Native Programmatic’s Awkward, Growth-Spurt Years

attardiprogio_edited-1Casie Attardi will speak at AdExchanger’s PROGRAMMATIC I/O Conference in New York on October 26.

Native inventory became a significant part of the digital marketing mix before industry stakeholders had the time to develop a sense of comfort and familiarity with native advertising.

“Native, especially for in-app programmatic, evolved over a very short period of time,” said Casie Attardi, director of professional services at the in-app ad exchange MoPub.

It was only three years ago when MoPub introduced its in-app monetization service for native ads, following its acquisition by Twitter.

“Native programmatic went from ‘new kid on the block’ to a major source of demand for desktop and mobile,” Attardi said.

AdExchanger spoke with Attardi about her work facilitating native adoption.

ADEXCHANGER: What do you do as director of professional services?

ATTARDI: My team works with top mobile publishers and ad buyers that transact media through the MoPub in-app marketplace. Based on the trends we see through our exchange and in-app platform, we look for ways to make recommendations and highlight best practices for both the buy and sell side. That happens throughout the customer lifecycle [beginning] when they’re first customers through onboarding and optimization. The connections are ultimately happening through the technology [MoPub’s team doesn’t facilitate deals between buy- and sell-side clients] … But it’s about ensuring any publisher or buyer feels like native can fit with their business and work with their supply.

So what are some of the challenges to reconcile the buy side and sell side when it comes to native programmatic?

I think if there’s one area of disconnect between the buy and the sell side preventing mobile programmatic from reaching this ultimate point of inflection, it’s standardization. What native means to one kind of publisher doesn’t necessarily translate to another publisher in the way that a banner or interstitial is fairly standard.

The different definitions of native can result in varying degrees of implementation. The marketer through their DSP is going to have some expectation of what their message and ad will look like. It’s about the buy and sell side following the same guidelines so the marketer is putting creative out there that’s going to render correctly, will engage the user and is in line with both the client and the app. It all comes down to standardization there.

Where does the burden lie for enabling that kind of standardization? To what degree is it the responsibility of the brand, agency, tech vendor or app publisher?

 It’s a combination of a few different parties. MoPub and others that see across the exchange, touch on the buy and sell side and see billions of ad requests have to take what we learn and push it out. That’s a part of what I’m responsible for. It started with governing bodies of the industry putting out more standards for native, but now it’s about the adoption of those standards.

For marketers, it’s still about committing to how native campaigns and creative can be deployed. Native gives marketers a lot of flexibility, but it’s a commitment. They need to see native campaigns that get more engagement from users, and that really pushes content producers and agencies to do more innovative things.

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