The true cost of digital advertising

This newsletter comes from the hosts of The Marketing Architects, a research-first show answering your biggest marketing questions. Find us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts!


This week, we're focusing on the significant waste in online advertising budgets. We'll break down the causes and discuss how to safeguard your spending. 



Marketers will spend over $650B on online advertising in 2024.        

Due to scams like ad fraud and false attribution, a big portion of this spending will be completely wasted, perhaps in the hundreds of billions.         


Reduce your ad spend waste.     

Online advertising is an essential part of marketing, yet it's riddled with costly inefficiencies that can drain your budget. Here’s how to fix it: 

  1. Tackling Ad Fraud: Ad fraud, including click and impression fraud, continues to plague online advertising, siphoning off a significant portion of budgets. Invest in advanced fraud detection tools and insist on detailed reporting from your partners to mitigate this risk.
  2. Transparency is Key: A large portion of online ad spend goes to ads that may never be seen by real people. Pushing for greater transparency from ad platforms ensures better tracking and utilization of your marketing dollars.
  3. Using Lower-Risk Channels: Channels like linear TV and radio are less susceptible to the challenges of ad fraud. These platforms offer a more secure environment for advertisers, ensuring your investments reach people effectively. 
  4. Budget Responsibly: Ultimately, regardless of your partnerships or the channels you utilize, you are responsible for managing your budget. This involves continuously testing and critically examining spending to ensure it is allocated effectively.

Listen in on our discussion.

"Inside the Black Box: How Marketers Waste Billions on Online Advertising”                      

Bob Hoffman provides an eye-opening look at the pitfalls of digital marketing spend and offers actionable insights for marketers looking to optimize their ad strategies. Read the book.



How much of your ad budget is used effectively?          

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half."  

— John Wanamaker