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Your Best Marketing Data Provider May Be Right Underneath Your Nose

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By  Scott Vaughan

Data is today’s marketing currency. We harvest it wherever we can – via paid, owned and earned media. And this harvesting is facilitated by numerous tech and services providers: known-data appending plug-ins like Dun & Bradstreet and Social123; anonymous data marketplaces such as (Oracle) BlueKai; and currently the hottest of the data sources, predictive analytics providers such as Lattice Engines and 6Sense.

But what’s almost always neglected in the marketing data discourse: the media companies that have been generating traffic, prospects and customers for marketing clients for years.

Marketers shouldn’t neglect these sources and their evolving capabilities. Top-tier media companies aren’t the “lead-gen sources” of old – they’re the “data-gen providers” of tomorrow.

We’re slowly seeing B2B media companies evolve. They’re leveraging new technologies and long-held expertise to grow into sophisticated data repositories for their clients. This is great news for marketers.

The optimism stems from the wealth of data types available today – big, small, prospect, intent, behavior and account intelligence. And, it appears more is on the way.

Having spent a chunk of my career working within a B2B media company, and now both partnering with and serving these organizations as customers, I can say the definition of “media company” is clearly changing.  This includes traditional web and print publishers, digital lead-generation providers, and advertising technology companies offering solutions to better deliver audience and leads.

These shifts are part survival and part opportunity. It’s survival in that media companies are shedding expensive print and eyeball-generating web operations. And opportunity in that they’re emerging as data-source experts to serve marketers’ seemingly endless appetite for highly specific customer and prospect information.

Behind closed doors, media executives are debating and plotting to answer one question: “What’s the core business we’ll be in a year from now?”  The consensus – DATA marketing solutions.

To make this a reality, media executives are NOT JUST thinking about traffic, impressions or lead generation. Progressive, next-generation media organizations are investing to deliver high-quality prospect and performance (e.g., content performance) data to their marketing customers. All this to arm marketers with intelligent prospect info and marketing intelligence to put their marketing technology systems and content to work – to create new customers.

Data as the New Media AND Marketing Currency

B2B media executives are still in the thick of it, but they also understand “monetizing traffic” or trying to squeeze “every ounce out of their databases” isn’t a long-term success formula. Rather, new-era media companies realize that data is the invaluable asset they can provide to their paying marketing customers.

Data that informs how and with what to capture prospect interest. Media companies use this data in concert with both their own content and their customers’ marketing assets.

Just as importantly, they wield data about their visitors, subscribers, and attendees, that can be packaged and made actionable for marketers’ demand generation and customer acquisition efforts.

Let’s dive deeper into a few types of emerging data sets that are becoming the lifeblood for progressive media companies to better serve their customers. We’ll discuss what BOTH media companies and the marketers they serve can do about it.

Behavioral Prospect Data to Signal Intent

Based on a user’s behaviors, media companies have a unique grasp on what buyers or targeted companies may be interested in. Using data science, this intent-based data can be collected and shared about an individual’s online activities. Most importantly, specific areas of content interest can also be gathered, which often signals research around an upcoming purchase. The media company can also provide precise, additional targeting by serving ads or emailing offers, for example.

Marketers use this data to score leads based on specific activity and increased interactions. They can also prioritize and fast track the best opportunities immediately by nurturing prospects in a more targeted program or sending to sales for immediate follow-up.

A few examples in this area: TechTarget’s Activity Intelligence platform and Bombora (formerly Madison Logic Data) are media companies providing this type of service today.

Company Content Consumption Data for Account-Based Marketing

Account-Based Marketing is all the rage today, and for good reason. The focus is on the ability to identify and target specific companies that B2B marketers and sales chiefs have earmarked as ideal prospects for their product or service.

Media companies use digital tactics, demand generation, and data solutions to help marketers identify purchasing intent with a specific list of target companies. Using company IP addresses and domain intelligence, for example, they can share this activity data when target companies (“accounts”) are viewing or engaging with their content and retarget them immediately with additional information and offers.

Demandbase and IDG Communications – among many others – provide advanced offerings in this area, leading with their data.

The media company transformation to “data-gen providers” is still in its early stages. They’re just starting to team up with marketers to use data science for advanced targeting and sophisticated data generation. So, what can marketers do to tap into the wealth of prospect and customer data intelligence?

