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How to improve ad effectiveness and combat fraud

Publishers learned how to improve ad effectiveness and combat fraud today at the FIPP World Congress in Toronto. One of the biggest issues publishers have is identifying and eliminating invalid traffic, according to Ben Martin, director of international marketing insights with comScore. He addressed ad blocking, how well ads are reaching consumers, and how reach compares. 

Ben Martin ()

Ad blocking is a hot topic at the FIPP World Congress, and in the industry in general. comScore revealed some recent numbers on the frequency of ad blocking in various countries. “Ad blocking varies from country to country,” Martin said. “The US and the UK have low rates, whereas France has 27.4 per cent ad blocking by unique users.” 

Martin suggested ad blocking is a predominately young behaviour. Based on US data, those aged 18-24 are more likely to block ads.

Publishers are looking to identify non-human traffic, also known as invalid traffic (IVT), Martin said. IVT would constitute robots and search engine crawlers. “That’s what advertisers want to strip out.”

A comScore Custom Analytics Nov. 2014 survey suggested that sections within a site can have high percentages of non-human traffic. “If you remove non-human traffic by source, you will have more useful numbers. Not filtering for IVT invalid traffic causes discrepancies,” Martin said. 

Currently, advertisers want to understand the role different platforms play in advertising campaigns. “Increasingly across platforms, people want to understand the entire campaign,” Martin said. “If media is evaluated in silos, you might have different expectations. Once you make the effort to employ ad validation, ROI increases significantly.”

Multiplatform measurement brings new methods of evaluating audience, reach and frequency. This allows publishers to demonstrate the value of their audiences.  

“A holistic evaluation of ad measurement allows new definitions of value,” Martin explained. “I think more and more advertisers are going to adopt this holistic change. Increasingly, they want to understand the whole chain. As publishers, we need to assure them that we have no non-human traffic.”

Martin noted that there are tools available to publishers for reporting and measuring non-human, or invalid traffic. 

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