Top takeaways from the World Advertising Forum

Sessions at this year’s World Advertising Forum in Washington, D.C., provided participants with a wide variety of thoughts on top trends as well as insights into what the near future likely holds for news publishers. Not surprisingly, four of the hottest topics were programmatic, video, mobile and native advertising. Here are some of our top quotes from speakers.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | June 3, 2015

“Our vision is that we want to automate everything. … About 70 percent of our inventory can now be bought by programmatic. Next year it will be 90 percent.” – Remco Steen, Manager Programmatic Trading at TMG (Telegraaf Media Groep), the Netherlands

“Most ad buyers don’t buy from individual publishers – they buy groups because they want scale.” – Alanna Gombert, CEO of Gombert Consulting, USA

“We’ve done a lot of training because people have been afraid of programmatic, and if you’re afraid of something, you don’t want to work with it.” – Robert Johansson, Head of RTB and Programmatic, Schibsted, Sweden

[Editor’s note: WAN-IFRA has published a report, “The impact of programmatic advertising on news publishers.” More information is available here.]

Great content, credibility and video

“A stunningly large portion of mobile traffic is coming from Facebook.” – Josh Schwartz, Chief Data Scientist, Chartbeat, USA

“I like to talk about what makes great content. First, stop hard selling – stop telling everyone you are the best and putting your logo everywhere. … Great content cannot be improvised. You need journalistic excellence,” – Fred Hurkmans, Commercial and Marketing Director, NewsMaster, Belgium

“There’s a Dutch proverb ‘Trust arrives walking and departs riding.’ Brands are looking for credibility.” – Henk Rijks, Digital Strategy Director, Made for Digital, the Netherlands

“With video, you need to decide are you being strategic or opportunistic (ie. ‘We need to do video because there’s a lot of money there and everyone else is doing it’)? … It’s fine to be opportunistic – as long as you don’t think you’re being strategic.” – Sorosh Tavakoli, Senior Vice-President, Ooyala, USA

“We’re seeing very high completion rates – with more than 62 percent of viewers across the board watching the whole video,” says Zohar Dayan, Co-Founder & CEO, Wibbitz, which automatically creates short videos from text stories in only 5-10 seconds.

Tips for going ‘native’

“We’re big believers in the future of native advertising,” said Christopher M. Lee (pictured), President, Deseret Digital Media, who also highlighted a number of things his company has learned about working with native advertising:

  • Don’t blur organisational lines between editorial and native content teams. Keep them separated.
  • Be transparent. Clearly label native ads
  • Create a clear and consistent ad policy
  • Variable-ise costs using freelance contributors
  • Publish awesome content – you have to publish interesting content. Bad, uninteresting content won’t work for anyone, and will erode audience trust
  • Don’t let clients produce and publish their own content. Use what we know best as publishers: How to reach and engage the audience.

And don’t forget data

“Data is the Holy Grail of advertising. Those able to provide the most accurate & specific data to the advertisers will get the biggest piece of the cake. It’s all about the data,” says Gilles Raymond, CEO, News Republic, USA.

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