by Jordan Wisbey, Head of Native, Verizon Media
Trends suggest native advertising will make up a whopping 52% of all display ad spend in Europe by 2020 (Enders research, specially commissioned by Oath). It is growing, and so must our understanding of it. Back in 2014, we ran a comprehensive study looking at the impact of native advertising, but the digital landscape and the way users behave online has changed significantly since then, so we wanted to take another look in a bid to redefine the value native offers.
In our recently launched Redefining Native Study 2018, we designed an innovative research methodology to explore the true value of native. The study included behavioural usability tests, implicit association response (particularly interesting as we measured subconscious reactions to understand the emotional connection between brands and people) and the perspectives of a number of industry experts, including a behavioural scientist.
A growing number of people are using ad blockers because of disruptive ads, but people are less likely to block if they are served more personalised ads in trusted environments. Brands across Europe risk missing out on huge audiences that use ad blockers - 11m users in the UK, 16m in France and 19m in Germany (Oath - Redefining Native, 2018). 79% of consumers now say they would like to see ads that blend into the page, and 4 in 5 of them accept native ads as a form of content. It's clear then that incorporating native advertising into your digital strategy is increasingly crucial for building trust and brand love online.
Marketers already see some of the performance benefits of native, like increased click through rates, but those performance metrics don't tell the whole story as to the impact quality native advertising can have for brand-building. Propensity to recommend and likelihood to purchase both saw big increases in our study, for example, with greater trust in premium environments enabling native to deliver a 35% uplift in positive subconscious brand associations.
With native ad spend forecast to increase significantly from 2015 - 2020 - 144% in the UK, 240% in Germany and 167% in France (2015 - 2020; Source: Enders Analysis: Native Advertising in Europe to 2020 (2016-17) - it's more important than ever to understand this additional value and how best to leverage native in the digital mix.
In our Redefining Native Study (2018) we've uncovered the true value of native and how it drives brand love when activated across various platforms, environments and formats.