For progressive digital publishers, it's no secret that technology is the key to competitive advantage. It allows publishers to differentiate content while also making it possible to endeavor beyond that, exploring new opportunities to satisfy users or to drive revenue outside of traditional advertising.
As someone who has spent three decades studying perception and behavior, I am fascinated with the question of what happens after an ad becomes visible to the consumer. Will she notice the ad? Will she pay close attention to it? What will be her emotional and cognitive reactions to it? Will she click it? Will she later remember it? And how is this chain of events impacted by her mood, her behavior and her past experiences?
Far more digital publishers are going to miss their first-quarter ad-sales numbers than will make them. The rest of the year will be worse. That's because established consumer publishers -- along with thousands of quality vertical ones -- trying to sell ads online are staring at an elephant-sized problem: 50% of their value proposition they traditionally and heavily leaned on to earn a spot on a media plan, has disappeared.
Native advertising is heating up in digital media these days, and there are plenty of reasons why publishers should get excited. To start, a recent study from BI Intelligence forecasts native ad spend to hit $7.9 billion this year (a 69% increase from 2013) and reach $21 billion by 2018. Publishers, that's significant revenue opportunity up for grabs.