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The Millennial Delusion

Source: TechCrunch

The obsession with “millennials” continues to fascinate me. Despite being the most outspoken generation in history, people – very important and powerful people – claim they don’t understand us. We make no sense apparently, as if the actions and career paths of our parents make total and complete sense.

There are even consulting firms that specialize in teaching businesses how to interact with us (I refuse to link to them, Google if you dare). I wish I could start one of these and just talk about myself all day as a passion job, in the process becoming the very essence of a millennial.

A meta-millennial, perhaps.

More words have been spilled in the business press about this arbitrary agglomeration of people than any other, yet debates seem to go on endlessly.

That’s because there really is no debate, and there really is no such concept as “millennial.” If it wasn’t clear already, millennial values are American values, which is perhaps more obvious this week with the Supreme Court’s decisions around same-sex marriage, health care, andhousing discrimination, which were significantly more in line with millennial thinking than with the baby boom generation.

Millennials are a figment of our imagination, a delusion of marketers and others who believe that the changes in our society are only applicable to a narrow group of people rather than our whole population.

They’re completely wrong.

What’s happening is that people are finally taking advantage of all the technological progress we have made over the past few decades, finding empowerment in the world that was lacking before. We all now have the ability to choose our own paths – our own “passion careers” – and use technology to foster a better future, not just an elite sliver of the population with enough resources.

Unsurprisingly, everyone seems to be doing just that.

We can see technology’s influence on society everywhere. Millennials are described as more “socially conscious” than any other generation, but this is a function of our heavy use of technology, particularly social networks. People today have more access to news and opinion from the United States and around the world than ever before, and it shouldn’t be surprising that conflicts or diseases in other places have an emotional resonance with us that didn’t exist before.

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What IDG TechNetwork Learned from 7 Years of Sales Evolution

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idgtn team photo 6 25 15 jpeg What IDG TechNetwork Learned from 7 Years of Sales Evolution

When it comes to the advertising industry, the only constant is change. As technology evolves, so do advertiser demands, challenges and quality standards. That’s why media leader IDG TechNetwork has kept its customers at the center of the company’s continued evolution.

“As a publisher-driven network with an emphasis on quality content at scale, these product progressions remain true to our core business model in servicing our customers,” says Scott Harris, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at IDG TechNetwork.

“We believe in the importance of building out new solutions that enable our business to straddle the line between agency and publisher, operating as a true consultative resource in addressing our clients’ needs.”

In seven short years, IDG Communications has grown from a traditional publisher into a digital media company, shutting all but one of its print publications and developing a centralized network approach with IDG TechNetwork to providing scale.

Here are the biggest lessons that they have learned along the way.

Reposition industry challenges into company-specific strengths

One of the biggest challenges that the advertising industry faces is the commodification of display banners, which leads to diminished value and performance. In response to this trend, IDG TechNetwork has transformed its business beyond the network model of standard display ads to invest in in-house capabilities.

“We’ve developed a rich suite of diverse products to provide our clients with lead generation, custom content marketing, native advertising, a programmatic exchange, a destination video hub with original programming, creative rich media development and DSP targeting; all executed across our premium mobile, desktop and video channels,” says Harris.

Harris explains that experimentation has been key to IDG TechNetwork’s process. Rather than maintaining the status quo, the company has actively sought out new opportunities to include as core offerings.

“It’s important to identify new areas of excellence rather than building up a wall of defense,” says Harris. “In many respects this is a similar challenge that the industry faced when first making the transition from print to digital.”

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2015 Unified Communications & Collaboration Study

 2015 Unified Communications & Collaboration Study

The 2015 Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) Study encompasses the information needed to fully grasp the current UC&C market. The research includes the direction of spending, areas of investment, business drivers and challenges that IT decision-makers are experiencing when it comes to communication tools in their organization.

Key Findings:

  • Unified Communications & Collaboration will see a surge of adoption in the next 3 years. 56% percent of enterprise and 66% of SMB organizations plan to implement or upgrade UC&C solutions within the next year. (Click to Tweet)
  • Unified communications and collaboration budgets will increase by 9% in the next year.(Click to Tweet)
  • Within the next two years, organizations will move their UC&C model to hybrid and cloud-based environments, with enterprise organizations leading the change. (Click to Tweet)
  • Traditional technologies remain the top forms of employee communication, but enterprises are increasing their use of videoconferencing and telepresence technologies. (Click to Tweet)
  • Security/privacy concerns are a challenge when it comes to UC&C implementation.(Click to Tweet)
  • Security, ease of use and total cost of ownership are the biggest factors when evaluating vendor solutions, but integration into existing infrastructure shows high importance for enterprises. (Click to Tweet)

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Regional Research: Latin America Buyer Behaviour

IDG Connect 0811 Regional Research: Latin America Buyer Behaviour

This week’s regional research reveals collaborators dominate Latin America which can neutralise the power of action-oriented advocates.

