As ad fraud continues to find new ways to creep into the wallets of marketers large and small, the digital marketing industry is just as continuously seeking ways to ensure campaign security. Although there is no concrete solution to prevent fraudulent traffic from entering marketers’ campaigns, performance marketing is one strategy, in particular, that marketers can employ to protect against fraudsters.

All traffic warrants inspection

The best fraudsters are those that can pass their traffic off as efficient and cheap, fooling marketers into thinking inspection into quality isn’t necessary. Regardless of the source and quality, all traffic should be monitored regularly. While network and agency partners that offer comprehensive fraud protection can greatly minimize risk, should fraud have the chance to seep into a campaign, there are several ways in which it can cause damage to the campaign and marketer’s budget as a whole. For example, should fraud have the chance to enter a mobile campaign it can take away from existing organic installs or conversions. Additionally, fraudulent traffic can detract from top-performing partners within the campaign by consuming portions of the daily, weekly, or even monthly budget. Because fraudulent traffic can lower opportunity for authentic organic and top-performing traffic source performance, it’s important to closely and regularly monitor all traffic sources – especially those that may seem too good to be true.

Mobile marketers can monitor their campaigns for fraud by keeping an eye out for fraud tactics such as click flooding, click spam, click injection, and SDK spoofing. Those marketers whose campaigns are managed by a network or agency partner may also rely on that partner’s compliance team or a third-party platform to notify them of suspicious activity. Learn more about how you can protect your mobile campaigns against fraud here.

CPA marketing provides an added layer of protection

While there is no catch-all marketing method that can stop fraud altogether, CPA marketing provides marketers with a safety net by its very nature. As a form of performance marketing, Cost per Acquisition (CPA) marketing only pays partners out once a genuine conversion has been made. Given partners will only be paid once their conversions are verified as authentic, partners have a built-in incentive to exclusively drive honest traffic. If their traffic is found to be fraudulent, CPA partners will not be paid. If payment isn’t incentive enough, KPIs such as reversal rate and conversion rate also weigh heavily on partner performance, and if fraudulent conversions are attributed to any particular partner, those KPIs will likely suffer, making that partner less reputable within the industry. Interested in learning more about how KPIs play a role in determining how to optimize your mobile campaigns? Read more here.

Running with a variety of partners is the only way to scale

There are a multitude of partners at play within the mobile marketing space, and it’s important to take advantage of several to ensure a healthy marketing mix. Large, well-known sources may allow marketers to control their marketing efforts in-house; however, scaling with such partners can prove difficult once budget increases become insignificant due to competitors driving advertising costs to unmanageable heights. Diversifying partners and sources helps to ensure campaigns continue to scale, in addition to expanding campaign reach and consumer interaction. If a marketer is relying on a select few partners to drive scale, the leads or conversions driven by those partners will become increasingly more expensive.

If only running with a handful of sources, marketers and their campaigns ultimately become vulnerable to increased swings in performance – meaning if one of those few sources takes a downturn, the campaign and marketer will feel a hefty impact. By diversifying and running with a larger pool of partners, the significance of a bad or fraudulent source would be minimized and less impactful overall.

Tactics such as regular campaign monitoring, a cost-per-acquisition price model, and employing a wide range of partners can better a marketer’s chances of detecting and protecting against the damaging effects of ad fraud.

Perform[cb] has been rated the #1 CPA Network Worldwide by mThink’s Revenue and Performance Blue Book since 2017. Want to learn more about how Perform can scale your campaigns while proactively shielding your brand from fraud? Reach out now!