Acquire Humans, Not Bots: Targeting, Spend and Security

Acquire Humans, Not Bots - Targeting, Return on Ad Spend and Security

In today’s economic climate, many marketing teams are doing their best to make the most out of limited budgets. They face the challenge of continuing to drive better results, but with fewer resources.

For this reason, it is critical that these budgets and resources are allocated toward channels and tactics that are optimized to convert. Teams need to make sure their efforts are driving engagement from individuals within their ideal customer profile rather than users who simply do not have the intention, nor ability, to become clients.

To achieve this, marketers need to first and foremost make sure they are spending their valuable dollars on real humans, not bots and fake users. Then, the team can focus on targeting effectively, refining their personas, and utilizing clean data to make future allocation decisions.

Throughout this article, we will discuss how marketers can make the most of their 2023 budgets to ultimately drive efficient spending and business results.

Ensure Marketing Dollars are Spent on Real Humans

When a team is looking to optimize their budgets toward those with interest in their products and services, it is mission critical to avoid wasting any spend on bots and fake users. A possible first step in filtering out bad actors is analyzing past campaigns and reviewing audience segments to see if there are still any old contacts, bounced emails, or otherwise irrelevant leads that are still being marketed towards.

Marketers can also begin by looking at their customer journey campaign metrics and spotting any behavioral anomalies that might indicate a bot attack such as spikes in traffic at unusual times or from non-targeted sources or locations. The team can then decide to filter out traffic and audiences that do not lend themselves to legitimate interest. Additionally, many marketers are now choosing to implement security measures such as GTMSec in order to ensure future campaigns are protected and malicious users do not attempt to engage with future campaigns or marketing assets.

If these issues are not avoided when new campaigns are launched, it can cause a variety of issues that goes far beyond drained CPC spend. These invalid users can then make their way to a company’s website, causing engagement metrics to also become skewed. As a result, future decisions are made based on inaccurate data.

Furthermore, if these bots were then to fill out a form or otherwise make their way into marketing funnels and databases, they would then inflate CRM lists and cause the marketing team to continue marketing to fake users. Finally, and perhaps most concerning, is the possibility that a cybercriminal with malicious intent could find their way into confidential areas of your website and steal private information or personal customer details.

Targeting Effectively

Once the team is fairly confident that they are no longer marketing toward bots, it is time to refine targeting in order to reach highly specific personas. Marketing to a vast audience can be useful for brand awareness plays and general campaigns, but if we are trying to make the most of limited budgets, sometimes highly targeted and specific audience segments are the way to go.

Once personas and segments are refined, the team can continually evaluate which segments are converting at which rates and adjust spending accordingly. It is also important to continually update suppression lists to remove irrelevant audiences, existing customers, and keywords that miss the mark so that campaigns only improve their effectiveness over time.

Keeping a close eye on these highly targeted lists can also sometimes lower acquisition costs as each dollar you spend is going towards a genuine user, who has the opportunity to convert — not an existing customer, old contact, irrelevant buyer or even worse — a user with malicious intent. (Check out these tips for acquisition marketing in times of uncertainty.)

Utilizing Data & Insights

As previously discussed, bots and fake users can heavily skew analytics and paint inaccurate pictures of reality. Therefore, when bad actors are removed from data and business intelligence systems, the findings and conclusions that marketers are then drawn to may become much different.

For example, perhaps the team thought that one particular advertising landing page was simply not compelling enough and that is why it was not converting. But if the majority of clicks through to that page were bots, perhaps the conversion rate is actually not as low as it was once deemed, and therefore the team might need to make other strategic decisions about the advertisement itself or the audience they are targeting.

When customer experience analytics are clean, marketers are then better equipped to do their job. They can trust that the campaigns they are investing in, and the clicks they are driving are from trusted sources — think quality over quantity.

Driving Efficient Spending

Once the initial campaigns are free from fake traffic, audiences are targeted toward proper audiences, and analytics are providing accurate insights, it is time to also be thoughtful and efficient about where each dollar is going.

This can be done by analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) to make sure that even though you are targeting real people in your ideal customer profile, that the value you are providing is compelling to those people and that they are taking action and showing interest in your business. You’ll want to look at which campaigns and which creatives have relatively low cost per clicks, but are also yielding high-quality traffic.

Ultimately, you might have to make some bold moves and divest from channels, campaigns, or individual ads that simply do not convert the right type of customers.

Overall, if being able to trust your campaign performance while making the most of your marketing dollars is important to you, then it might be time to take a deep look at the type of traffic that is interacting with your advertisements and how that could be potentially harming your business beyond simply hurting acquisition efforts. To learn more about Go-to-Market Security, or how the Fake Web impacts marketing initiatives, visit CHEQ.

Kerry Coppinger
Kerry Coppinger
Senior Manager, Brand Marketing at CHEQ
CHEQ is the leader in Go-to-Market Security, trusted by over 15,000 customers worldwide to protect their metrics, marketing efforts, and customer data from those with potentially malicious intent online. Powered by award-winning cybersecurity technology, CHEQ offers the broadest suite of solutions for securing the entire GTM org from threats to business continuity, brand reputation, and marketing effectiveness.

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