IDG Connect surveyed 491 IT professionals in Latin American countries; Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Peru. Over 400 of the respondents were from the non-tech industry while the further 65 respondents were from the tech industry. Respondents were asked a multiple choice question to discover which buyer type they adopt when participating in a buying team.

From this, the respondent’s answer was categorised into one of the three buyer behaviours:

  • Collaborator: Collaborators seek comfortable team consensus when it comes to a purchase decision. They welcome members’ opinions, including the “pros” and “cons,” considering these to be as valuable as facts and figures. They consider features & benefits comparison charts to be very useful.
  • Challenger: Challengers consider themselves the experts in the group and will not hesitate to challenge points to arrive at the “best” decision. Challengers respect expertise, competence, know-how and the views of industry authorities.
  • Advocate: Advocate are vested in the potential impact the team’s decision will have on company and personal reputations as well as enhanced visibility. Advocates are action-oriented, working to promote their favoured vendor(s) forward. They tend to be impressed with big name clients and famous founders.

This research is part of a global survey that was conducted by telephone to 3420 IT and Business Professionals.

Click to view more survey results…

Top 100 Best Places to Work in IT Recognized by Computerworld

 Top 100 Best Places to Work in IT Recognized by Computerworld

The 22nd Annual Best Places to Work in IT list names Quicken Loans, Credit Acceptance and Noah Consulting No. 1 for large, midsize and small organizations, respectively

Framingham, Mass. – June 22, 2015 – IDG’s Computerworld—the leading IT media brand dedicated to being the voice of business technology—is proud to announce the 2015 Best Places to Work in IT list (Click here to tweet). The Computerworld editorial team compiled this exhaustive list based on a comprehensive questionnaire focused on organization offerings such as benefits, diversity, career development, training and retention, as well as a worker satisfaction survey completed by a random sampling of IT employees at the participating organizations. The 100 winning organizations were then categorized by company size based on the number of employees (large, midsize, small).

“The 100 organizations on Computerworld’s 2015 Best Places to Work in IT list realize that attracting and retaining a highly skilled technology workforce leads to competitive advantage,” says Scot Finnie, editor in chief of Computerworld. “In a tight market for tech talent, these outstanding employers attract the best and brightest IT pros with generous salaries and top-drawer benefits, then deepen their teams’ engagement with challenging, business-critical projects built around cutting-edge technologies. As a result, these winning organizations are best positioned to take advantage of the digital transformation sweeping through every industry.”

What Defines a Top 100 Organization
Solidifying a spot on the Top 100 Best Places to Work in IT list goes beyond offering what are considered “standard benefits” (i.e., health insurance, paid vacation time and 401(k)/403(b) plans). Organizations offering reimbursement for technology certifications saw an increase this year with 99 of this year’s 100 organizations providing it to their IT employees. Additionally, organizations provided an average of 20 paid time-off days (vacation, sick, and personal, excluding holidays) after one year of service and 29 days after 10 years of service. Stress level is low among this year’s winning organizations with only 8% of surveyed employees claiming to be very stressed in the workplace. Eighty-eight percent of respondents from this year’s top 100 organizations claimed their IT department morale as good, very good or excellent.

Additional information about the 100 organizations named to the 2015 list, as well as the results of the 22nd annual Best Places to Work in IT survey, can be read on Computerworld.com. The website features articles on the three No. 1 organizations, a video profile of top companies for training, benefits, retention and career development, and new to this year’s coverage is a slideshow welcoming and introducing the 16 organizations new to the list. The website also features a smart tool that lets readers sort and filter the winners’ list, and an interactive map to find Best Places by region.

Listed below are the top 5 organizations from each category. For the full list of the top 100, click here.

