Skip links

The ever-changing face of advertising

We see the recommended content/pages on our social media news feeds, which look like a part of the editorial flow of the page. This is an example of new-age native ads, writes Parveen Singhal

Since ages, we all have been surrounded by content, but in the present digital era, content and information are just a click away. Cellphones have become ‘smart’ and ‘context’ is truly the king of any content marketing/advertising campaign. Today, we are consuming content like never before. Advertising, thus in this modern age, has also shifted from mainline/traditional (newspaper, TV commercials, radio, billboards) to digital. In fact, today the market is so flooded with advertisers trying to push their products to people that it really feels suffocating. Like someone is bombarding us with information while we are up to something leisurely. Be it watching movies, surfing the Internet on smart phones or driving on a highway, advertising is everywhere. Let’s understand what really is advertising and how it came into the picture.

Advertising was a means of communication with the prospective user regarding a product or a service — or, in contemporary terms, a paid form of promotion. It’s a way to influence people; persuade them to use a service or buy a product. Although, forcing the potential user to consume an advertisement is not fair.

Advertising also evolved substantially in the modern times from traditional, in-the-face advertising to digital advertising. Further, digital advertising took a step further to native, in-the-body advertising. The distinguishing line, which boldly separates native and traditional advertising is, that in native, the packaging of advertisement is subtle, hard to figure, and easy to communicate, making it relatable to the end user. While traditional advertising delivers commercial messages to the mass audience directly. It is a more direct promotion of the brand and is mostly sales-driven. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of native and traditional advertising.

Native Advertising

Native advertising brings on board better and optimum customer targeting. Advertisement runs only where similar content is seen, therefore, the audience finds the information useful. Also, native advertising is less intrusive and less expensive. In addition to that, it can target even the most ‘ad blind’ users.

On the other hand, native advertisers play on FOMO (fear of missing out) and clickbait tactics, which can seem deceptive. Here, the bond and trust between the user and the website tends to decrease. Further, website traffic suffers as people do not like to read the sponsored content. Always advertising native can deteriorate the perception and awareness of the brand in the customer’s mind.

Traditional Advertising

The biggest advantage of traditional advertising is that in it the real world communication happens. People can touch, feel, hear and interact in this form of advertising. However, traditional advertising is more about how much users can one reach, rather than, how much right users one can reach. Also, the traditional way incorporates high costs and an after-campaign analysis of the brand is not easily feasible compared to digital and native advertising.

So, the question arises: Why have marketers started shifting from traditional forms of advertising to native? Native advertising is not disruptive in nature. Native ads function just like  natural content. Native advertising perfectly matches the look, feel, and function of the media format in which they appear. Taking an example of a native ad, we see the recommended content/pages on our social media news feeds, which look like a part of the editorial flow of the page. Thus, native advertising is an indirect, yet powerful medium for advertisers today. And it works. In a recent study, it has been found that people view native ads around 53 per cent more than traditional ads. They provide relevant content and attractive visual engagement, thus impacting the purchase behaviour of the audience.

Thus, in conclusion, we can say that when it comes to supremacy, traditional advertising is falling further and further behind native. But that doesn’t imply that it can be completely eradicated from the picture. Our businesses still need real-world promotion to succeed, and completely replacing traditional advertising with digital and native can prove dangerous. So what should marketers do? Well, a healthy 80:20 rule can be applied here for every brand promotion — keeping 80 per cent in native advertising and 20 per cent in traditional advertising. Embrace what is new, hot, and trending in the market, but also stick to proven and age-old method of successful marketing and advertising.

by Parveen Singhal
source: the pioneer