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3Q’s 2018 Predictions: Native Advertising

Published: December 21, 2017

Author: Molly Shotwell

As we head full-steam into 2018, our experts look ahead to the next 12 months and dish up some well-informed predictions on industry trends and shifts. We asked our native advertising experts, “What 1-2 developments do you see as being the most pivotal in your field in the year to come?” Here are their answers….

“2018 will be a banner year for branded content, as more brands shift budget to developing and distributing longer-form content at scale.”

– Dave Hennessy, Associate Director of Native Advertising

“1. Native will open up to many more programmatic buying opportunities.

2. Brands will have more control over which advertisers and content their native ads display next to.

3. The two biggest players, Outbrain and Taboola, will merge or one will acquire the other.

4. Video will become a much larger component of advertiser spend, and platforms will put more focus on rich video experiences to fuel the whole funnel.

5. Measurement and attribution will become more sophisticated, both on the brand side and platform side. Brands will have more insight into the true incrementality of these efforts.

6. Traditionally DR brands will place more emphasis on ‘performance branding’ – setting KPIs and measuring against upper and mid funnel goals.”

– Brad O’Brien, VP of Social


“For 2018, I believe more niche native networks will develop that directly compete with Outbrain/Taboola, forcing Outbrain and Taboola to further increase their technology and self-serve platform. A good example is the recently developed Bringhub network, which features ecomm products within/or below the content and serves specific ads based on keywords within the content.

Second, I believe programmatic native will continue to slowly appeal to advertisers, especially new brands, to increase awareness of their product/service as it is an effective way to display themselves across multiple native ad formats across dozens of networks.

Overall, the big two (Outbrain/Taboola) will continue to improve their product, making them the “go to” networks for initial tests; however, they won’t be the only ones that advertisers rely on as new niche networks start gaining more traction.”

– Luca Cataldo, Native Advertising Account Manager


“We’ll see a couple of developments: further interest in programmatic with increased performance, and
continued increase in granular data gathering for more specific targeting.
I also could potentially see native being used for more branding/awareness plays in the future.”

– Reeves Caldwell, Native Advertising Account Coordinator


We’ve asked digital marketing experts from across 3Q to share their predictions. To read more, click here!


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