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Indian-origin researchers propose new method for preventing pay-per-click fraud

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New York: Indian-origin researchers have proposed a new method for detecting fraud from the pay-per-click model – a pricing model used for online advertising.

“If somebody likes something, they can click on the ad and go directly to the site. Hopefully, that translates to a sale. No matter whether it does or not, the advertiser pays for these clicks. In the pay-per-click model, if people or bots are clicking fraudulently, then the advertiser is losing money,” said Suresh Radhakrishnan, professor at the University of Texas in the US.

The researchers have proposed a way to support technological improvements to check fraud which, they said, is affecting the advertising industry as a whole.

The study considers identifying click fraud as a three-stage process: the service provider — for example, Google or Yahoo — classifies clicks as fraudulent or not.

Then, the advertiser does the same, using his technology. If there is a disagreement, the service provider examines further and its conclusion is considered binding.

The problem with the new approach is intuitive. For a service provider, if he gets paid, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a valid click or a fraudulent.

But the advertiser would want to verify whether the click is fraudulent or not. Even if the click is valid, the advertiser may say that it’s fraudulent because of the pay-per-click cost, the researchers explained.

To solve the problem, the researchers suggested that an independent third party investigate and flag fraudulent clicks when a conflict arises between the advertiser and the service provider.

“In the long term, for the pay-per-click model to survive, you will need to make sure both parties are happy, so technologies will have to get to a point where click fraud is minimized,” Varghese Jacob, vice dean of the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

“People will have to invest in such improvements. Otherwise the pay-per-click model may not be sustainable,” Jacob noted.

The findings appeared in the journal Information Systems Research. (IANS) (Photo: http://www.lifehack.org)

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A Brief Guide to Better Optimize Offline to Online Business

Here is a quick overview of how to better optimize offline to online business

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online business
Since digital marketing has boomed over the last years, organizations and brands usually rely heavily on online operations. Pixabay

In today’s market, online marketing is a necessity for any business. However, even though we live in a digital era, people tend to forget the importance of offline marketing, which could prove to be a huge mistake. Every successful marketer understands that these two types of marketing are complementary to each other and that an offline campaign can only reinforce your online endeavors. Here is a quick overview of how to better optimize offline to online business:

Radio and TV Advertising

As mentioned above, the Internet has taken over the traditional media, and digital marketing is the best way to reach modern customers. However, you need to bear in mind that there is still a large number of your potential customers who enjoy receiving information through television and radio. So, why not leverage that to increase your brand and website awareness? Even the most prominent companies today run offline campaigns and post ads every once in a while, which certainly doesn’t hurt in establishing a brand. Since TV and radio ads are rather costly, you need to make sure that they are always of the highest quality and that they reach the intended audience. Otherwise, you’d be carelessly spending money for no reason.

online business
Even the most prominent companies today run offline campaigns and post ads every once in a while, which certainly doesn’t hurt in establishing a brand. Pixabay

Distributing Flyers, Brochures, and Business Cards

Even though flyers and business cards have disappeared over the last couple years, now that almost everyone has a web presentation or a social media account, they are nevertheless a powerful way to convey information about your online business and complement it. All of these materials not only provide your customers with valuable information, but they also make you and your business look more professional. They should be packed with relevant info about your company, thus making it easier for people to understand what is it that your company does, and what’s the best way to reach you.

Billboards and Banners

Using billboard’s is a great way to subconsciously remind your customers of the existence of your brand and business. They can beautifully complement any other offline and online marketing activity. Your customers will be able to see those billboard ads every day on their way to work or school. Even if it seems they do not notice it every time, that message slowly gets ingrained in their minds, making it easier to connect with your brand. Another great way is to banners and event signage.  Experts at Bannamesh suggest that companies love to sponsor events that have large audiences. And what better way to get your brand in front of such an audience than by using large scale banners and signs, which will be visible at all time?

online business
Using billboard’s is a great way to subconsciously remind your customers of the existence of your brand and business. Pixabay

Networking

Face-to-face meetings play an essential role in establishing your brand. Even further, carefully made contacts can increase traffic to your website, generating more sales in return. By network and meeting people regularly, you give your potential customers a chance to get to know you and your company. However, as with any other marketing activity, it is crucial to choose your actions wisely. You do not want to attend meetings and approach organizations where your target audience doesn’t belong. That would be a massive waste of your time which could be better utilized somewhere else. So, search for associations and groups where you could easily reach your wanted buyers, and if possible speak at their events.

Cold and Warm Calling

Directly calling your customers is not as popular as it used to be. However, there’s still a significant number of people who enjoy that personal touch. So, cold and warm calls are a great way collect info about your potential buyers, let them know about your business and your online presence, and possibly convert that call into a purchase in the end. The main thing about cold calls is that you can get alert new customers about your business, but also make them detach from your brand if you do not do this well. It can go either way, if you are not patient and practice it a bit. That’s why successful companies use “warm” calling, when they contact people who have already been exposed to their brand, usually through social media, websites or conferences. “Warm” calling often yields much better results as the customers are already familiar with the company.

offline business
It is not such a surprise that companies tend to discard offline marketing due to online activities. Pixabay

Advertising on the Go

There’s no reason why you can’t leverage other people and vehicles to raise awareness of your product. Just like with online marketing, offline marketing messages can travel around and reach your customers. Placing your ads on the side of the buses, trains or taxis can be a fast way to reach your audience. Another way to speed up your offline marketing activities is to design and hand out branded merchandise, like T-shirts and hats. That way, by people wearing them, your message will regularly be transferred around, without you even trying. However, these are not marketing activities that can stand out on their own. They need to be a part of a broader, more intense marketing campaign.

ALSO READ: Bring out Best Version of Yourself This Summer

It is not such a surprise that companies tend to discard offline marketing due to online activities. Since digital marketing has boomed over the last years, organizations and brands usually rely heavily on online operations. That being said, you need to have in mind that you are selling your product to people, who sometimes enjoy experiencing things first hand, which means that occasionally they like to get in touch with the product, and do their shopping in person. So, it is your responsibility to decide what’s the best way to complement offline and online marketing, to make a wholesome campaign which will respond to your customers’ needs and strengthen your brand’s reputation.