Computerworld’s Best Places to Work in IT 2015:
Large Organization Rankings (5,000+ employees)

  1. Quicken Loans
  2. USAA
  3. Erickson Living
  4. Sharp Healthcare
  5. Prudential Financial

Midsize Organization Rankings (1,001 – 4,999 employees)

  1. Credit Acceptance
  2. Lafayette General Health
  3. Avanade
  4. Autodesk
  5. Nicklaus (formerly Miami) Children’s Hospital

Small Organization Rankings (1,000 or fewer employees)

  1. Noah Consulting
  2. Sev1Tech
  3. Commonwealth Financial Network
  4. Secure-24
  5. Connectria

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Leading People When They Know More than You Do

Source: Harvard Business Review

If you’re a manager in a knowledge-driven industry, chances are you’re an expert in the area you manage. Try to imagine a leader without this expertise doing your job. You’ll probably conclude it couldn’t be done. But as your career advances, at some point you will be promoted into a job which includes responsibility for areas outside your specialty. Your subordinates will ask questions that you cannot answer and may not even understand. How can you lead them when they know a lot more about their work than you do? Welcome to reality: You are now the leader without expertise—and this is where you, possibly for the first time in your career, find yourself failing. You feel frustrated, tired and disoriented, even angry. This is the point where careers can derail. If you get to this point, or see yourself headed in this direction, what can you do?

First, you need to resist your natural inclination, which is to put your head down and work harder to master the situation. Leaders who come up an expertise track almost always derail here because they react to the challenge by relying on their core strengths: high intelligence and the capacity for hard work. They frame the challenge this way: “I need to master this subject. Okay, no problem, I’m smart. I can learn.” And so they buckle down, and dive into the mastering the details so they can be an expert again. This is the road to disaster.

It is a disaster because if it took ten or twenty years to master your specialty you are not going to achieve a similar mastery in a new domain in the first 90 days—and 90 days may be all you have before you have to show results. Your staff, who know a lot more about their domain than you do, won’t respect you, your lack of confidence in the details will show when you talk to top management, and your attempt to work twice as hard as you already are will wear you down.

So what should you do instead? To succeed in this situation, you must learn and practice a new leadership style. Your old style of management, which I call “specialist management”, depended on expertise. You need to put that behind you and adopt a new style of management: the generalist style. Based on my work with leaders who have successfully made the transition, here are the four key skills to develop and practice:

1) Focus on relationships, not facts
One of the profound differences between the two managerial styles is that the specialist leader focuses on facts, whereas the generalist leader focuses on relationships. A specialist manager knows what to do; the generalist manager knows who to call. The specialist leader tells her staff the answer, the generalist brings them together to collectively find the answer.

How to focus on relationships: The single best tip for building relationships is to think about how you build relationships with clients and apply those same skills to colleagues. Spend a lot of time, face to face, getting to know people as individuals. In the generalist style you are constantly adapting your approach to the individual and the situation and that means knowing people very, very well. Flying overseas just to have dinner with an important colleague is not a waste of time—any more than it would be a waste of time to do so for a key client.

2) Add value by enabling things to happen, not by doing the work
As the expert leader it was easy to see your contribution: you were making decisions based on your unique knowledge. As a generalist you cannot do the work directly, but you can enable things to happen. A big part of enabling things to happen when you are not the expert involves knowing when to leave things alone and when to intervene. This isn’t easy because you have a broad array of responsibilities and you need to be able to tell at a glance where trouble lurks.

How to know where to intervene: How do you know where trouble lurks? One useful tactic is to sit in on a meeting between a direct report and his subordinates. If the conversation is two-way, that’s a good sign. If the manager does all the talking and the subordinates are passive, that’s a bad sign and you need to dig more deeply. Notice that you don’t need any expertise on the subject they are discussing; you just need to decide if the conversation is healthy.

Another tactic is to get feedback from your network—a network which exists because in the generalist style you focus on relationships. If your network says one of your teams isn’t delivering, but the team leader insists everything is on track, then you know there is a problem. Notice that if both the team leader and your network agree things are on track then you probably don’t need to intervene—the team leader will ask for your help if she needs it.

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7 Biggest Content Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Source: Michael Brenner, B2B Marketing Insider

One of my favorite aspects of being in content marketing is seeing the next generation of leaders emerge.

And I have had the privilege of working with some of them.

This post comes from Liz Bedor, a Content Strategist we hired just under a year ago. In that time, Liz has totally upped her game on her personal blog, Twitter, Linkedin andInstagram (pretty amazing photos there Liz).

She not only creates amazing content for our sales team, and our content marketing strategy customers, but now she also creates great stuff for our business blog. This is one of her best yet . . .

