Advertising Is Going Native – New ANA Survey Results

January 29, 2015

By Bill Duggan

Native advertising has been one of the hottest and most controversial terms of the past year and a new ANA survey provides the marketers’ perspective.

Native advertising is an advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing messaging in the context of the user’s experience. In fourth quarter 2014, ANA surveyed members to understand how they use and budget for native advertising, manage its implementation internally and externally, and measure its success. The survey was also meant to reveal marketers’ opinions on questions of disclosure and ethics. The survey results are officially being released today and the following provides high level findings.

Budgets for native advertising are increasing
Almost three in five (58 percent) say their company used native advertising during the past year. Concurrently, spending on native adverting is increasing.

  • Past year budgets increased for 55 percent of respondents.
  • In 2015, 63 percent of respondents expect to increase budgets allocated to native advertising.

Despite the spending increases, native advertising currently accounts for a small percentage of overall advertising budgets — 5 percent or less for 68 percent of respondents.

Contextual relevance main benefit
The main benefit of native adverting is the ability to create extremely relevant associations between the brand and consumer via content. Given today’s media landscape, where consumers can avoid ads more than ever, advertisers are looking for new ways to get their messages noticed and acted upon.

Many external resources have roles
Many external resources have roles in helping marketers manage native advertising: media agencies, media owners/publishers, creative agencies, specialized digital agencies, public relations agencies, and content marketing agencies. Media agencies have the highest incidence of usage and are identified as the “most valuable” resource. 

There are measurement concerns
Measuring the impact of native advertising is a challenge. Multiple metrics are employed, but no metric stands out as “most important.”

Disclosure and ethics are key issues.
Two-thirds of respondents agree that native advertising needs clear disclosure that it is indeed advertising. Only 13 percent feel that such disclosure is not needed.

Both the publisher and the advertiser have a responsibility to ensure disclosure.

Three-fourths of respondents feel that there is an ethical boundary for the advertising industry when it comes to native advertising. Disclosure and transparency are major concerns about native advertising that keep respondents up at night. 

ANA members can access the full ANA report, titled “Advertising Is Going Native.”  

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