Native Advertising Shakes Up Agency And Brand Ecosystem

According to SocialMediaToday, 2014 was all about the chief content officer. This year we’re seeing more chief native officers, as the need to integrate content and advertising increases.  The role of the CNO would be to define this new format in the advertising ecosystem.

While the definition of native advertising continues to evolve over the next few years, the role of the CNO will not only satisfy marketers’ needs for engaging content, but also ensure their clients’ paid and earned media strategies have a cohesive theme and voice.

Brands traditionally hired an advertising agency to execute their paid media strategies like TV, radio, and print in their target markets. Today, we see PR shops offering paid media services that ad agencies provide, and vice versa. The consolidation of paid and earned media responsibilities are a result of the burgeoning native advertising opportunities available to brands, who want a unified approach when it comes to the voice and messaging of their native ads.

In theory, this unified agency structure makes sense, but agencies do not have the right structures in place to reap all the rewards native advertising has to offer. Imagine creatives from an ad agency being looped in with the editorial team at a large lifestyle magazine to ensure the layout of a sponsored story properly includes the brand’s logo. Or a copywriter now must collaborate with the paid social media team to refine a sponsored tweet, Facebook post, or Pin.

While all this cross-functional teamwork may result in a better-executed native advertising campaign, are there codified rules of engagement between groups? Are there checks and balances in place to ensure the creation of sponsored content is not entirely controlled by one group over another? This would be the role of theCNO, who is dedicated to overseeing native advertising initiatives internally and through their agency.

Publishers are organizing their teams to resemble an agency that is putting pressure on digital agencies to innovate. Brands can go directly to the publisher to get their native advertising needs met since the publishers know their audiences the best. Savvy agencies have also developed in-house “content studios” to bridge the gap between paid and earned media, but the novelty is still apparent; digital agencies historically have not focused on producing native advertising content. Native advertising requires a dedicated task force where native is in the DNA of the group’s existence. The CNO will be the leader for this internal task force as well as the key player brand marketers need to create effective native advertising campaigns.


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5 comments about "Native Advertising Shakes Up Agency And Brand Ecosystem".
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  1. Walter Sabo from SABO media, April 15, 2015 at 4:08 p.m.

    All of  these issues were solved in 2007 with the start of HITVIEWS, the first native advertising company. Brands such as Pepsi, Logitech,SONY, FOX, CBS, TiVo, Timberland, US Gov't and many more find complete, seamless satisfacting with HITVIEWS' approach. A CNO (hysterical) will damage authenticy and spontaneity.

  2. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, April 15, 2015 at 7:58 p.m.

    I have been reading about "Native Advertising" for a long time now. The definition has changed and evolved over time.

    "Native Advertising" is turning into something other than what the original thought was intended. I work with many Fortune 500’s directly and their message is different. Don’t reinvent the wheel.  Meaning, they are motivated by results, not spending money on redefining ideas how to get the best ROI in their advertising campaign.

    My clients expect quality numbers from us in all categories; page views, sweepstakes entries and demographics that match their expectations. I deliver and I don’t care whatever you want to call the campaign.  Either I am successful or I tell them why the campaign could be improved based on numbers.

    My point is simple. Get back to delivering quality ads that produce results instead of producing new definitions for advertising.

  3. john deats from nyu, April 15, 2015 at 9:04 p.m.

    You guys are forgetting that integrated marketing communciations (PR, advertising, marketing) solved these problems 20 years ago.

  4. James Hering from The Richards Group, April 16, 2015 at 10:26 a.m.

    Seriously? - why do we keep parking "Chief" and "Officer" around every new channel or new innovation.  Elevate the thinking please.  It's MARKETING... and native is a strategy.

  5. Matt Cooper from Addroid, April 16, 2015 at 3:03 p.m.

    If an article was not written by a MediaPost staff journalist/blogger I think it would be helpful if the title and company of the author would appear in the byline. As an example is post was written by Al Chen who is the Co-Founder of Cooperatize which is described on their own website as, "a marketplace that allows brands and agencies to buy sponsored content from thousands of verified publishers." What were reading here is simply a self affirming assertion based on a biased opinion. As these type of posts mix in with real news and research is get's a little confusing to me as a reader. 

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