Consumers have a more positive attitude to digital ads that are a natural continuation of the content they are displayed in, according to several studies by organisations including Verizon Media, and this is leading a growing number of advertisers to give much higher priority to native ads in their advertising budgets.
Consumer aversion to banner ads is plain to see. A 2018 study by Verizon Media showed that 83% of online users think digital advertising is becoming more and more disruptive and that 1 in 2 people aged 18-24 use ad blockers. Equally alarming is a study showing that 6 out of 10 people have developed ‘banner blindness’.
On the other hand, users are more accepting of the native in-feed format, according to the Redefining Native study by Verizon Media, in which 4 out of 5 people say that they are receptive to native advertising. In the study, 70% say they are happy to see ads where text and style blend in with the page content. Because, ‘no one reads ads. People read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad...’, as legendary American Mad Men-era adman, Howard Luck Gossage once put it. This makes it all the more vital for the ad to be placed in a relevant context.
Another factor of growing importance for advertising is the credibility of the media in which it appears. In a world where ‘fake news’ is an increasing concern, more consumers are getting their information from premium media that they trust and where the source is known, according to a survey conducted by British company Qualtrics in 2017. While respondents trusted media such as the BBC, only 36% trusted news from social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. This reinforces users’ greater acceptance of native advertising on premium media. Verizon Media obtained the same result in a 2019 study showing that 50% of consumers prefer professional news to social media. This finding is backed up by data from another 2019 study, also carried out by Verizon Media, showing that 29% of consumers have a more positive attitude to brands they see advertised on news media that they trust.
The growing demand for native is also being noticed at Verizon Media. Through their DSP, they offer programmatic native on their own media such as Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports and HuffPost, as well as through collaborations with local media. Verizon Media can report a double-figure percentage growth in programmatic native in EMEA in Q1 year on year.
Native advertising shows clear results, with numerous native campaigns demonstrating up to 8 times higher CTR and sales up by 25% as compared with traditional banner advertising. For example, some of the country’s biggest advertisers have used Verizon Media’s DSP in their latest campaigns. One of them reports results exceeding expectations in both performance and reach, with an impressive 46% lower CPA on native campaigns where data segments were built, as against native campaigns running without targeting, and a 437% higher conversion rate as compared with other initiatives.
‘Native is the future in performance marketing’, says Kenneth Landbo, Verizon Media’s Head of Sales, Nordics and Netherlands. ‘We have seen great success with the offer of premium media combined with advanced targeting, including via machine learning through our DSP’, he continues. ‘It is a relatively new ad format for many brands, but it is delivering such strong results that we see customers allocating bigger budgets to the format once they have tested it.’
‘Growing interest in native as a performance tool means that Verizon Media is fully focused on updating our DSP to meet advertisers’ need to generate the best results in performance marketing’, adds Jesper Laumand, Verizon Media’s Managing Director, Nordics and Netherlands. ‘Lately, we have expanded the platform to unify programmatic, premium media and native advertising, including formats, targeting and measurement. And we are continuing to develop the platform so as to keep it the most progressive DSP on the market.’
Verizon Media has just been awarded Best of Tech Partner Award by Adweek’s readers scoring top ratings in our categories; DSP and SSP platforms as well as Ad Network: Video and Ad Network: Mobile.