On the final day of the I-Com Global Summit 2017, Ilana Westerman, principal, Create with Context, USA and Keenan Timko, senior account director for Twitter at MoPub, UK, discussed native advertising and had a few suggestions on how to champion it. The session was moderated by Guy Hearn, chief innovation officer - Asia Pacific, Omnicom Media Group, Singapore.
Westerman said, "We know native advertising and content marketing can thwart ad blockers. But that shouldn't be our only goal. Native advertising will only be successful if it is relevant and it needs to be micro-targetted to the audience."
She had a word of caution for brands using native. "Some native ads go too native. If people don't realise who created the content, what is the value to your brand. And if people think it is native content and later find out that it is sponsored content, they feel tricked and that can damage your brand. Years of irrelevant, intrusive, irritating and push to purchase ads have given it a bad reputation. People believe that no matter how integrated and native your ad is, it's still an advertisement."
Highly Integrated Personal Experiences (HIPE)
She then explained how one can make native advertising work. "We need to rebrand advertising and stop talking about target practice with our consumers. We need HIPE (Highly, Integrated Personalised Experiences). Give out valuable content, not advertisements or brand experiences that should be integrated into the experience. Only highly relevant personalised advertisements will engage with the consumers."
She then spoke about 'content zones' and 'dead zones'.
Emphasising on advertising in the 'content zones', she said, "67 per cent of the ads are viewed in content zones, versus 37 per cent ads that are viewed in dead zones."
Explaining that while ads are seen in content zones, only when a brand practices HIPE, does it lead to engagement.
Timko followed her with a run-through of native advertising.
He started by listing what he believed are native ads in the context of mobile apps.
Ads with the same look and feel of a given app.
Part of the overall app experience.
Typically in-stream (scrolling alongside content)
Regarded to be the future of mobile advertising.
Making a case for advertisers to use native, he said, "56 per cent of the millennials prefer native over any other format of advertising. That's why native portion of global advertising revenue is estimated to be 57 per cent in 2017, with NAM and EMEA having a higher percentage."