This post originally appeared on Mullen’s blog on 7/16/13.
By Kazi Ahmed, vp group digital media director
There appears to be a fascinating tug of war for digital media attention taking place between two seemingly opposing forces: programmatic buying and native advertising. In simple terms, machine based media buying versus advertising that blurs the line between editorial and content. eMarketer predicts that programmatic will expand its share of total U.S. digital display ad spending to more than one in four ad dollars by 2016, or roughly $7 billion. Meanwhile, native advertising spending is expected to increase from $1.63 billion to $4 billion in 2016 (eMarketer). Which begs the question: are these two trends mutually exclusive, or can they co-exist?
We asked several experts from both the programmatic and native fields to weigh in on their answers to this question. The consensus? Machines and good old fashioned ideas dreamed up by humans should be able to co-exist.
Question: Do you see programmatic buying and native advertising coexisting? Are they truly opposing forces, or do you see them having specific roles in the media ecosystem?
Mike Baker, Co-Founder, President & CEO — DataXu
They should be thought of as complementary, not oppositional, forces. Programmatic marketing represents a profound change in the business of advertising. At its core, it’s about the use of data and analytics to better understand and engage your customer. But today many advertisers are using it for little more than retargeting ads through exchanges to boost sales conversion metrics. In contrast, smart marketers are using programmatic across their media plans to make impression-level decisions on exchanges, direct buys, sponsorships and even native advertising placements. In this fashion, advertisers can control the context while also tailoring the creative message to the individual consumer — in real time.
To see what the other experts had to say about programmatic vs. native advertising, see the full post, Programmatic versus Native: Who Will Win? The Experts Weigh In.