 

Very few content marketers hit a home run each time they step up to bat. We’ve all had our fair share of strikeouts. Failures, however, are also learning experiences – especially those made by others. Mistakes provide insight into what to avoid in the future. As the content marketing space grows, so have the number of errors we’ve found many marketers make.

Here are some of the most common mistakes we’ve seen brands make and how you can learn from them.

1. Not Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy 

The importance of documenting your content strategy cannot be emphasized enough. A 1979 Harvard MBA study asked students, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” The result: Only 3% had written their goals and plans; 13% had ideas of goals, but did not have them in writing; and 84% had no goals in their heads or on paper. Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again. The 13% of the class who had goals, but had not written them down, was earning double the amount of the 84% who had no goals. The 3%, however, who had written goals were earning ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined. The same principles apply to a content marketing strategy. If you write down your content marketing goals and plans to achieve them, you are more likely to do so – in fact, 5x more likely.

2. Forgetting To Build A Business Case Upfront  

According to NewsCred’s own content marketing expert, Michael Brenner“Content marketing ROI starts with a strong business case.” Think about what you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to create affinity for your brand’s products? Are you trying to generate quality leads? Are you trying to engage new buyers with your brand? All of these things are key elements that must be decided upfront as the foundation of your content marketing efforts. Without this, your program will struggle to prove its value and ROI.

3. Ignoring Your Customers’ Questions 

The basic principle of content marketing is to simply answer your customers’ questions. If you’re not doing that, you’re not doing content marketing properly. Sometimes we see brands struggle with understanding what their customers want from them. For example, a health insurance company may think providing healthy recipes would be something their audience would find of interest. It’s possible, but it’s unlikely that a large number of people are looking for their next summer salad recipe from their insurance company. The type of questions they’d be asking their insurance company would be more along the lines of, “How do I choose between an HMO or PPO plan?” or “I’m getting married in a few months, how will my insurance change?”

Shopkeep, a point of sale system for small businesses, finds its blog content topics by going straight to the source. Paul Nugent, Shopkeep’s Director of Content, explains:

“We interview merchants constantly. We ask them their pain points, area of concern, what they would want in their inbox every week. We’ve learned there are subjects that are more compelling, even within the same industry. For example, layout design is more important for a full service restaurant than a quick service.”

With this strategy, there’s no doubt that what they’re publishing will be tremendously valuable to their customers.

4. Not Publishing Enough  

Not surprisingly, companies that commit to regularly publishing quality content reap the biggest rewards in terms of website traffic and leads. At NewsCred, our team found that increasing our posting cadence from 6 pieces of content weekly (1 original, 5 licensed) to 10 pieces of content weekly (5 original, 5 licensed) increased our unique visitors almost 50%. 

 7 Biggest Content Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Hubspot’s recent research had similar findings in correlation of publishing frequency and generated leads. For the company’s customer base, brands that published 16+ blog posts per month received about 4.5X more leads than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.

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DATA DRIVEN AND DIGITALLY SAVVY: THE RISE OF THE NEW MARKETING ORGANIZATION

Source: Forbes Insights

For marketers, the digitization of business has opened up a new world. No longer are they forced to launch campaigns while blindly relying on gut instinct and hoping for the best. Marketing and advertising campaigns that succeed do so by integrating a range of intelligent approaches to identify customers, segment, measure results, analyze data and build upon feedback in real time.

In today’s global economy, there is a great urgency to be able to conduct data-driven marketing campaigns, as organizations are under pressure as never before to deliver results. “Data-driven marketing” is the practice of employing data to achieve marketing goals and measure results, through engaging customers and delivering greater value to the business. This builds upon a number of forces, such as increasingly digitized operations and increasingly demanding and digitally connected customers.

Data insights have long played a role in efforts to drive business growth and reach new and existing customers. Insights generated by customer and transaction data have helped answer the four w’s of marketing—who, when, where and what, says Dr. Ravi Dhar, professor of management and marketing, and director of the Center for Customer Insights at the Yale School of Management. “It’s always been about who buys it, when did they buy it, where did they buy it, and what did they buy.” The challenge is now to answer the fifth “w” question—why. To correlate data to the “why,” information needs to be brought together from across the enterprise and market landscape to be transformed into actionable insights. “This is really critical to making good decisions, but the data can’t tell you the ‘why’ by itself. You need good managerial understanding to be able to answer the ‘why.’”

