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What are Native ads ?

Native ads are the highly targeted ads which takes the best of content marketing in designing the message on the ads. But hold on, doesn’t this apply to all other types of ads. Yes it does. But Native ads comes with a difference. The difference is in the delivery of the ad. The ads are targeted in such a manner that the user experience is not disrupted. The ads are delivered in a way that it does not impede the user’s normal behavior in that particular channel.

So in short you pay for placement of ads but in a way that it matches the format of a third party website.

These ads are defined as Native ads and the whole advertising as Native advertising.

Native Ads for Publisher and Advertiser

Native Ads Open and Closed

The best example of native ads with which you can relate day in and day out are – Facebook Sponsored stories which you must have seen/clicked/liked in your news feed. Hence Facebook is a publisher and marketing brands/agencies are the advertisers.

As a Publisher

You can offer spaces on your website within your blog/website. You can directly sell or involve with an aggregator.

Similarly mobile app users can also benefit from native ad placements. You can ask your developer to check the module to implement native ads using Google DFP (Double Click for Publishers

With the rise of ad blocking , Publishers are about to hit a wall with native ads.

Its a must invest for the publishers in this advertising. They can sell these spaces later to advertisers on eCPM basis.

There are other number of aggregators where you can become a publisher with your blog/website etc.

As an Advertiser

To invest in native ads, is becoming one of the primary objective of online advertising. We all are looking for quality and not quantity. We want to reduce waste traffic to come to our website.

When considering the popular social media channels , we are already investing a sum in native advertising. Newsfeed ads, Promoted trends, Sponsored stories, Linkedin ads, Promoted stories are all part of the native ads.

Its advisable to check out the results from Native ads and accordingly adjust budget in Banner Ad marketing.

Native Ads Vs Banner Ads

Native Ads on a comparison with banner ads give 2-10x greater CTR (click through ratio) . The study done by IPG Media Labs – shows the effectiveness of Native Ads over Banner Ads.

Native Ads Infographics

Mobile Native Ads

For all the same reasons stated above, the native ads also make a great deal on mobile. When we see the world is highly active on mobile, we cannot stop from taking the advantage of mobile native ads for publishers as well as advertisers.

The detailed study done by MMAglobal gives you a ringside perspective of mobile native ads –


Agency-Client Relationship for Campaign Management


My first job in Digital Marketing was working Client side in an e-commerce company. As it was my first job being in digital, I gained a lot of experience being a marketing manager. After I left the e-commerce company , I joined an agency . And there it was a completely different way of doing things when it comes to agency.

Both the sides have their own pros and cons but still both can be handled more efficiently when dealing with each other. Let me discuss on the most important things when we are dealing as an agency or as a client and how we can maximize our benefits from a campaign.


Working in large organizations whether agency or client side, most of the organizations looks into segregating both the mediums.

Generally agency side, we have separate teams handing all the offline and online requirement. For a new campaign when we approach the clients we are highly focused on our division core abilities and do not involve ideation from other departments in strategy. And the campaign execution is done on the mediums we suggest to clients and the clients approach other mediums to other agency or another department.

We know the department heads of Offline Mediums will target more on newspaper ads, events and press releases. On the contrary online mediums will focus more on social media and digital buying for the clients.

Suppose there is a campaign which is a launch of a product, both the mediums will take different approach. Maximum on client request the ads /PRs will be carried on social media or vice versa. There is nothing wrong but what we have missed are the results of the campaign if we would have combined both the mediums.


Take this simple idea and see your results:

  • A press release came in newspaper
  • The PR should be tweeted from the newspaper twitter account also.
  • See the number of followers who have increased from that tweet.
  • If the tweet also has the link back to your website, then you are also helping SEO link building exercise for your website.
  • The link on the tweet will definitely add some value to the traffic on website. See the numbers.

Definitely you will see a significant difference when you do this for a simple press release.

Similarly when the marketing head/manager is working towards the campaign he should also think about how he can leverage all the mediums and tie them together.

