We connected with CEO and Co-Founder Satish Polisetti on his programmatic views:
PA.O: You’ve mentioned in TechCrunch that publishers should focus more on great content, not ads. What do you advise for better native ad publisher content?
Satish Polisetti: A value exchange must exist. Users go online to be educated, entertained or connected with their social circles. The approach to creating great native ads is similar to any other editorial approach: Find the story, and tell it in an intriguing way. If the story can educate, entertain or delight the reader, the publisher has done his job.
Native content is intended to educate or entertain, but it also has the motive to boost sales, attract new hires and improve public perceptions. Whatever the primary objective, publishers need to have broader distribution plans when producing content. Analytics show that the time spent reading native content is improving, but it still doesn’t come close to the time spent reading traditional editorial content. The best way to get more engagement is to give native ads legs by seeding placements in external sites, apps and paid social promotions.
PA.O How do you measure user experience and the effects that better ad creative has on it?
Satish Polisetti: You can measure many things – hits, usage analysis, session analysis, A/B testing and multivariate testing – to understand user behavior when interacting with native content. Advanced techniques, like eye tracking or emotion and trust measurements, can also be used to gauge its influence.
The starting point is to define a goal. A goal can involve examining how users spend their time, the bounce rates involved or total sharing and posting amounts.
Dive deeper to further justify the experience: Compare native versus traditional content load time, render time, page size and the number of required scripts, tags and SDKs it takes to execute the campaign.
PA.O: Some say native advertising will put downward pressure on all ad inventory prices. Do you agree?
Satish Polisetti: The amazing thing about digital advertising is its constant, self-correcting feedback loop. Native ads are at the intersection of offering a great user experience and commanding high CPMs. It definitely puts pressure on other formats; we’re already seeing publishers shift away from interruptive, unattractive formats like banners.
Mobile ads traditionally cost 20 percent less than PC units. Native is coming to the rescue by pushing the CPMs higher for publishers. We’ve seen them make up to five times more revenue on mobile phones and nine times more revenue on tablets.
However, programmatic advertising also applies downward pressure on all formats – including native. So, it’s important for publishers to have strategies in place to maximize revenue from all available sources: direct sales, ad networks and programmatic sources.
PA.O: In five years, might we see all advertising shift to a native ad format? Why or why not?
Satish Polisetti: In the next five years, I don’t think we’ll be able to distinguish native ads from regular ads; I believe everything will be native. The biggest shift will be in the mobile world. The form factors of mobile devices are just some of many that will continue pushing native ads higher in the ranks.
Publishers specialize in content, not technology. In fact, 99 percent of them rely on third-party tools to manage their ads, and they use DFP for banners. For native, we’re seeing a rise in technology companies that help publishers execute direct and indirect revenue sources through their sites and apps. With a focus on native advertising, ad servers, exchanges, networks and DSPs are in-market and mature; they’ll continue to drive the evolution of display.
Part of the success of native ads is that they appear in places where consumers are already actively engaged with content. Without even realizing it, users process the information in-stream or end-of-post because they’re already reading the surrounding content. Banners, on the other hand, continue to fail because users have trained themselves not to look at them.
All told, the native ad industry will only continue to grow.