Mobile applications have become one of the sources used in establishing customer engagement and providing user experiences for brand marketing. While the majority of mobile marketers focus primarily on the development cycle, implementation and functionality of their mobile apps, they sometimes fail to consider security and the evolvement of bad players that seek to defraud brands and users. Reading the article “What Brand Marketers Need to Know about Mobile Ad Fraud” by David Sendroff, left me with the impression that this was something that has to be factored during mobile app development, distribution, and operational usage of the app.
“Recently, the issue prompted Google to issue refunds on its fees to advertisers whose ads reached bots rather than humans.” Estimates of ad fraud range between $7.2 to $16.7 billion in 2017. Now the app-install advertisers have to take up a defensive posture in order to secure their revenue and brand reputation.
The following quote amazed me at first, but then I thought about it because we all know the bottom line drives the majority of things that happen within companies.
“Some advertisers turn a blind eye to mobile-install fraud, because the paid installs for purchased apps, though fake, still boost their App Store rankings on iOS and Android platforms. The reason this boost is important is because a higher ranking on the App Store helps drive real, nonfraudulent installs.” Reading that left me with the impression that although the fraudsters are getting away with their pursuits, brands aren’t as worried as long as their ranking are not negatively affected.
In every industry there always exists factions of bad players that looks to illegally profit. Companies must remain vigilant to ensure install fraud of their mobile apps have a detection method available and a system to counter the effects. Remember, as fraudsters evolve their methods in illegally accessing app installs provides one of the greatest vulnerabilities to users and brands. Having the ability to control installs means that bad players have the ability to add malware which could be used to gather information from smartphones, credit card information, and even provide a gateway into brand servers.