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Native is not displayed. Stop treating him as he is.

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While consumers are installing ad blockers and shipping companies follow, not to mention advertising fraud, domain theft, lack of visibility and disastrous security measures to the mark, let's be honest. Errors were made during the first decade of the programmatic revolution.

Do not get me wrong – I'm optimistic. Learning from our previous mistakes is the key to future success, as long as they are not repeated. With more than 10 years of programmatic experience under our belts for display and pre-roll video, what did we learn that we can apply to native programmatic? After all, it accounted for 84% of the total eMarketer was expecting to spend on Aboriginal exposure last year, and the total is expected to reach $ 28 billion in 2018.

Despite its growth, marketers often neglect the key word of native programmatic: Native. In the case of targeting, marketers are responsible for applying the same "reach-at-all-costs" strategy to their native programmatic purchases as their traditional display campaigns. The result is that the message of their brand is placed without taking into account the context of the page or even the site on which it is viewed.

That must change.

Beware of fuzzy lines

Part of the confusion and lack of nuance is certainly understandable. The native programmatic space – in fact, the native space as a whole – has always struggled with definitions.

We have blurred the lines to the point that, programmatically, most advertisers have given up treating programmatic display and native programmatic as separate entities. And here's the problem with that: When it comes to native, the context matters a lot more than in the traditional display.

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Consider this scenario: A brand sells designer shoes, and therefore seeks to reach a female audience of high-end fashion enthusiasts. Some members of their target audience may also like sports and attend ESPN.com. As a premium publisher, ESPN.com is very good when it comes to quality standards, so the publication makes the cut on the list of sites developed to preserve brand safety.

As part of the traditional display mode, focused on audience targeting, there is absolutely nothing wrong with offering a lover of high-end fashion an advertisement classic for stiletto heels on ESPN.com. When she sees the banner in the right rail, she gets it. This is his announcement, adapted according to preferences demonstrated elsewhere. But he is separated from the flow.

However, it's not her reaction when, instead, she encounters a content-driven placement promoting "5 fashion tips for this spring" sandwiched between the Giants' box box and the facts Warriors highlights from last night. It's a bad experience for the user – an experience that drives her to stop and wonder: "Wait, why am I seeing this here? I am on a sports site. "Stilettos are incongruous with the user experience. It's bad for both ESPN and the fashion brand."

The Enigma of Context: Security Against Scale

At present, programmatic advertising across the board is in the midst of a much needed cleanup effort. In its initial boom, when there was an infinite supply perception, we all saw growth pains hitting the industry's headlines: bots, fraud, domain spoofing , the lack of visibility, the investments disastrously dangerous. This is what happens when the growth of new platforms and new technologies is not controlled.

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As an industry, we retreated. We refocused. We have doubled our efforts to segment the audience. We generated and insisted on the lists of approved sites for the campaigns. Mission accomplished, no?

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Unfortunately no. In our efforts to protect our advertising spend and brand reputation, we have forgotten the context for our ever-increasing native programming investments. We have forgotten some security in our audience segments and our lists of sites, but we have forgotten this woman who is disconcerted by the content of fashion that is now injected into her sports flow.

Returning to the basics of advertising targeting

It's time to get back to basics. Context matters enormously in the exchange of value between the advertiser and the consumer, and it is absolutely essential when it comes to native. With natives, advertisers do not just buy an audience. Gone are the days of targeting a specific audience and blasting impressions wherever these users can be found.

With natives, advertisers buy an audience that has come to a site for a certain type of content and has opted for that type of content only. This fundamental principle was well understood and applied when humans decided which advertisements should appear where. It should not be sacrificed at the altar of automation.

In the end, however, putting the context back into the native programmatic equation will force advertisers to redefine their priorities. Yes, the programmatic – and specifically the native programmatic – is enormously developed. But in this age of public awareness and brand safety, that does not mean that all of our campaign efforts will go effortlessly. Once we have started to superimpose lists of sites in addition to audience segmentation, and then further restrict depending on the context, we must recognize the challenges inherent in reaching.

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Advertisers must abandon the "reach-at-all-costs" mentality that dominated the first programmatic era. It is time to go back and refine our approach, especially with regard to the distinction between traditional programmatic and native programming.

Under no circumstances should we abandon the brand's security efforts for reasons of volume. Instead, as we keep an eye on performance, we need to continually rebalance and test new approaches to audience segmentation, site restrictions and, most importantly, context.

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. The authors of the staff are listed here.


About the author

Casey Wuestefeld is vice president of campaign operations at Nativo, a native ad platform.

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