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Native advertising is the format of the future, predicts Facebook leadership team

In times when pop-ups annoy consumers, native advertising has emerged as the best option. Ad blocking is catching up, but marketers and advertisers are learning to cope with that too. So, what does the Facebook system offer to marketers?

Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | April 26, 2016

David-Jakubowski David Jakubowski

Audiences are veering towards the digital space, compelling brands to create the best digital experience for consumers. Marketers, however, still seem to be groping in the dark, unsure how they could best invest in the digital platform.

Digital giant Facebook has now begun to lend a hand to marketers, so they may make the most of their monies. David Jakubowski, Director, Facebook; Nick Seckold, Head, Atlas, APAC at Facebook; and Ashwin Puri, Head of Publisher, AdTech, APAC, Facebook, divulged details of the initiative that helps brands integrate native advertising to give the best to people and gain the best value for their investment.

Jakubowski shared insights on the Facebook ecosystem, which reaches 1.59 billion people to provide value to marketers. Marketers need to think about mobile as a platform, since a large audience inhabits that domain. A traditional approach to understanding consumer behaviour has been through ‘cookies’ on desktops and browsers. The same tracking approach is available on the mobile space too.

It is important for marketers to understand how they should spend their monies on advertising to tap such a large ecosystem. Every marketer sets value, creates ads to deliver to people and eventually measures the value created, but do they in the end get more value for their users? Facebook has helped marketers get more value for their users, Jakubowski said.

Seckold who heads Atlas, APAC at Facebook, quoted John Wanamaker, acknowledged as a pathfinder in advertising and marketing. The US born marketing seer of the last century had once said, “Half the money spent on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Seckold seemed to believe that the aphorism still held true. He emphasized that many marketers still did not know how to go from the blur view to the clear view. Facebook helps such floundering marketers drive sales. It guides marketers, so they may help brands integrate native advertising ? which is a form of advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears.

Industries have seen a significant growth in conversions using Atlas Solutions. Seckold said financial services had witnessed a 30 per cent increase in life in average conversions, while a 66 per cent rise in conversions were identified in the entertainment industry. Telco’s too witnessed a 77 per cent increase in conversions. The irony in the health industry was that 92 per cent of the conversions were on never-clicked-on ads.

Technology has revolutionized the way we live our lives. According to the global web index, there are 195 million internet users, 161 million active social network users and 688 million active mobile subscriptions worldwide. The revolution wrought by technology is evident in how people spend their time.

Ashwin Puri Ashwin Puri

People spent time listening to the radio in the 1950s, but from the 1960s to 2000, they slowly shifted to television. The mobile revolution came in 2000 and grew rapidly over a decade to form the digital revolution in 2010.

The use of mobile devices is expected to grow at an unprecedented rate. 2014 saw 888 million smartphone users, whose number grew to 1.4 billion in 2017 in the APAC market. It is also evident now that to better navigate the multi-screening effect, 95 per cent of people use two or more devices.

The risk for marketers using cookie-based technology is inaccurate results, like a 58 per cent overstatement of reach, 141 per cent media waste as frequency is understated and 66 per cent missed conversions. What then was the next big thing? Is it mobile and apps, video, programmatic or digital content? It is none of the above, said Seckold. The next big thing, he said, were real people.

Nick Seckold Nick Seckold

“Atlas is built on insights from Facebook’s vast community of real people ? 1.59 billion monthly active people on Facebook, 1.44 billion monthly active people on mobile and over 950 million people logged in across two or more devices,” Seckold said, adding, “We are challenging the industry to rethink how real ‘value’ is measured. While proxy metrics are fine, they don’t tell the true value.”

Puri explained how Facebook helps build the Audience Network for marketers. Native ads, he emphasized, need to be integrated as a part of a marketer’s strategy. Earlier consumers were accosted with pop-up ads. In an era in which consumers are annoyed with ‘pop-ups’, native advertising has become the best way to advertise.

An internal Facebook data accumulated in January 2016 reveals that 80 per cent of Facebook’s revenues had come from mobile. IHS research predicts that native ads would amount to $14.1 billion in 2020. The Audience Network connects publishers to more than three million advertisers.

Facebook helps marketers connect with audience using the same creative in different formats. In the APAC market, some of the apps that have successfully used the Audience Network include 360 Security, Camera360 and News hunt, among others.

Wei Zhou, CEO of 360 Security, is very happy with the way Audience Network has worked for Facebook. Facebook has helped 360 Security to earn a revenue of $300 per day in just four months. Overall, APAC has seen a 300 per cent rise in revenues using the Audience Network, said Puri. He said a lot of other brands had worked with the Audience Network and found it useful.

Blocking is a barrier for advertisers and ad blocking is catching up with native advertising. Ad blocking is driving marketers and advertisers to do better. App developers need to be up-to-date and native advertising is the one last format they can bank on.


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