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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2023-10-18

In digital marketing, every open, click, and impression holds immense value.Yet a staggering amount of ad spend is slipping through the cracks. In 2023 it’s estimated that $84 billion of ad spend will be wasted—without a chance to even be seen by an actual person, let alone your target audience—due to ad fraud. And this number is expected to increase to $172 billion by 2028, according to Juniper Research as reported on Search Engine Land.


Ad fraud includes click and impression fraud, ad stacking, domain spoofing, the use of bots and more. The result is marketers paying for advertising that offers little to no value. Considering the massive financial implications, you would expect ad fraud to be a chief concern for digital marketers, but recent studies indicate it isn’t.


A Marketing Charts article citing OMI’s recent “Digital Display Advertising From the Enterprise Perspective” survey notes that only 23% of enterprise marketers (at companies with more than 500 employees) are very concerned, and upwards of 14% are not concerned at all.


What’s more, only 18% cited ad fraud and invalid traffic as the most significant digital display advertising challenge, placing it at the bottom of the list. For comparison, the leading challenges were measuring accurate ROI and performance metrics (42%) and finding the right target audience for the ads (41%). While these are certainly important issues to address, I would argue that ad fraud contributes to both: You’ll never be able to accurately measure the impact of your campaigns or target the right audience if your ad spend is being siphoned off and the impressions wasted on bots.


Why aren’t more marketers concerned? One possible reason is a lack of awareness or the belief that digital ad buys are protected by agencies or platforms. In reality, ad fraud is pervasive and must be actively combatted. Another reason could be the inherent complexity of the issue. Ad fraud detection and prevention is constantly evolving; it can be overwhelming to know where to start or how to protect campaigns effectively. With that in mind, here are four solutions for navigating digital ad fraud:


People-Based Data

Strategies for targeting and reaching real people are more important than ever. People-based identity solutions, like identity graphs and third-party acquisition data, can ensure that actual people (not bots) are the ones behind the screen. OMI offers a 95% validity guarantee for email data associated with programmatic campaigns to ensure your message is sent or displayed to a real person.


Multi-Sourced Data

Building on people-based data solutions, additional data like firmographics and technographics create a more complete profile of the contact. And when data is pulled from multiple sources, there are multiple accuracy checks to ensure your digital ads are reaching actual people, and the right people.


Intent Data

Intent monitoring and deterministic intent data provide a multi-pronged approach for targeting real people that are actively searching for what you offer based on those individuals’ online actions and behavior. Additionally, deterministic intent data methodologies make sure your ad isn’t targeting the wrong prospect using a shared device in a household.


Transparent Media Activation

It takes specialized expertise to know the right channels to select, the audiences to target, and which strategies deliver the best results for a campaign – such as the use of deterministic vs. probabilistic methodologies for targeting an individual (not a company or a household). To limit ad fraud, marketers need transparency in the media activation process, whether it is performed in-house or through an agency. That means reliable performance measurement and reporting.


Ad fraud is the elephant in the room that can’t be ignored any longer. If you’re not worried about it, you should be. At OMI we’re actively working to combat ad fraud with solutions that ensure your advertising spend is flowing to the right audience of decision-makers, not going down the drain. 


Reach out to our team to find out how OMI empowers Fortune 2000 businesses and startups alike with the highest quality, most accurate audience data to fuel engaged, integrated, omnichannel campaigns. Combining our massive B2BC database with innovative deterministic data and media activation services, OMI delivers real data, real results, and invaluable reach to real people, ensuring optimal digital marketing campaign ROI.


For more information, visit our website, email us, or call 310-274-5312.



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