Published April 23, 2018

Over the last few years, programmatic ad spending has become an increasingly popular way for ad buyers to target specific users. Programmatic ad spending is essentially a way for marketers to choose which audiences they want to show their ads to, which allows them to narrow down their focus by only displaying ads to a particular location, gender, age range and so on.

Programmatic ad buying is popular because it allows companies to target a specific audience and personalize their message so that they only focus on the end users that they care about the most.

Most programmatic media is bought and sold by machines, where algorithms handle all of the bids on real-time exchanges, and this allows both buyers and sellers to optimize their inventory. As the process has become increasingly efficient, the amount of money that businesses invest in digital advertising is projected to increase dramatically over the next few years.

According to a projection from Business Insider, the dollars spent on programmatic advertising in the United States are expected to nearly double between 2017 and 2020. As their research suggests:

"Programmatic ad spend in the US is quickly ramping up. It will top $20 billion this year [2017] and reach $38.5 billion by year-end 2020." 1

However, with the growth in programmatic advertising comes an increasing risk of advertising fraud, as unscrupulous sellers work to supply poor quality impressions to meet the growing demand. This leaves ad buyers vulnerable to both poor quality ad campaigns and retargeting fraud, as their ads are increasingly directed towards bot traffic and users that have no ability to convert to real sales.

Part of the problem is that unlike more traditional ad buying (where marketers dealt more directly with publishers and had better insight into the impressions they had purchased), the increasing automation and number of intermediaries involved means that marketers tend to lack transparency in the programmatic ad buying process.

As a result, what marketers need are tools that can provide them with better visibility into the quality of impressions in their ad campaigns to determine their ability to reach real human users. Products such as NS8 Protect and NS8 TrueStats can help businesses score their campaigns and identify bot traffic, which allows online businesses to see where their budget is being wasted and focus their efforts on their genuine customers.


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