Agencies and Clients should have integrated approach towards brands. Hence they should focus having a single agency partner for multiple channels. This will result in seamless integration across the channels as well.

Collaboration is the key

 Agencies must collaborate department internally as well to reduce costs and drive results to the clients.

Most of the world’s successful campaign have used the strengths of both side of the mediums and collaborating internally the offline and online mediums.

You can see the latest superbowl ad and how twitter has paired with TV successfully –


Below is a small workflow chart demonstrating agency and client side on the execution of the campaign

Agency Client

The last step is the most crucial. The agency and the client both should decide on the objective of the campaign and have a combined responsibility to ROI as well. During the campaign period, there should be regular meetings to see the performance. If by any chance the campaign is not performing, both the parties should have extra money saved from the overall campaign budget to look into different creative approach also.


No campaign on whether online or offline will be successful if the creative is not delivering the right message. Though in offline mediums the ad may come once or twice, for online mediums it is recommended to have 2 to 3 set of ad copies for the campaign. This will definitely boost up the performance of the campaign. Agency should have 2 to 3 ad copies for online mediums and recommend the clients initially. If the campaign is running on all mediums together, the flow should be as below –

  • Launch of the campaign ad in all the channels with an objective.
  • After 10 days change the digital creatives for the campaign.
  • Follow up ads if required on Offline mediums.
  • Measure the performance on Google Analytics to see the increase in traffic/conversions when press ads are released or any other offline activity is happening.
  • Check CTRs for Online campaigns
  • If the campaign is not performing well till half of the time period, revisit the strategy and come up with solution. The agency and client both should take the responsibility and collaborate for a solution.
  • Measure ROI in the end of the campaign.
  • Definite learnings from the campaigns should be made from both side and shared. This will help focus on other campaigns.

Execute a campaign in a more collaborative manner within the company and outside company as well. See the results and share if this way camapign execution enhanced.




The year has started and all marketing heads will be allocating the budget for the year. Digital Marketing is definitely one of the key channels for the Brands and the Companies. Before putting your budget blindly into channels, lets see what will be the good approach to allocate your budget in Digital in 2016.

There are a lot of articles on this topic on internet and I am not the new one who is talking about it. But definitely there is a commonality based on the insights published through various resources that where is 2016 heading to.

Lets See the various areas in digital where we should focus in 2016

People Based Marketing –

In simple words “I want to show my product to a person who will be willing to buy it or will consider buying”. Today we do not want heavy traffic to come on website rather we want the right traffic . We want to show our products to people and not machines, cookies and gadgets. As the average number of devices per person are exploding , we have to start measuring data based on “person” basis.

One of the step taken by facebook was to tie up with Atlas.

As cited in an article  –

 Facebook Atlas demonstrates that there is a simpler way to enable marketers to reach people that does not involve using pixels. Atlas represents the two foundations of people-based marketing: allowing consumers to establish their identity through opt-in/log-in and accounting for consumer cross-device and cross-channel activity. Brands and agencies, with Atlas, can measure ad campaigns across screens and solve the cookie issue, targeting real people across mobile and the Web. Atlas uses Facebook’s ID (rather than a cookie) to follow a user’s journey from mobile to desktop and back.

Read full article here –

Similarly Programmatic platform Rocket Fuel has also announced a new default for its software, what it calls “people-based marketing.”

Read full article here

The staggering growth of personal gadgets have created multiple profiles of the same person in the online sphere. It is time to combine the disparate profiles into one single profile and start measuring.

Gather first party data


Collect as much data possible from your consumer to make your own data. Its evident that facebook advertising is becoming more convincing to the marketers based on their ability to provide first party data in advertising. Start collecting your own data as well based on consumer interactions to your brand. There are several tools which can help you in collecting first party data. You can check tools with Hootsuite for sure. The more customized and personlized message you can give to your audience , the more it creates a difference to your campaigns.


