King Content and Warc have surveyed advertising and marketing professionals across 16 Asia-Pacific countries addressing how marketers are incorporating native into their wider marketing strategies, the types of content that brands are amplifying, challenges they are facing and how they are measuring return.
When I started working in the world of native advertising just over 18 months ago, I did so with a huge degree of excitement for an area of digital marketing that I believed had an enormous amount of potential for marketers globally.
At that stage there were a number of factors we believed would drive the growth of this channel:
– Trends coming out of the US were showing double-digit growth for native advertising – always a lead indicator.
– Marketers were starting to look for alternative ways to connect with audiences across the purchase funnel.
– A disillusionment was occurring with digital banner advertising.
– There was an increased focus on clients’ owned channels.
– Key for us: our clients at King Content were investing in the creation of content, but with limited means outside of organic channels to get this content in front of potential customers.
The last year has seen extraordinary growth in native advertising, and we’ve seen our clients reap the benefits of amplifying their content to broader audiences.
In setting out to do this study, we really wanted to understand how marketers and agencies were feeling about native advertising across the region, as well as what stumbling blocks they were encountering so we could work to overcome them.
What we’ve found (and no surprise) is marketers require more education on native advertising and need to clearly define their strategies in this area.
The key for me though is in two interlinked areas from the report:
1. One of the biggest challenges the industry faces as it grows is the balance between editorial and advertorial content in native placements. As clients look for immediate returns on their investment in these channels, the tendency will be to shift the focus to lead generation.
2. Measurement is highlighted as an area that needs a key focus for the industry as it continues to take a greater percentage of marketing budgets.
This channel however is best served higher up the purchase funnel, connecting and engaging with potential customers and building relationships. Marketers should use their other channels to convert, and measurement needs to focus on softer metrics to determine success.