Moreover, only 23 percent of marketers surveyed were able to correctly identify the types of content typically referred to as native advertising. Those professionals also expressed skepticism that native ads could be a viable digital marketing strategy—25 percent said they couldn’t care less about the use of native ads, while another 51 percent were skeptical of its value.
Marketing Land’s Ginny Martin said the results were surprising considering the amount of attention the format has received recently. “Publishers are eyeing new revenue streams, and advertisers see the ads as a way to couch their messages in the ethos of editorial,” she said.
Not surprisingly, budgeting for native advertising is low among most businesses. Only 9 percent of the marketing professionals surveyed said they are currently working with a dedicated native advertising budget. Among that minority, the actual spending is paltry—91 percent said they are spending less than $100 per month on native ad strategies.
A small group of businesses, however, have sunk significant funds into their native efforts. While 5 percent spend between $101 and $500 per month, 16 of the 2,088 survey respondents said they were spending more than $5,000 a month on native advertising. However, the report did note later that some of these high figures could be attributed to a misunderstanding of what native advertising is, particularly when 97 percent admitted to being unfamiliar with the ad model.
Despite the chilly embrace thus far, marketers do seem open to expanding native ads as a service they provide to their clients. The majority of marketers indicated that they were not likely to offer native ad services to their clients, but the gap was much smaller than expected, given the strategy’s lack of familiarity.
“Clearly, more people are not going to engage in native advertising than people who are, but just an 11 percent difference is not that big—a gap that probably could be cleared as we learn more about native advertising,” the report states.