Smarkets | Making Scaling a Success for an Innovative Betting App

May 4, 2023
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Winning Results With TrafficGuard: 


  • In one month, Smarkets’ gross invalid clicks decreased by 81% and within that time, its unlocked budget was 759% of the solutions’ cost. 
  • The invalid install rate from integrated partners dropped by 62%. 
  • It is estimated that Smarkets' ROI will be 7.7x that of its investment in the TrafficGuard solution after a year. 


Making Scaling a Success for an Innovative Betting App  

Smarkets is an innovative, product-led, sports betting company offering trading options on sports, politics and current affairs. The teams' mission is to fix betting with a core focus on price and product with their tech-first and professional approach. The two main products are the Smarkets exchange, a sophisticated betting exchange and prediction market platform, and SBK, a sportsbook app that delivers industry-disrupting odds by drawing prices from the exchange and presenting them in a sleek, sportsbook interface.  


Smarkets were running user acquisition (UA) advertising campaigns to increase customers on its mobile app. The team scaled up their ad spend when they saw investments working but didn’t have a clear view of the traffic sources. Without this visibility into traffic sources, it was unaware that its invalid traffic was growing. Smarkets could capture more customers and maximise its campaign return on investment (ROI) if it gained greater transparency than its mobile measurement partner (MMP) could provide. 


Surcharges and Shock Costs 

Smarkets were pushing their acquisition efforts using programmatic display advertising, meaning that the team was making key decisions about which partners and channels to invest further in using the data its MMP presented it with.  

However, the company was soon hit with Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) overage charges. It was being billed for extreme engagement numbers but wasn’t seeing the equivalent in depositing customers. Suspecting that it could be ad fraud, which the team was aware was a common challenge in the industry, Smarkets began using TrafficGuard’s free detection mode.  

The team arranged an initial traffic audit to better understand its losses and how invalid traffic could be prevented at the click level. They discovered the campaigns were facing a high number of bot applications and crawlers, including common bots like Google Search bot, or Slackbot, in addition to bad actors committing user agent spoofing. These involved elements of the user agent string, or code, being modified to obscure details of their traffic and it delivered no meaningful conversions or business value.  

As Smarkets was looking to scale its advertising further, it needed an agile solution that could be integrated quickly. After seeing the value and potential savings in facts and figures, the team adopted TrafficGuard’s full prevention solution. 


Providing Reliable Verification 

In just over a month of using TrafficGuard, Smarkets’ click fraud was reduced significantly. By moving from TrafficGuard’s detection mode to its protection suite, we reduced invalid clicks from 76.4% in detection to 27.6% in prevention from integrated partners. With prevention in place, the invalid install rate from integrated partners also dropped by 62%. Overall, during this period, Smarkets’ unlocked budget was 759% of the solutions’ cost.  

As the partnership continued, TrafficGuard delivered monthly success reports for full transparency for Smarkets and its supply partners, in addition to the intelligent, real-time portal provided to view traffic on demand. In one month alone, gross installs decreased by 86% invalid clicks decreased by 81%. TrafficGuard estimates that over a full year using the solution, Smarkets' ROI will be 7.7x that of its investment in the solution.  

The solution worked alongside the MMP as a partner to ensure the engagement Smarkets was being charged for had a fair chance of converting to a customer. By using machine learning and AI to detect abnormal behaviour, we could filter out invalid traffic at the click level and only valid traffic was sent to the MMP for attribution. More comprehensive fraud protection also ensured all valid installs were also attributed to the correct source, and the correct partners were paid.  

As a direct result, the Smarkets team became better equipped to optimise the advertising channels they were using by avoiding ones that provided large levels of fraud and scaling up ones that provided clean and quality traffic. In addition to the budget savings, with real-time protection in place, TrafficGuard also lowered Smarkets' customer acquisition costs and unlocked excess budget that could be reinvested to deliver valid clicks and produce high-quality customers. 


Delivering Value 

Smarkets was pushing the boundaries of the betting industry and was searching for a partner that approached the challenge with the same level of innovation. The team needed a solution that could work in harmony with its MMP and build on its fraud defence to stop both sophisticated (SIVT) and general invalid traffic (GIVT) at the install and event level. 

TrafficGuard’s mobile app fraud protection solution seamlessly integrated into Smarkets’ UA campaigns so it could act instantly. The marketing team could scale their current channels more accurately, while gaining the visibility of the full user journey to invest in any new channels with confidence.  


“Working with TrafficGuard has been a very positive experience. The team has helped guide us through the integration process with partners and provided valuable insights for channel optimisation over time. Smarkets would strongly recommend working with TrafficGuard for mobile ad fraud prevention.” Timi Awotesu, Performance Marketing Manager, Smarkets 




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