertising, it’s important to partner with a respected DSP who understands brand reputation. A DSP will ensure that your brand is well protected by following industry guidelines (such as those outlined by the Interactive Advertising Bureau). They will also implement their own content verification processes. Be sure to work with DSPs that have clear attribution methodologies and provide transparent reporting. Those who don’t could inflate their campaign results with the conversions of users who might have organically converted, and some DSPs may even facilitate fraudulent click behavior to artificially boost their performance.
Trustworthy DSPs should have many “blocklists” of applications to avoid. These lists are made up of apps that are known to post inappropriate content or have previously exhibited suspicious click behavior that could fraudulently deplete advertising budgets. These blocklists are comprehensive because they are formed from the DSP’s data and learnings throughout its ad buying history. A partnership with an experienced DSP is therefore essential. For added peace of mind, brands can also provide DSPs with their own blocklists, detailing specific genres of apps to avoid or even getting as specific as the names of individual apps where they don’t want their ads to appear. .
Another way for brands to protect themselves and their ad spend is to partner with DSPs that have strong anti-fraud measures in place. By carefully monitoring campaigns and being able to detect false ad clicks on untrusted apps, you ensure that advertising budgets are spent efficiently and that the attribution of ad performance is as accurate as possible. Before partnering with a DSP, you should always find out about their anti-fraud measures. It’s also helpful to know what third-party data integrations are available, how detailed their campaign reports are, and what methodologies they use to measure campaign success. This makes it easier to establish clear KPIs for each campaign and designate advertising budgets accordingly.
How do the experts see the way forward?
Nick Barnett, Senior Solutions Engineer at Berlin-based DSP Remerge, explains, “Remerge focuses on retargeting, which is naturally insulated from most forms of fraud because we are targeting users who we already know are genuine. . This makes Remerge a very safe option in terms of maintaining brand image. As the industry moves ever closer to privacy-driven processes, ensuring regulatory compliance is more important than ever to protect our clients’ reputations. As many industry players look for alternative ways to retarget an increasingly anonymous group of mobile users, Remerge is leading the pack with its work on longer-term solutions to address the technical challenges of retargeting campaigns. brand and privacy friendly.
Remerge CEO Pan Katsukis adds, “Brand safety is even stronger within the app ecosystem because Apple and Google have established strict approval processes that apps must pass before they can be released. displayed in app stores. Going forward, their new privacy frameworks will make certain forms of fraud like click injection less viable than before, as access to the framework is more organized – thus being a DSP centric on apps adds another level of security to the brand security we provide to our customers.