How Google and marketers are leveraging programmatic for native ads
- Google outlined how its programmatic native ads are working for the travel industry in a DoubleClick Advertiser Blog post, with a campaign from the San Francisco Travel Association and its agency Sojern resulting in a 1662% rise in hotel bookings — 16X a previous campaign — and a 92% drop in cost per acquisition over two months.
- Google has been working with publishers like the New York Times and the Washington Post to adopt the native ad format and in July it rolled out a programmatic option for buying the ads.
- With the programmatic native ads successfully driving direct bookings, Sojern has rolled out the format for all its clients.
Native advertising is quickly becoming an important approach on mobile, but the process of building and scaling native ads is largely still manual.
More broadly, ad buying has become increasingly automated, but this summer research by ad tech firm Turn found only 59% of UK respondents had ever worked on programmatic, and a mere 11% of respondents from small agencies reported feeling confident about even understanding what programmatic meant. While programmatic can seem intimidating to marketers, results like these from Google suggest that more could embrace programmatic for native ads going forward.
Native ads also continue to grow as publishers find they are an effective way to reach users while also being less intrusive than traditional ads. Google’s outreach to the New York Times on native adverting paid off with the publisher announcing in October that it was dropping banner ad for native advertising across all devices from desktop to mobile.
In the San Francisco Travel Association case study, the campaign tested different headlines to optimize the best performers and Sojern integrated its travel-based marketing platform with DoubleClick Bid Manager to further optimize the effort.