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In folklore, a “highwayman” is a robber who preys on travelers as they journey on unfamiliar roads. In the online buying journey, the concept is realized anew in the form of fraudulent bots and crawlers that consume content, ad placements, clicks and dollars from advertisers — skewing analytics and falsely inferring buyer intent when none truly exists.

Here are three things to look for when choosing a buyer intent solution that is bot-immune:

The solution must have machine learning that accurately identifies the tell-tale digital footprints of a fraudulent device and flags them as a bot or crawler. It is critical that crawlers be identified at the device level so that non-crawler activity from major accounts is not ignored.

The solution must take a “wide capture” approach — one which leverages big data analytics, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to detect buyer intent signals across tens of thousands of technical, business, and industry publications. A “focused capture” approach — which detects intent signals only on a fixed, “in-context” set of publications — will generate far too few signals to allow for proper identification of fraudulent devices. Taking the former rather than the latter approach assures that the data to identify bots and crawlers is inherent in the intent data itself; your solution provider just has to know what to look for.

The solution must blacklist any digital ad placements to the specific devices identified as fraudulent, not just IP addresses. This capability means your ad will show up on real devices showing intent – not bots, crawlers, or the wrong target.

Our analysis shows that 30% or more of ad placement and buyer intent signals with bot and crawler prevention are routinely fraudulent — meaning 30% of your ad budget might end up in the pocket of a digital highwayman. But with he right buyer intent solution, you can rest assured that you’re targeting buyers with true intent instead of swindling bots and crawlers.

Do you know which specific companies are currently in-market to buy your product?

Wouldn’t it be easier to sell to them if you already knew who they were, what they thought of you, and what they thought of your competitors?

Good news – It is now possible to know this, with up to 91% accuracy. Check out Aberdeen’s comprehensive report Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent Data to learn more.