It’s hard to get native advertising to scale without finding a place for programmatic, says Vibrant Media founder Craig Gooding

Scale: Craig Gooding says marketers need to scale native

In order to gain full advantage of native advertising at scale, the model will likely need an element of programmatic trading, according to native ad tech firm Vibrant Media founder Craig Gooding.

Speaking to The Drum following the official launch of Vibrant’s programmatic offering for its native ad placements, Gooding said that in an “ideal world” native advertising would be a completely personalised experience, but that in the digital scale game that most marketers are in its impractical.

“In an ideal world I think it’s probably right to say native advertising should be a crafted format delivered with thought and consideration, but it’s really hard to get that to scale,” he said.

“We’ve got a quarter of a billion users globally so having the right message for each user is really difficult to scale. Obviously advertisers always demand a great experience for themselves and users, but it’s a big ask to personalise it for each and every user when you have so many to go after.”

Vibrant native advertising service revolves around the delivery of contextual ads within content based on relevant triggers, not content creation. Ads appear as a link in content but are differently marked from traditional links. The firm also provides native display advertising technology.

According to Gooding, introducing programmatic will bring an added element of data that will enable ads to not only be contextual and relevant within the content itself, but relevant more specifically for the user at the other side of it.

“Fundamentally it’s about converting our suite of products into allowing advertising partners to use audience targeting as well,” he went on.

“I think the market has gone full circle on this; everyone used to be contextual, then everyone jumped onto the behavioural bandwagon, saying it doesn’t matter what environment you’re in, let’s just go and hit the right user.

“Now I think advertisers have woken up to it and realise that getting users in the right environment and the right mindset is really important. That’s what we’re trying to do with our next generation of programmatic – overlay the contextual targeting and then allow advertisers to bring their own data to lay on audience targeting as well.”

Gooding added that there is more content marketing coming through its ad units and there are plans to roll out programmatic into that area.

“We are seeing a lot more content marketing coming through those containers, so rather than just being ads we’re now showing content marketing, app discover, all kinds of things that relate to that user and make it more native to their experience,” he said.

“We have plans to roll out programmatic into content marketing as well, so the content that we’re allowing our users to discover will be audience matched as well as contextually matched.”

Vibrant began its programmatic beta testing in March this year allowing 600 buyers to access premium inventory on both the open marketplace and private marketplace. Brands such as O2, Microsoft, Samsung, EA Games, Netflix, Fiat, Kellogg’s, Unilever and Amazon are currently running campaigns through Vibrant’s programmatic network.

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