The Globe and Mail’s Brian Batenburg on the importance of “trust” in native advertising

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Brian Batenburg is Programmatic Sales Manager at The Globe and Mail and oversees the media company’s direct response and performance strategy. He recently sat down with Dianomi to discuss the publisher’s native ad strategy, the importance of trust and how native can be used to complement existing content.

Tell us about The Globe and Mail.
The Globe and Mail is Canada’s leading media company, sparking national conversations and spurring policy changes through brave and independent journalism, a path we’ve followed since 1844. With our award-winning coverage of business, politics and national affairs, we reach 6.5 million readers every week through our print and digital formats, with Report on Business magazine reaching 1.6 million readers in print and digital every issue.

What is the mandate of the organization both in respect to your readers and advertisers and what is its vision for the future?
To inspire and inform Canadians through courageous, empathetic and objective journalism. We aim to be a customer-focused organization by putting the needs of our readers first. The Globe and Mail delivers a superior experience to our audience, based on responsible, sustainable business practices, and independent ownership.
This mentality is present throughout the organization, including the Revenue department: servicing our advertisers with responsible, sustainable business practices. We are accountable and transparent, which is increasingly important in today’s marketing climate. These practices also extend to our exclusive Canadian representation agreements with top-tier global brands as part of the Globe Alliance.

What is your role? What’s top of your mind day-to-day?
Titles aside, my role in the organization is to bring the best value we can to our advertisers based on their goals and objectives. This is done through a group of experts that make up a team called Globe Response. This specialty team focuses entirely on results-based marketing, using a combination of industry-leading tools and in-house technology and data to deliver highly efficient performance results. We focus on looking beyond an impression or click, for us it’s about understanding how our audience and platform can deliver on our client’s campaign objectives and KPIs.
Each day, our team looks to uncover insights and strategies that can help enhance and deliver solutions our audience is seeking, linking them with best practices and experiences. Working in a crowded marketplace, we are always thinking of ways to provide advertisers with effective, brand-safe solutions aligned to their business goals.

You recently partnered with Dianomi to roll out their units on The Globe and Mail’s site and to act as the sales representative for Dianomi in Canada. What excites you about native advertising and Dianomi?
Our Dianomi partnership brings a vast extended network to our leading suite of finance and business reach in Canada. The team has carefully curated relationships with publishers that have highly sought-after financial and business news and opinions consumed by Canadians in their everyday digital consumption. By placing native posts within these contextually relevant environments, Dianomi’s suite connects useful insights that supply value to our readers. Our readers, in turn, trust the Dianomi widget and see the content and offers that surface as valuable and relevant.
The Globe is excited to be the first Canadian publisher to onboard Dianomi. Given our focus and leadership in the business and finance category, it’s an effective tool in delivering client KPIs – both as a stand-alone solution or part of a larger integration or custom solution.

What is the importance of native advertising to The Globe and Mail?
The Globe and Mail has offered native advertising in various formats for some time. Our strategy of being transparent about Sponsor Content placements has served us well in creating trust with users while meeting the needs of our advertising partners. Adding Dianomi to the platform was a logical next step that allows us to take users to an advertiser’s site, transparently, through “Paid Post” messaging. Using a native platform on Globe properties allows an advertiser to experience a qualified audience as the ad content is specifically placed at the end or alongside articles. This native placement is a complement to the content, and allows readers to continue consuming what is most relevant to them. In-line with the Dianomi model, this feature focuses specifically on our business and investing pages to ensure high value to the user. Offering a native platform allows us to better share ideas around products, offerings, and services in an unobtrusive manner, with a format that users want to interact with at the right time.

How can publishers and brands strategically use native advertising? What can they expect from native (e.g. drive traffic new revenue stream, etc.)
Native is a great tool and can be put to work in several ways. It can leverage messaging to build awareness and familiarity with the audience, or it can be tactically implemented to drive an outcome. Overall it is an effective way to engage with potential customers using an informative approach.
At the Globe, we use native in 2 ways:

1. A full-service Sponsor Content experience (developed in partnership with advertisers and produced by our in-house Content Studio), and

2. Client-hosted content, contextually placed within our publishing environment and labelled as a Paid Post.
Dianomi is a great example of No. 2, especially where we have the ability to surface financial and business related offers, information, and content to an audience already contextually invested in this stream to provide further value. We have been able to help advertisers outside of traditional display with events, ticket sales, content promotion, and other unique offerings. The Dianomi platform allows for us to evaluate creative variations, make real-time optimizations with placements, and others – all feedback the advertiser can use to see best performance and optimize future opportunities. The Dianomi platform not only provides us with an alternate revenue stream, it adds to our ability to provide optimized product for our advertisers and an alternative for our readers to engage with content.