How can the native economy be sustainable for both publishers and advertisers? We asked Rickard Lawson, Country Manager at Strossle Norway, in this Q&A.
Lawson was an official speaker at Native Advertising DAYS17.
What is the most important lesson you have learned about native advertising in your role at Strossle?
The fact that consumers appreciate quality content regardless of who writes it. If it answers their needs and makes their lives better – that’s truly the only thing that matters.
Too many companies still make their content about themselves rather than their consumers — It’s about the users dummy!
What do you think publishers, brands, and advertisers most commonly ‘get wrong’ about native advertising?
I don’t think I’m breaking down doors when I say that too many companies still make their content about themselves rather than their consumers. I don’t think this can be repeated enough: It’s about the users, dummy!
How can you build sustainability for publishers and advertisers in the Native economy?
Native is about using the ‘best of’ media’s ability to inform, entertain and delight for a commercial purpose. Traditional advertising has been all about pushing a message and consumers have largely rejected this intrusion whenever they get the chance. Focusing on how native advertising adds value is something that affects «both sides of the table» (publishers and advertisers) and by seeing the Native economy through this lens, sustainability is absolutely achievable.
Since the dawn of time, media companies have dictated the formats through which advertisers can talk to consumers. The 30-second ad, the pre-roll, the banner or the full page are all expressions of this. Native is changing this playing field. It’s a format that leverages the skills that have traditionally been the territory of the media companies: information, entertainment, and enlightenment – and advertisers are taking control themselves, talking directly to consumers.
We’ve been talking about how advertisers can learn from the media industry for many years now – perhaps it’s time to copy a page out of the advertisers’ playbook for a change.
So where does this leave media companies? How do they understand their role in this ecosystem?
Strossle works with 1200 media companies across Europe and some of the things we are seeing is how media companies have to change the way they define their position in the market, and how they see themselves in the relationship between advertisers and consumers. We’ve been talking about how advertisers can learn from the media industry for many years now – perhaps it’s time to copy a page out of the advertisers’ playbook for a change. I believe the key to sustainability for media companies in the years to come lies in redefining not just their business model but also the mechanisms behind how they build their brand.
Where do you see native advertising going in the coming years?
I think we’ve only really seen the first baby steps here. This is not just a «life plank» for a struggling media industry – it’s a tectonic shift in the landscape in the sense that it truly is consumer-centric. The implications across most advertising disciplines are, when you think about it, fundamental.