Ben Young
Ben Young
January 26, 2015

I enjoyed reading Lucias post over on DigiDay talking about how publishers are hacking the CMS, she talks about early adopters The Atlantic have transitioned over to programmatic ad serving type models whilst some like Hearst are sticking with the CMS.

The long term play is that yes Publishers will have to swap to an ad serving like model.

The reason being is, that once brands have the idea that they can bring programmatic and ad thinking to content they will. It’s one of those ideas that if you know it’s possible why wouldn’t you. When you had a horse and cart, then you saw someone zip by you in a car – you were sold in an instant.

In saying that, I was having a couple of beers with a content strategist last week, whom provided the opposite view. His view was in a programmatic world, will we see the worst inventory right across the web, that view anchored in industry perceptions of recommendation units.

This is very analogous to when Google launched Adsense, for years (and especially in the US) it was outcast by publishers. However as it grew, so did the competition and now it is (in my opinion) a lot more accepted than it was.

“the ads are both unattractive and distracting, neither of which adjectives are generally associated with making anything “better”. via DaringFireball August,2003.

Side note: Do read that piece, it’s a great glimpse of a view of the ad landscape back then, people were still arguing about ads on sites, whether CPC rates could sustain…

I think native ad content going programmatic will go the same way. Yes initially we’ll see bad executions, we’ll see inappropriate targeting & placement, we’ll see retargeted content. But then slowly but surely there will be a tipping point of the balance of editorial control and market quality. Any digital ad veteran can probably list off this sequence of events, having been through it before.

How long will that take and will the market retain credibility long enough for that to eventuate? That depends, it’s up to us the industry to make that a reality.

How do we make sure the best content wins? We’re fortunate the internet does that for us. If (and we at Nudge see evidence of this) programmatic content is in a walled garden, it will break free and then return once it gets the performance. It’s the beauty of the internet.

However what we can all do is to work to demystify, what effective executions are like, what the best are doing and you can do it.

But for now, if you’re not sure and you are doing native via your CMS, do utilize Nudge, our product plugs straight in to your template and allows you to spin up reports to compare your content, report to clients and also check on your amplification. And later down the path, when you go programmatic, we have partnerships there too.