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Saving the Future of Native With Tech

Jan 21, 2020

As a tech-provider for leading native advertising studios, I like to think that I’ve had a front-row seat watching the Scandinavian media industry prosper within native advertising. It has been a fascinating and amusing journey to follow.

I have worked with native studios helping them streamline the entire production process from design to publishing. This involves bringing creative ideas to life, connecting solutions to help them measure results while improving the efficiency of publishing across different platforms and optimizing their sites. We need to increase efficiency and simultaneously deliver quality content.

Branded content as a business model

As a result of working with these native advertising studios, attended conferences and learned the pains of our clients, I have closely followed the conversation about preserving branded content as a business model. We can all agree that quality content will intrigue readers. 


It seems to me, however, as if the conversations in the industry more so revolves around getting the best story, and less about how to visually convey them. 

Like every other industry, we have heroes carrying the torch. This is also true for native advertising. 

Giants like T Brand Studio seems to have unlimited resources when it comes to content creation, design and development. T Brand Studio manages to deliver a full package; great stories wrapped in a way that reassures the reader that this is worth their time, hence why advertisers trust them with large budgets.

T Brand Studio's Creative Process and Most Essential Learnings

When we are discussing with our clients, they want to reach this level of quality without the same access to resources. They have content developers specialized in storytelling, and they are more than capable of revealing great stories. 

What they are lacking, however, is large budgets, designers and tech teams. Therefore, in all honesty, I am baffled about the almost non-existing conversation regarding the complex task to produce quality content with limited resources. 

For native advertising to advance as an efficient business model worth paying for by advertisers, we need to increase efficiency and simultaneously deliver quality content.

The big players are already invested

T Brand Studio, as an industry leader, has not ignored this fact. 

To be able to scale the production process for branded content T Brand Studio has invested in building a design system specifically for paid posts (not a premium template) with repeatable components and layouts to make the design and development workflow easier and faster. 


Native Advertising Only Has a Future If We Take It Seriously

Another giant, Schibsted, is developing a joint design system for all their news sites. Their goal is to offer a set of building blocks that the brand designers work within. 

The look and feel of each site will still be unique; nonetheless, they will avoid unnecessary redundancy in the design process.

Smaller publishers will soon be ejected by larger players who through investments in technology are able to deliver higher quality and custom experiences on relatively low budgets. 

The dangers of being left behind

The media industry as a whole has to pay attention to this development and start talking about the tools needed to create quality content. 

Smaller publishers will soon be ejected by more significant players who through investments in technology can deliver higher quality and custom experiences on relatively low budgets. 

My company's job when entering the media industry has been to remove time-consuming and out-dated processes that have hindered our clients from scaling their native business models.

Let me explain this in a simple example from a tech persons view: our clients have spent an outrageous amount of time struggling with non-functioning production processes or development of half-there solutions (just another premium template or non-scalable hardcoded articles), removing their focus from the stories they could convey with the right tools. 

In the name of pro-activity, half-there solutions will not empower native advertising now, nor prepare your company for whatever the next media evolution will be. 

So let's start talking, and share our experience of how we can help the media industry scale native advertising using the right technology.

Story by Tine Karlsen

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