The evolution of Native advertising and what 2016 holds for the Banner ad. While native dollar projections build, banner ads, search and social media allocations remain the mainstay of advertisers’ digital plans.

With native ad dollars increasing approximately 35% between 2014 and 2015, from $7.9  to $10.7 billion, and spend estimates reaching $21 billion in 2018[i], native has the industry’s ear and purse strings. From format-matching to holistic content integration, it’s easy to feel foreign in the ever-evolving land of native. Still, while native dollar projections build, banner ads, search and social media allocations remain the mainstay of advertisers’ digital plans[ii]. Advances in targeting and creative capabilities work to ensure nobody puts banners in the corner as native shifts from industry trend to standard.

Better Budgets, Higher Quality. Native & Banner.

Targeting capabilities for display have become increasingly granular. As such, the bar for targeting across digital channels has risen. As advertisers demand more, expectations around performance also mount. Fortunately, though advanced targeting lends itself to increased buying costs, performance of these targeted campaigns often outshines cost increases. Accurate targeting yields efficiencies. In regards to driving conversion-oriented strategies, targeted banner placements have proven very effective[iii].

Many digital targeting capabilities fall outside of native’s content-oriented environment. Demographic, geographic, and behavioral targeting are all powerful tactics. While native delivers integrated ads to users engaged in relevant content, other targeting aims to reach audience segments whether users are engaged with correlating content or interacting site-wide. Running an ad in a contextually relevant environment is a logical marketing approach. Capturing a user in this setting takes advantage of a very real-time, self-elected moment. Yet, in the midst of the native-boom, it is orienting to highlight the importance of having different tools in your digital toolbox. While users may not be engaged with content-relevant pages, an ad may still be life-relevant to that user across a myriad of contextual backdrops.

Creative—in Thought and Form.

Native offers a less obtrusive advertising experience to audiences. Distinguishing between true native and format native has prompted a lot of buzz in the ad space. Many advertisers use native simply for formatting integration. Format matching has merits in it’s own right, though native was arguably purposed for content-brand integration. Scaling these “true” native, custom content pieces has proved to be an industry challenge. Add geographic targeting requirements, for example, and there is even more of a challenge to find volume. Display banners experience less barriers in regards to inventory availability. The banner, however, has received wide criticism for lack of creative innovation. As buzz-worthy as “native” has become, “creative dynamic optimization” (CDO) has seen similar hype—and for good reason. The capability to re-target users with more personalized creative imaging and ad copy has proved powerful for the banner ad. Having a conversation with users through CDO ads enables advertisers to serve ads that matter. Users see relevant ads that evolve with them and advertisers see increased performance.

Maximize Your Potential.

In native or banner form, meaningful campaign creation is at the heart of successful advertising. Understanding which types of digital opportunities make sense for a business’ objectives can make a large impact on actionable insights gained and investment returns achieved.


[i] Mark Hoelzel, “Spending on Native Advertising,”, (July 23, 2015).

[ii] Infographic: Native Advertising Grows,” AdWeek,, (February 16, 2015).

[iii] Giles Goodwin, “Why The Humble Banner Isn’t Dead,” AdWeek,, (November 25, 2015).


Giles Goodwin, “Why The Humble Banner Isn’t Dead,” AdWeek,, (November 25, 2015).

WTF is Native Advertising, (DigiDay, 2015).