2013 was the year of native advertising. Marketers and publishers have tried everything to cut through the clutter and engage ad-resistant and suspicious consumers. But ads often mimic editorial content and messages are recycled and repackaged.
AdWeek’s Lucia Moses recently caught up with several experts in the field and asked them to share their predictions for 2014:
Steve Rubel, chief content strategist, Edelman: The big thing that’ll happen next year is, some equilibrium will come in where the prices will fit in with what marketers feel they should be paying. We know [native] is great for thought-leadership, but I don’t think it’s been proven yet. The sell side and the buy side are not in sync yet. I suspect some of the publishers may be having a tough time selling this in because they’re ahead of the buy side. With that, pricing is higher. Case studies will come into the marketplace. The Sharethroughs, the Outbrains will take some of the margins. There’ll be more case studies. That begins to create a marketplace.
Joe McCambley, co-founder, creative director, The Wonderfactory: Demand for native content will outstrip the supply of creative talent. As a result, most native experiences will be unremarkable. Consumers will begin the inevitable process of learning to avoid native content the same way they’ve learned to avoid banners, email ads, radio and TV ads, and direct mail. Some intrepid advertisers will spend the money necessary to attract the right talent, and will create native experiences that are so entertaining, informative, or educational that they rival the quality of the world’s best journalism. Like all advertising, some native will be great, but most will be unremarkable.
Kevin Gentzel, chief revenue officer, The Washington Post: 2014 will see the emergence of the “native product.” Native products are start-to-finish collaborations between news, technology and advertising that take content marketing beyond text, images and video. They leverage tools, platforms and technologies for a better user experience and greater audience engagement. If display advertising and programmatic buying are about scale, native products are about deepening relationships with a more targeted audience.
Mike Kisseberth, chief revenue officer, TechMedia Network: With the recent release of the IAB’s Native Ad Playbook, we’ll see continued standardization of native ads and native ad serving. Disclosure and transparency in native advertising will continue to be top-of-mind for the industry. Expect stronger guidelines and standards to be considered by the FTC in the New Year, with the industry encouraging self-regulation, as seen with the IAB’s playbook.
*featured image: artist, Rene Magritte