You may have heard Uber is suing multiple ad networks for fraud.
According to the rideshare company, they discovered $100m out of their $150m PPC ad budget was wasted on “low-quality or fraudulent” ads.
Here’s my take on this (as a PPC guy with 14 years’ experience)…
This happened because Uber were hopelessly incompetent.
If you’re spending millions of dollars on ads and you’re not auditing the performance of the ads – or getting a 3rd party audit – you should put on a clown suit.
Listen, it’s YOUR job to track your ROAS.
Yes, you should listen to your PPC people.
You should listen to them, but THEN you should double-check what they’re saying – especially if they’re on a performance incentive. (But, even if they aren’t.)
Think about it…
Uber spent $150m on ads.
$100m of that produced a ton of bot signups. Bots that would sign up – Woohoo, a conversion! – but never use the app.
And they didn’t notice!
That tells us that they’re not tracking LTV and engagement by traffic source – which is digital marketing 101.
They were a big league advertiser… that had amateur standards.
And, if they didn’t have people who understood both PPC AND data, they could have given someone like me a tiny, tiny fraction of that $150m (like a few grand) to calculate the ROAS to make sure what the agency was telling them added up.
The problem would have been caught early and saved them at least $90m.
But who in their right minds would spend $4,000 to save $90m, right?