Nativo Names John Haake SVP Marketing, Hits Reset On Programmatic Display Mistakes

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January 30, 2017 - Originally published by

 

Nativo, an ad-tech platform for marketers and publishers to automate and measure native advertising, on Tuesday named John Haake as its SVP of Marketing. Haake will be responsible for managing all the company’s marketing efforts.

Haake has logged more than 25 years in the advertising and technology sectors, having previously served as the CMO at Flashtalking, where he promoted the adoption of programmatic creative.

Prior to Flashtalking, he spearheaded the repositioning of x + 1 into a data management platform, which was eventually acquired by Rocket Fuel in 2014 for $230 million. Haake has held leadership roles at Rocket Fuel, HookLogic, Turn and MediaMind.

Haake’s expertise includes programmatic media buying, data-driven audience targeting and fractional attribution -- all complementary to Nativo’s objectives of expanding its portfolio native offerings. His hiring comes on the heels of Nativo’s recent announcements with content creation platform Ceros, to help marketers deliver interactive content experiences at scale, and Relay Media, to help publishers more effectively monetize native ads on Google AMP-enabled pages.

For native, we believe it’s content that clicks into the publisher’s site. It’s long-form advertising. It’s not ‘click-out’ native, which is just banners snuck into the editorial feed.

Real-Time Daily spoke with Haake about his background, programmatic native advertising and plans at Nativo:

Real-Time Daily: What’s changed since you started in ad tech?

Haake: My motivation is to do better advertising, to leverage data and technology to enable advertisers to engage their audiences. Around 2009 and 2010 at Turn, we were at the advent of programmatic. You had to deal with each publisher separately. Now, you can buy inventory across multiple sources and create audiences by blending first- and third-party data.

Prior to 2009, this was difficult to do in digital advertising. We solved that problem. But we also boiled the golden goose. We weren’t doing better advertising, just doing it more efficiently.

In addition, publishers lost their audiences and lost control of their inventory. Programmatic display advertising wasn’t a positive thing for many publishers.

RTD: What point are we at now?

Haake: We need to reset. Native [advertising] is an opportunity to learn from the lessons of programmatic display technology and do a better type of advertising. We need to provide consumers with something of interest to them—to inform and entertain. When that happens, it helps advertisers to get real business outcomes.

We need to get away from click-through metrics. It’s almost criminal that as an industry, click-through is a key metric. It shows nothing. We’re eager to highlight a deeper level of analytics.

RTD: What type of metrics should native be working with then?

Haake: We should be showing how the consumer interacts with the content — metrics on time spent with the content, how far down the consumer scrolled and whether they finished the content. What’s important are attention-oriented metrics that demonstrate consumer behavior. Do I have the attention of the consumer?

Nativo has something we call "true native" — and it’s not banner ads. In-feed, you have a sponsored ad, but instead of clicking out to a branded landing page or the marketer’s ‘brand.com’ page, consumers click deeper into the publisher which they’re already in.

When people click deeper into the publisher, they land on a content landing page. From the Nativo platform, that page offers a level of reportability. Every page we load offers the advertiser with advanced analytics; it’s part of the package.

RTD: Native means different things depending on who you talk to.

Haake: When people say native, we need to be more specific about what the actual execution is. For native, we believe it’s content that clicks into the publisher’s site. It’s long-form advertising. It’s not ‘click-out’ native, which is just banners snuck into the editorial feed. It’s troubling that 90% of display campaigns are only being evaluated by click-through metrics.

RTD: What are your plans in the near-term?

Haake: We’ll be releasing some research in a few weeks that will connect the dots between the consumption of content and real-world business outcomes. We’ll look at vertical categories on our network, like auto, consumer-packaged goods, entertainment and travel, and examining metrics, like content to conversion and sales lift.

Some metrics go beyond selling goods — they could be awareness and using native campaigns to help push strategies.

We see native as an opportunity to hit reset and build on things we’ve learned over the last decade to do better advertising. We don’t see this as an evolution of display advertising. It’s a new paradigm for publishers to provide opportunities to advertisers for consumers’ value and attention.

RTD: Why is it important to reset?

Haake: Publishers are struggling with native programmatic. They don’t want to go down the same route that programmatic took them with display advertising. Publishers don’t want to trade quality for scale.

It’s important we give publishers an opportunity to offer the kind of access and unique opportunities to advertisers, but do it in a way that makes sense to advertisers. At this point, it’s difficult to scale custom native programs.

Nativo’s approach clicks into the publisher’s site and the content landing page. Advertisers can do anything they want there—video, surveys, infographics, etc. The landing pages do have some guard rails--the pages that are served from the native ad server will look like the publishers’ site with the same formatting, look, and feel.

But the content is custom.

There are infinite possibilities and some opportunity for customization, while giving advertisers the kind of scale they need. We want publishers to have a healthy alternative to what exists right now. We don’t want to make the same mistakes we made with programmatic display.