As a CMO, the prospect of ad fraud is undoubtedly a daunting challenge that is consistently present in the marketing landscape. With tens of billions of dollars being stolen annually by fraudsters, as Bob Hoffman (The Ad Contrarian) highlights, one would expect a heightened sense of urgency from marketing organisations. Unfortunately, crickets are louder than the voices of concern in this regard.

In this article, we’ll explore the difficulties faced by CMOs in addressing ad fraud and how Offernet’s approach, which focuses on revenue performance metrics (RPM) and sophisticated technology, can help marketers better navigate this complex issue.


The CMO’s Dilemma

Before delving into the pros and cons of digital marketing as espoused by Bob Hoffman, it’s important to note that his article deals with ad fraud in the digital realm of campaign reach and impressions (measured as CPM), and ignores the value of offline metrics and revenue optimisation. (Metrics such as reach, impressions, likes and engagements are generally viewed as Vanity Metrics and are the easiest to measure, assimilate and report upon and are the basic stock of marketing departments and their advertising agencies).

Hoffman reminds us that the role of a CMO is riddled with insecurity and a rather short lifespan, averaging around 24 months. With 80% of CEOs expressing distrust in their CMOs, it’s clearly a role that’s far from a walk in the park.

One of the key responsibilities of a CMO is managing an advertising budget, which is fraught with challenges, and where the pressure to avoid the appearance of wasting millions of ad dollars can be immense. With that in mind, Hoffman believes that the personal incentive for a marketer to unmask the extent of fraud in the online ad ecosystem is minimal, whereas the incentive for turning a blind eye is significantly higher.

Hoffman goes on to draw the conclusion that ad fraud gives marketers attractive numbers demonstrating reach and cost efficiency, often achieved through (inadvertently) purchasing fraudulent ad inventory. This, in turn, creates a conflict where ad fraud makes marketers look good while negatively impacting balance sheets.


Offernet’s Approach: Prioritising Revenue Performance Metrics (RPM)

Offernet has recognised the importance of shifting focus from vanity metrics to a more robust evaluation of advertising performance, considering the balance sheet that Hoffman refers to. By concentrating on Revenue performance metrics such as Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), Offernet aims to ensure that marketers can effectively quantify the return on their advertising investments, thus empowering them to make better-informed decisions.

To achieve this, Offernet has developed a sophisticated technology eco-system that measures RPM for various industries, ranging from financial services to in-store retail. By leveraging this technology, CMOs can gain a clearer understanding of the true value of their advertising campaigns and make more strategic choices that deliver tangible results for their brand and business.


The Path Forward for CMOs

It is crucial for CMOs to understand that their role extends beyond simply looking good on paper. Rather, they must focus on making a genuine impact on their organisation’s bottom line. Offernet’s approach, which prioritises RPM metrics and utilises advanced technology, can help CMOs navigate the complex world of ad fraud while delivering tangible results for their brands.

By embracing this approach, CMOs can successfully address the challenges presented by ad fraud and lead their organisations toward a more transparent and effective advertising landscape. In doing so, they can finally silence those proverbial crickets and make their voices heard in the fight against ad fraud.



Harvard business review:

Bob Hoffman News Letter:

About JG Bezuidenhout

JG Bezuidenhout is a founding partner of the South African subsidiary of, the data technology company housed in London, United Kingdom. Although based in Cape Town, JG is the global head of Offernet's advisory and innovation hub and, as such, is responsible for the monitoring and implementation of cutting-edge solutions, particularly within the digital marketing environment. Using advanced technologies such as big data and machine learning, as well as their bespoke Touchpoint Analytics™ system, Offernet can accurately and dramatically improve their clients' returns on advertising spend (ROAS). Their comprehensive approach to marketing, which includes advisory services, data analytics, and media buying, makes Offernet a valuable partner. If you want to take your marketing to the next level to achieve far more measurable results and align yourself with the growth strategies of the entire C-suite (and the company as a whole), Offernet is a logical choice.