Native + Mobile + Video = Future

If you currently have no strategy for mobile, video and native -- or indeed, mobile video native -- then it's probably time to look for another career. Those were not the precise words offered by Facebook’s head of ad tech Dave Jakubowski, but that is how I would sum them up. In a very interesting interview in Marketing Weekhe makes the prediction for 2016 that native and video are the big ones to watch out for next year. He doesn't throw mobile in there because it almost goes without saying that we are already in a mobile-first world.

Usually, predictions of what will be big in the next year are two a penny at this time of year, but when the head of ad tech at Facebook pontificates, it's worth listening in. I couldn't agree more that ad blocking is something that reminds brands and publishers they need to up their game and not annoy the people they are trying to engage with. That's why I've always said that marketers don't need to sweat about ad blocking on mobile because the channel is ill-suited to display anyway -- particularly awful banners and tiny buttons that simply get in the way of the experience.

Anyway, that's an observation. Jakubowski's prediction is that we are headed for a year where native video will be the really interesting playing field and where marketing focuses on getting in front of the viewer in the stream they're interested in, be that a news feed or a timeline.

Just ask Facebook -- it is estimated to make nearly four in every five of its ad dollars through mobile without relying on banners,  instead putting sponsored messages right there in front of users where they cannot be blocked nor ignored. Video is the obvious medium because mobile is all about sight and sound. It's the device we look to for music, gaming and entertainment, as well as the information and transaction services we expect from the desktop. Just look at the posts or tweets you put out there. Which works best -- text on its own or text with a picture. What works even better than that? Text with a video, particularly one where an autoplay section is good enough to convince a user that it's worth selecting to play back in full with audio turned on.

Viewability, fraud and transparency will remain huge issues that need to be addressed in the future, but if you want to look at the opportunity, look no further than the two words Jakubowski offered when asked for his prediction of what will dominate next year: "native and video."

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