In the last half of 2013, it seemed everyone was talking about native advertising (advertising published as articles). With everyone, of course, I mean mostly the new media press people. Outside that very narrow circle of people, it's still practically unknown and received with a shrug. Most of the brands I talk with don't (yet) see the big appeal.
And I agree. I have been holding off writing a report about it because 'native advertising' was demonstrating a level of experimentation and shallow thinking measured in the absurd. In an age where marketing ROI is the hottest topic of all, most native advertising experiments tried to fool marketing people back into the old world of guessing and hoping that a bit of mostly non targeted exposure would result in... um... something.
Just to put this into perspective, in the just published 'Salesforce; State of Marketing 2014' study they found these three key points to be ones that marketing executives prioritize, and there is a clear trend towards more accountable marketing campaigns.
So a key element to native advertising, in 2014, is not just the concept of it, which is brilliant and has so much potential, but also to align it with these key priorities. It's not good enough to just focus on engagement and awareness. It also has to drive real conversions and be measurable.
In this 32-page report we are going to talk about the true potential of native advertising. We will talk about why most examples are not worth looking at, and what brands need to think about instead. In other words, how do you get it right?
First, let's talk about why it's so wonderful.
One of the big problems we have had with advertising is that publishers are trying everything they can to obscure what you are paying for. In print, for instance, a magazine will tell you how many readers they have (a number curiously much larger than the number of magazines sold), for which you then pay. What that means is that you have little idea what you are paying for.
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