This Q&A is part of OPA’s “Three on Three” series where we ask three industry executives the same three questions on a topic to uncover actionable insights… If you want to learn more, keep an eye out on our site for more interviews. Today’s Three on Three interview is with Mike Kisseberth, Chief Revenue Officer of Purch, on Creating a Native Advertising Content.
Q: Describe the importance of quality content in the Native Advertising value proposition:
A: Quality is of the utmost importance when it comes to native. Consumers are smart and discerning. They will quickly disregard content if it isn’t providing value or enhancing their overall experience. Quality content, regardless of the source, also ensures publication integrity long-term. Without that, you’re not a credible venue for any type of promotion.
That’s why our editorial leadership is deeply involved with decisions regarding programs that could be considered native. When content creation is a part of the project, they will provide high-level direction to assure the approach will resonate with the audience. Since page design plays a huge factor in whether that content achieves the engagement the marketer is striving for, our editors will also work with our design and analytics teams to make sure the data says we got the experience right.
Finally, of course, is our passionate community of over 78 million readers worldwide. They keep us honest and let us know what they like or don’t like. They’re our best assets for quality control.
Q: Describe the way in which your organization handles the creation of Native Advertising content:
A: We’ve been hosting native campaigns, advertorials, and other forms of custom content, for years.
We have a very rich tool set to achieve a wide variety of objectives – from the beginning of the sales cycle to the final design. As a publisher that works in both programmatic and highly-customized campaigns, our direct sales team plays a tremendous role in providing potential buyers and clients with the deep contextual grounding and insight that is needed to develop and execute a standout, impactful campaign right from the start. They are backed by a product marketing team that has built out a proprietary content discovery platform that works across all of our sites and our partner sites. That team also project manages the programs from start to finish to assure flawless execution.
If content creation is part of the project, we call upon our editorial leadership for direction and thought leadership. We develop the content with a team of subject matter experts outside of the editorial team. All content requires the approval of our editorial leadership.
Recently we have become most excited by the mix of Brand Impact and Direct Response Performance that we have been able to achieve by optimizing page design of our own in-market content. In some cases, this can include wiping all the ads off the page to focus the audience’s attention on the action the marketer is striving for, even if that is just deeper consideration of the content. We have seen performance for many of these pages out stripe that of any marketing tactic our customers engage.
Q: What types of marketing initiatives lend themselves best to leveraging Native Advertising and how can they be designed to better deliver on their objectives?
A: It really depends upon the marketer and the media property that will host the content. Brand themes, thought leadership, even demand generation can be accomplished by a Native Advertising effort. The most important thing to consider is how you can serve the target audience first with the content you are delivering. If you can deliver value to the audience and your marketing objectives, then you can achieve performance that is hard to match through most any other marketing effort. Marketers and publishers who are considering sponsored content as part of their overall marketing mix need to get the order right though, serve the audience first with content that will be of genuine interest.
As Chief Revenue Officer, Mike oversees Purch’s (formerly called TechMedia Network) multiple advertising revenue streams. Most recently, Mike was the President and CEO of International Data Groups (IDG) Consumer & SMB division, where he led the growth of PC World and Macworld, evolving both to digital media and more than doubling the audience size. He also launched a new brand, TechHive, built a marketing services business “Content Works” and dramatically expanded IDG’s mobile and paid product offerings. Prior to IDG, Mike held high level positions at CNET Networks, Inc serving as SVP/Corporate Sales and Operations, where he led sales efforts and played an active role in implementing business strategies for every brand under the CNET Networks umbrella.
By Michelle Manafy, OPA