What if I told you a major key to increasing your conversion rates had nothing to do with changing your creative, your messaging, or your targeting methodology? Would you believe me if I said there’s an invisible monster behind the scenes eating up your marketing dollars and reducing your conversion rates?
White Ops recently ran a pilot program with several top brands for our new Marketing Integrity offering. Over the 90-day pilot, we discovered that more than $30 million in marketing spend was lost to sophisticated bot-based fraud.
As a marketer, that number scares the hell out of me. Bots have gotten a lot better at pretending to be humans than they used to be. They’re getting increasingly sophisticated, hence the phrase “Sophisticated Invalid Traffic” (SIVT). Bots can do things like scrape websites, fill out forms, and even move around websites like humans do. Through these actions, they are finding their way into your DMP and CRM platforms. The situation snowballs and you’re spending valuable budget retargeting bots.
We wanted to see just how much website traffic comes from sophisticated bots. We hypothesized that it would be a lot, but we learned that more than 15 million page views on form collection pages were identified as SIVT. CAPTCHAs are clearly not enough, especially since these bots are smarter than ever. Picking out all the squares with crosswalks is child’s play in comparison to what sophisticated bots can do to get into your systems.
Marketers need reinforcements. We are responsible for driving qualified prospects to our sales teams. This is hard to do when 30% of the traffic going to your website is composed of sophisticated bots. It is a growing problem that marketing leaders need to acknowledge and become more educated on. The best way to start is by asking some tough questions:
- How much of my website traffic is really human?
- What is the impact sophisticated bots have on my digital spend, team resources, and metrics?
- If I were to cut out the sophisticated bots, how much would it increase lead quality and conversion rates?
These may seem like grand questions to be asking yourself - that’s because they are. They become easier to work through when you clue in your whole team. Make uncovering and preventing fraud a focus for a quarter. The process starts with people like us asking questions. The longer we wait to acknowledge this problem, the more money and time will be lost following up with bots instead of humans.
Marketers need to see sophisticated bot traffic for what it is: a leech on their digital marketing efforts. I believe that 2020 is going to be the year marketing leaders finally say, “enough is enough” and put in place the right mechanisms to ensure they are driving high quality, human leads.
When you do this, your conversion rates will go up. Your conversion-to-opportunity rates will go up. Your remarketing success rates will go up. Most importantly, the efficiency of your marketing spend will drive better business results and your marketing will be more human. Literally.