Five important things every native advertiser should know
Important thing 1
Digital advertising has proven a little more challenging than many people thought. Until native came along and put the consumer back in the middle of the picture, response rates and recall were worse than those for the most diabolical direct mail abuses of the 1970s. Native has arrested the decline, but let that consumer drift to the edge and we’re all just forgotten pixels.
Important thing 2
The world is still going through the biggest communications change since the invention of the telegraph allowed the globe to talk to each other in real time. Harking back to the good old days of publishing is like expecting school boys to doff their caps to their elders; it isn’t going to happen and we adults don’t deserve it anyway.
As long as consumers want to buy stuff there will be a place for advertising; in good quality online publications whose strategy is based on the consumers of tomorrow, not the ghosts of yesterday.
Important thing 3
There isn’t a consumer out there who needs us. The consumer of 2014 has more choice at the end of their fingertips than any other generation has ever known.
In the virtual world you don’t have to use more than a couple of muscles to traverse oceans, span continents or take a spiritual journey through any genre or belief system that’s ever been dreamed up.
We natives need to be damned good to come top of today’s consumer wish-list.
Important thing 4
John Fredette, manager of global media and sponsorship marketing at IBM, a company some of you may have heard of, said at a recent conference, “We would do more native if we knew how.”
What! That’s the nearest thing to a banner ad saying ‘take our money’ we’ve ever seen. Come on native, we’re still not great at explaining why we work so well and where the opportunities are. Let’s explain, let’s be transparent, let’s come up with better lines than ‘5 important things every x should know’.
Important thing 5
Technology destroys as many people as it saves. Technology kills as many ideas as it nurtures. If native advertising succumbs to the lure of the robotic content machine, generating and spewing out drivel in an automated insult to the intelligence of our consumers, then we deserve to lose the respect that the native movement has gained.
It’s all about the consumer; it always was, it still is and, as long as we are made of flesh and blood and a soul, it always will be.
Respect, engagement and creativity; that’s what makes native advertising so great. Technology should be our slave, not our master.