Posted 11/1/2015 2:01:49 PM by CONNO CHRISTOU, Avocarrot
Native ads may blend into the content they are placed in, but whenever I hear about native ads in the news, the topic jumps out for me.
Take for example Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who recently told the audience at the IAB MIXX conference in New York that she thinks it’s a mistake for internet users to install ad blockers. According to Mayer, ad blockers result in the loss of a rich, full experience of the Web. “I want to make sure to keep monetization models vibrant,” Mayer said. “It’s about transparency, choice and control.”
Mayer also discussed how native ads might be the solution to ad blockers and how this form of advertising is giving maximum value to advertisers.
While Mayer naturally takes the advertiser’s side and highlights the value that native ads give them, we should not forget about two other very significant players in this complex puzzle: publishers and end users.
Through my everyday experiences with publishers over the years, I am not afraid to say that publishers need to care more about their end users - without necessarily stopping to worry about how to make money. The ‘golden’ common ground here appears to be native ads.
Native ads are a modern way for advertisers to reach and engage end users, while also enhancing the overall experience. This in turn leads to higher engagement rates, where everybody - publishers, advertisers and users all win. With native ads, the users’ time and experience are respected, advertisers’ ROI is boosted ,and money continues flowing in on the publishers’ side.
The catalyst here is mainly the UX, with a sprinkling of data around it to create the perfect contextual set for the end user. The key idea to remember here is that by respecting UX, you respect the end users themselves.
And before jumping to advertisers and their point of view, as Mayer did, we must bring the end user to the spotlight. End users are the main stakeholders and decision makers on how they want to spend their time online, so they should have first say on what that experience should look like.
Given the fact that over 90% of web and mobile environments are being monetized through traditional banners, end users will soon have no other viable option but to choose to install ad blockers.
In my opinion, ad blockers are a ‘dirty’ solution that will eventually lead to the slow death of free Internet. Users should have a say in this as well. And their say shouldn’t come from ‘dirty’ solutions, rather from modern publishers who want to empower their users by giving them superior experiences with ad content that enhances their overall experience, not damaging it.
We have a chance to change this story’s ending. By providing an alternative, a healthier journey to the end user, which in turn would enhance and enrich their experience online. This answer is the ‘infamous’ native advertising everyone has been talking about.
Through these carefully crafted advertising experiences, users will have a say for the first time, since they can choose to either engage or not engage with the provided sponsored content, while enriching their overall experience as well.
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