Trend Alert: Three Reasons Why This REALLY Is the Year of Native Advertising


We’ve all heard it for several years – this is the year native advertising will explode! We’ve all been waiting, but here at we really do believe that 2017 is the year. As more and more native inventory—ads that match a publisher’s content and design—becomes available programmatically, we expect advertisers to jump all over it. Let’s explore three factors that are driving this trend.

1. New Formats and IAB Guidelines

Eye-tracking studies and click through rates tell us what we already intuitively understood: intrusive ads that block consumers from what they are trying to see create a bad user experience and can turn off potential buyers.

New consumer-friendly formats and standards for ad units from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) acknowledge this reality. We welcome IAB’s standards—based on the LEAN principles (Light, Encrypted, AdChoice supported, and Non-invasive ads)—to guide better user experiences, and expect that these guidelines will, in turn, help drive the mass adoption of native advertising.

2. Native Ads Have a Higher CTR

The truth is that people simply respond to native ads. HubSpot research indicates that native ads are viewed 53% more than banner ads. A Yahoo study found that native ads evoked a 55 percent stronger emotional response than traditional ads. That’s partly because they don’t look like traditional ads, partly because they generally provide a highly engaging user experience and, much like quality display campaigns, can offer highly relevant, valuable information to the buyer. Moreover, they blend into their surroundings—the content—the stuff people came seeking in the first place. They look as if they are supposed to be there.

And people respond. On our platform, we are seeing an amazing six times higher CTR for native ads versus traditional ads.

3. Native Advertising Brings Us a Big Step Closer to 1:1 Marketing

The ability to personalize ads to individual users, known as 1:1 marketing, is the Holy Grail for marketers. New programmatic technologies are making it possible to instantly personalize native campaigns based on what device you are using, what publisher site you are on, your location, and how you are interacting with the Web.

In other words, the ad that you receive matches the content that you are reading on the page almost as if it were created just for you. An ESPN ad looks like it fits in with the ESPN page. A Huff Post ad looks like it fits in with the Huff Post page. Contrast this experience to being served an ad across the Internet that clearly has nothing in it that was tailored for you and your experience.

So, as you can tell, we’re excited about the future of native advertising. This format is better for advertisers because they get a higher response rate. It’s better for buyers because they get a better user experience. It’s better for publishers because native ads will make up a bigger piece of the revenue they need to continue to deliver online content at no cost to readers. And it’s better for us because we get to deliver value all around.

Who doesn’t love a win-win-win-win?