Instagram 15 sec videos, Animated GIFs, Branded Video Content, Live Stream, Customer Testimonials, Tutorial/Demonstration Videos are among the most hyped video content  on social media and web. Videos have become an integral part of Digital Marketing. There should be a separate budget and video strategy for the brands.

The other question which comes into picture is short vs long videos. Short videos definitely lead over the long videos. Definitely the consumer does not watch big videos because they are in a hurry to see more things in less time. So keep the videos shorter, engaging and have viral content (which will be covered in coming blogs).

Below are few steps to implement video strategy

  • Create a video calendar for the 6 months
  • Figure out what stories you want to tell with a concept for every month
  • Make high quality videos and compatible in various social media platforms
  • Dedicate creative and analytics people in team to video concept creation
  • Measure and Analyze the videos

Ad Blocking

ad block

Ad blocking is the new normal. Consumers want to see real thing and they block what they feel is not relevant or blocks their view.  Native Ads are important set of ads which so far has proven efficient ads and prevents to an extend ad blocking by users. Though they are considered as expensive ads. For a brand to run a native ad campaign on a site like CNN or The Atlantic, it costs as much as $40 for every thousand views. Source .

As these ads are more natural ads coming in-feed , they have more visibility than standard banner ads. Examples can be seen as Facebook News Feed Ads, Instagram Ads etc. Hence the ads get more attention(in terms on purchase intent or visit to a page) and have less probability to be blocked by people.

Ad blocking is one big issue which has been and will be be seen in 2016 for all publishers and marketers. So we have to smarter in assigning budget and targeting ads.


One of the highly predicted strategy for 2015 (worked well also) will continue to be in 2016 also. Today smartphones are most talked (literally) medium for people. Being always connected online users spend a good amount of time on this medium. Even all the websites get more than 60% to 70% percent traffic from mobile.

You should marry all your strategies either SEO,SEM,SMM keeping mobiles in mind . You cannot afford to succeed in online mediums if you do not think MOBILE FIRST.

Have a look into your 2016 strategies and let me know which of the above strategies have started working well for you.



The Right Message


The ability to deliver right message to the right audience at the right time is the key for online ads. The advertisers, agencies, clients and consultants in the online domain are always in a rush to scale the ads using all sort of advertising online.

We are more concerned to see the metrics on the ads, traffic on website, CTRs , impressions and (thanks to programmatic) to an extent audience profile. In all these metrics we forget to determine the success of the ad based on the message.

Have we ever came across situations where the ads which were appealing, targeted to the right audience, had good CTRs but were still not able to give us enough sales or conversions?

We usually hover around the below answers:

  • May be the sites targeted are not visited by our target audience
  • May be our website has issues in directing conversions
  • May be visitors could not find what they are looking for on our website

But the BIG QUESTION is – Were my ads delivering the RIGHT MESSAGE to such a highly paid right audience?

Before answering the question first let’s figure out – What should come first – ad content or the right target audience?

It is important before you start an ad that you know the right content to come on the ad and what is your intent with the ad. Once you know the ad, you can precisely chose the right audience for that. (In some cases it works vice versa but still former is preferred over latter)

The new era of programmatic buying helps you delve into audience metrics in great details(Thanks to it) but are you seeing the right results.

As profoundly said by William Gibson “I feel about programmatic: The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

Lets talk a bit about programmatic advertising –

  • Buy ad inventory and sell using digital interfaces
  • Audience Targeting
  • You don’t worry. Machines are working for you

So your advertising messages get to the right person, at the right time and perhaps for the right price.

But we are missing on one important note – Right Message.

What do we mean by right message?

Suppose you are a fashion company in Dubai who sells clothes to cater different audience profiles. To start there are 3 profiles below:

  • Strictly Teens
  • Mothers
  • Party Goers

Now what should be your strategy? Should you target all of them with same ads or make 3 sets of ads and test them. 3 set of ads definitely have different message. And that is the key.


And once you know the message and want to get more deep into it, make 2 variation(A/B test) and see which variation is giving you more results.

ad 2

Try this for your next campaign and let me know your feedback in below comments.