Data-driven marketing opens up a wealth of new perspectives and opportunities for businesses, and ultimately, it’s all about customers. A successful data-driven effort needs to be accompanied by efforts to listen to and engage with customers. Datadriven marketing is customer-centric marketing.

Businesses are only just starting to understand the power and potential of data-driven marketing. Ultimately, a data-driven organization learns to employ data analytics as part of all marketing campaigns, from conception to post-campaign review. Within a data-driven enterprise, information can move freely and is consistent across all channels. Within organizations that have achieved high levels of customer intelligence, there is a data-centric culture that is supported from the top down, and decision makers at all levels are provided training and support in mastering the power of data to better reach their markets.

“There’s really very little excuse in today’s marketing department to not use data,” says Russell Glass, head of B2B product for LinkedIn, and coauthor of The Big Data-Driven Business (Wiley). “With the cost of processing, storage and tools having gone down so much, if you’re not using data to make your decisions, or at least to inform your decisions, you’re probably not doing your job.”

Check out the full PDF…

Mobile Fraud: It’s Time To Start Paying Attention

Source: AdExchanger
There’s something fishy going on in China.According to mobile attribution company Apsalar, for every valid in-app purchase (IAP) made in China, there are 273 fraudulent ones.But China isn’t the only place with IAP problems. Taiwan sees 54 fake in-app purchases for every valid one, while Saudi Arabia clocks in at 24.6 and Israel and Hong Kong tie for 18. The digital goods were sold, but payment was never received, a fact Apsalar verified with both Google and Apple.IAP is just one of the new ways fraudsters are looking to game the mobile system.

As Forrester analyst Susan Bidel noted in a recent report titled “Fraud and Fat Fingers Distort the Mobile Advertising Landscape,” “Fraudsters not only apply techniques tested and proven in desktop advertising to the mobile web, but also fashion new strategies specifically to target the mobile app environment.”

Over the past year, online click fraud and bot-generated traffic have become obsessive topics in the ad industry, but mobile hasn’t factored too deeply into that conversation, and there’s a reason for that – dollar bills.

In the words of White Ops CEO and co-founder Michael Tiffany, “Bad guys follow the money.” As long as mobile ad spend remained nascent, fraudsters didn’t appear all that motivated to diversify from their desktop cash cow.

That’s changing. According to recent research from eMarketer, mobile ad spend is on track to reach $28.72 billion this year, accounting for 49% of all digital ad spending, a number forecast to hit $65.87 billion by 2019.

Timur Yarnall, SVP of corporate development at comScore, did not mince words: “Any suggestion that mobile fraud is not an issue today is laughable.”

Video CPMs might still beat mobile CPMs, said Yarnall, who co-founded MdotLabs, the cybersecurity startup comScore acquired in August, “but the money in mobile is there and it’s growing fast, which means people need to monitor it just as aggressively as they’re monitoring desktop fraud now.”

Out Of Place

The fraudster’s bag of tricks runneth over. Bidel’s report cited bad traffic, domain laundering, in-app ad stacking, phantom apps – when a user clicks to download an app, only to find that the app doesn’t exist but the click was recorded – mobile emulators and shady redirects as issues already plaguing the mobile ecosystem.

But mobile location data spoofing is a particularly prime example.

“Location is increasingly important on the mobile side for targeting and offline attribution purposes,” said Michael Tuminello, director of product at video platform Innovid. “But mobile location data is frequently inaccurate due to the lack of standards and a complicated ecosystem.”

Adding GPS coordinates to a bid request ups the price, and in some cases it’s legitimate, but a lot of the lat/long information available on the open exchange is coming from players who have no business providing it.

Location spoofing isn’t black and white, however, said Alec Greenberg, VP of media operations at Dstillery.

For example, when an app asks a user to share his or her location and that user declines, the app still gets some sort of data – albeit general information like, ‘This person is in Brooklyn” – relayed from a local cell tower. Broad data like that is far less useful in terms of driving foot traffic than precise lat/long data – it’s also not opt-in, considering in that case that the user had declined to share location data – but Greenberg isn’t convinced the players purveying it are necessarily always malicious rather than just opportunistic.

But the end result is the same and Dstillery isn’t taking any chances.

“We throw out 50% to 70% of all the GPS coordinates we see every day because they’re questionable,” Greenberg said. “That’s a huge percentage.”

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