“Stop Measuring Things for the Sake of It”

Speaker Q&A: Native advertising and a strong focus on driving value is essential in today's digital landscape. We had a short chat with Brandon Keenen, Senior Digital Commercial Director at CNN International Commercial about the changing landscape
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“If you don’t have brand recognition, you won’t survive in Google search results, Amazon marketplace or on social,” says Brandon Keenen, Senior Digital Commercial Director at CNN International Commercial.

That’s why native advertising and a strong focus on driving value is essential in today’s digital landscape. We had a short chat with Brandon Keenen about the changing landscape.

Brands, agencies and publishers have to be smart and efficient.

What do you see as the biggest change in the digital landscape right now and why?

The landscape is changing. Everything is coming into question, particularly value. Brands, agencies and publishers have to be smart and efficient.

As you know, the audiences are changing at a rapid rate. The choice is abundant. They are making decisions on emotion and connection to help get through the clutter. What are brands doing to differentiate themselves? How do they stand out?

RELATED: Saving the Future of Native Advertising – with Tech

If you don’t have brand recognition you won’t survive in Google search results, Amazon marketplace or on social.

Everything we as a partner must do is to focus on driving value and ensuring that our work is being appreciated by our audience.

Native advertising is in a good position.

How does this affect digital advertising and native advertising?

Native advertising is in a good position.

Premium environments are driving more engagements. Premium environments are continuing to deliver sticky audiences that stay on pages longer.

RELATED: Why Native Beats Display in Performance and Engagement (Sponsored)

Native has its role; to be seamless in a premium environment, to allow a brand to deliver a message in a creative and integrated way and to deliver results.

The core focus must always be on the value an ad drives to a consumer.

What should brands and media beware of in relation to these changes?

Stop measuring things for the sake of it. Brands should really understand what they are trying to accomplish and work towards it. Just because you can measure it doesn’t mean you should.

The core focus must always be on the value an ad drives to a consumer. How is it perceived, engaged with and how is it responded to?

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How are you dealing with these changes at CNNi?

CNN is a premium environment. Our audience stays longer than most sites and returns throughout the day. This gives us a unique opportunity to have a dialogue with them and to connect with great stories and content.

CNN has been at the forefront of native advertising and is always looking to build innovative experiences for our consumers.

The future is voice. It’s an interesting space.

Which other trends related to native advertising do you think we’ll see in 2019?

Voice!

The future is voice. It’s an interesting space. More and more people get their news and information for CNN on the home devices. The way brands interact and seamlessly integrate into a voice platform will be key. Much like mobile, advertising has to work in the right context and for the device used.

RELATED: Three Macro Trends for Your Native Content to Tap Into in 2019

It can’t be forced. It’s definitely not radio.  As this medium develops it will be interesting to see how brands will adapt.

In my presentation, you will learn about coffee, wasabi and emotion.

You are an official speaker at this year’s Native Advertising DAYS. Why should the attendees at the conference absolutely not miss your presentation about ‘The Big Shift’?

I take great pride in making sure that time is not wasted. I want the audience to be entertained, informed and engaged. We live in a crazy world and media is no exception.

In my presentation, you will learn about coffee, wasabi and emotion.

This is a great conference with wonderful people.

What do you look forward to the most at this year’s Native Advertising DAYS?

Seeing the people. This is a great conference with wonderful people. I look forward to rekindling some old conversations and making new ones.

Meet and hear more from Brandon Keenen this November at Native Advertising DAYS 2018 in Berlin

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