“Traditional digital advertising has become wallpaper. It doesn’t improve anyone’s experience on a site and readers, myself included, pretty much look past it. Brands that have a strong point of view and great partners to help them express it can enjoy massive engagement [with native],” GE’s global head, media strategy, Jason Hill told eMarketer last year.
According to eMarketer, globally marketers will see a healthy spending growth in 2015. With the rise in smaller screen sizes and to stay beyond the advertising clutter the prediction remains rational. It also holds true for India which is now evolving into a mobile economy.
For Indians mobile has evolved as the primary device with a growth in data consumption. According to the findings of Vserv, 52% of mobile consumers are more likely to engage with a native ad and another 38% believe that sponsored content adds value to their app/site experience. “Native is the answer to engage a user in this mobile age. Today even a layman thinks twice before clicking on a banner ad since it takes him to a different destination. The best way to do this is showing content that would interest a user depending on his consumption pattern,” Prashant Dixit, VP – Global Data & Supply Partnerships, Vserv said in a recent conversation with Lighthouse Insights. He was talking about Vserv’s Aqua Native ad format.
Vserv, the leading smart data led mobile marketing platform, last month announced the launch of Vserv Aqua Native, a dynamic native ad format powered by the Vserv Smart Data platform. The company states that, “Vserv Aqua Native is designed to facilitate seamless experience for consumers on mobile, inclusive of ads. It displays ads that are customized as per the environment, design and layout of the app or site, hence being able to retain consumer attention and reduce ad fatigue. This in turn leads to a higher average click-through rate (CTR) for the publisher.”
With the ever increasing drop in banner ad clicks and zero organic reach from Facebook, online publishers have challenging times ahead. However, Vserv thinks that its latest offering could solve the problem,”Native ads today make perfect sense for publishers who are trying every trick in the book to grab the consumer attention. The free flowing nature of native ads effortlessly integrates marketing messages into content, without compromising on the user experience and results in earnings that were not possible earlier.”
Over a phone conversation, Prashant informed that his organization works with more than 5000 publishers globally and when they took the offering to Indian publishers, they were more than happy to test and asked what new can the offering provide. “When we informed that our native advertising also looks at how a user behaves they were more than happy to look into it.” Adding further he said, “Today publishers are looking into new ways of monetizing. They know that traditional ways of advertising no more work, so they are keen to try new ways without ruining the customer experience.”
The company also stressed the fact that Aqua Native is designed to display ads that are customized as per the environment, design and layout of the app or site and can deliver 5760 different permutations of an ad to be displayed on an app or site. “Our design team sits with the publishers and creates different format for them depending on the site design, format, among others. So the ad format that is created for a particular publisher/partner is a customized solution in their layout,” said Prashant.
In October last year, Vserv had initiated the transition of offering smart data solutions to its customers. Aqua Native is also part of this offering which will be analyzing users, activities, content consumption patterns, among others. With the smart data, Vserv will be in a better position to customise and offer better native ad experience. “We know the users content consumption pattern and what site he is about to go, this helps us to show better native content that the user is more likely to engage with.”
But Vserv isn’t the only player offering native ads. Last year InMobi launched its platform for native ads after the beta launch in January. At that point of time InMobi told Tech Crunch that it will invest around $100 million in fleshing out the new native ad platform. The company had said, “Built on top of its ad network, it will offer in-context mobile ad units like in-stream ads, icons and news feeds to publishers. They will also have access to global campaigns from app developers, brand marketers and commerce advertisers on the InMobi ad network.”
Prashant is quick to inform that Vserv’s ability to bring native ads in regional languages is the big high for the country. “Indian publishers are very much interested but at the same time India is dominated by regional languages. As a company we understand that and our latest offering has the ability to bring native ads in regional content. So if you are on a Marathi news site the native content shown would be in the same regional language.”
He added, “This is why we are saying that ours is a fluid ad format which can deliver 5760 different permutations of an ad to be displayed on the app or site. Today you can’t have a native ad only in English in a country where there are more than 25 regional languages.”
It isn’t a secret that if marketers really want to grow in India’s digital economy then they would have to address its users in native language. As 25% more consumers tend to notice native ads, it will constitute the larger share of mobile display ad spent. Vserv’s Aqua Native not only is building tailored solutions for publishers but is also addressing the regional concern, making it a default choice in India in all likelihood.