The Current State of Programmatic Native Advertising

What is Native Advertising?

What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising ensures that ad experiences match the platform upon which the ads are being served. Already an effective marketing tool, a recent development has made this type of advertising even more impactful; the introduction of programmatic buying to native advertising.

Native advertising provides marketers with the ability to provide highly engaging ad experiences to their target audiences. With the added layer of programmatic, these experiences can now be produced at a larger scale and in real-time.

While currently there isn’t a standardization for real-time bidding in relation to native advertising, the IAB is in the final stages of creating one, which will be part of the OpenRTB 2.3 spec release. This should be released before the end of this year.

What Can Advertisers Do with This Technology?
With native advertising, marketers can produce high-quality content and ads that match the look and feel of the publisher’s site. We all have been on websites where the ads don’t match the rest of the content, i.e. text ads on a white background when the publisher’s background is blue. Native advertising makes the ads and content look the same so viewers can’t distinguish between the two.

Programmatic uses data to serve ads at the right place at the right time to the right audience. It overlays data like psychographic, demographic, geographic and interests with campaign targeting to ensure that the target audience is being served the right content.

Why Programmatic for Native Advertising?
Spending for programmatic is already starting to take over more and more of advertising budgets. A recent Business Insider article indicated that programmatic advertising spending has been growing at 20% annually. Further, real-time bidding is growing even faster; it’s expected to be more than $26 billion by 2020.

Programmatic is already a necessary tool for many marketers since it allows them to target specific audiences with particular content – no matter what platform on which they’re consuming this media. Many marketers are already familiar with the programmatic and real-time bidding platforms. There won’t be too much of a learning curve to start targeting native advertising on these platforms.

The data provided by programmatic will help ensure that native advertising campaigns are more effective and that less advertising dollars are wasted. For example, with programmatic, marketers at an outdoor store on the West Coast can directly target people within a specific radius of their stores and who have interest in hiking, biking or climbing. They can eliminate anyone who doesn’t match these specific requirements.

While there is concern that since native advertising is more customized, native ads will suffer with programmatic. Many fear that the quality of the ads will decrease. Yet, advertising must be scalable to be effective. Marketers should expect some growing pains in this area, but nothing will stop the native advertising-programmatic merger.