At SAP, a big multi-national software company, native advertising is a big part of the marketing mix, but it doesn’t come without challenges. The key here is to look at the challenges as opportunities and to keep trying so you can learn from your mistakes, says Irina Pashina, Senior Director, content marketing at SAP.
The Native Advertising Institute interviewed her when she attended Native Advertising DAYS.
Below are highlights from the interview which have been slightly edited for clarity.
What characterises the way I work with native and how we at SAP work with native is the way we look at the entire customer experience.
Our foundational belief and my belief as well is that providing the right content at the right time of the journey is key for any brand, company, and organisation. That’s how we look at native advertising as well. So it’s a standard supporting tactic in providing great customer experiences along the entire customer journey.
We have an integrated approach to media and to content. We have an integrated media team and they drive an integrated media experience as well. So whenever native advertising is identified as a right tactic for a certain campaign to drive certain business objectives, it’s used.
One of the key and flagship programs we launched quite a few years ago is the SAP BrandVoice via Forbes. We were actually the first partner of Forbes in the BrandVoice experience and programme. That’s an ongoing thing and we’re doing really well.
Tim Clark, my colleague, is driving that programme and the key there is authenticity and employee brand journalism. We are very strong at that and that’s an ongoing practice.
In addition to that, we use other formats of native advertising, mostly for early stages of the customer experience. That’s proven to be helpful.
The biggest challenges using native at SAP are the biggest challenges out there for all marketers, actually.
The first, I think, is the need for this user-centric approach in everything we do. The other thing is being very selective when we work with publishers, be it locally or globally.
Transparency is also a challenge. We always want the sponsored content — our paid media content — to be labelled as such. That’s a must.
Another very big challenge I see out there is knowing the audience. Knowing it to the extent that we always provide relevant content to them. Wherever they are. Which is a big challenge for all of us working in marketing nowadays.
Challenges are always opportunities as well.
So there is the other side of challenges: Looking for more ways or better ways to get to know our audiences. To really translate that into experiences — whatever we know about them, wherever they are — and translate that into experiences for them to not only meet expectations but also exceed them.
And to make sure they trust us all the way. If we are there for them at every step of the journey, they’ll ultimately trust us and we know that trust is the ultimate currency nowadays. We also know that customer experience happens mostly without the involvement of the brand or the company. And that’s a challenge but also an opportunity to use content and reach audiences wherever they are.
The focus on customer experience end to end will remain a very strong focus. That involves, of course, native advertising.
The need for 100 per cent relevance in every piece of content we provide will continue to be in focus as well, no matter where and how. But also using new piloting and new approaches to native.
Furthermore, we have to keep trying out new things, even if we fail at first. We have to keep learning. Learning, in general for marketers, is extremely important. So being a fast learner is almost part of the job description. So becoming more effective learners and doers and connecting with the audiences in an even more relevant manner to create an end-to-end great customer experience.
I think that’s the way ahead.
Irina Pashina has been named one of “100 Significant Women in Native Advertising 2018”
More like this
This episode, we hear from Lucy Kueng. She’s one of the go-to names for macro and micro industry analysis, a Google Digital News Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and has a tonne of other roles in the industry that allow her to see the bigger picture.18th Sep 2018 Insight News
Having a salesperson who really understands the format is critically important to branded content, according to journalist and digital media expert, Fara Warner.14th Sep 2018 Insight News
In this episode of the Media Voices podcast Mathew Ingram, media writer for the Columbia Journalism Review, explains why publishers need to take a more human approach to their memberships, the role of platforms in disrupting those relationships, and whether 'trust' is a meaningful metric.10th Sep 2018 Insight News
Social media has been open to the masses since the launch of platforms like Myspace in the early 2000s. Since then social networks offered a playground for billions of people to share, exchange and discuss content and ideas.10th Sep 2018 Insight News
Since its acquisition of Rodale's portfolio of magazine titles in January, Hearst has been experimenting at Pennsylvania-based Runner's World and Bicycling, with new business models, new talent, new paper stock and bigger sizes, as well as proposed redesigns for both titles later this autumn.17th Sep 2018 Features
As South Asia warms up to ecommerce, magazines are getting in on the act. Say hello to mcommerce.10th Sep 2018 Features
The team behind Bauer’s weekly TV listing title TV Choice magazine are to launch a brand new magazine dedicated to the 80s.10th Sep 2018 Launches
As the flagship title of the Slow Journalism movement, the print magazine Delayed Gratification is often described as a kick-back against the hasty pace in which the 24/7 news cycle hunts clickbait, starts telling stories but often miss the end. But associate and founding editor, Matthew Lee says it’s much more than just that.17th Sep 2018 Features
“When I say strong, faster, better, I don’t just mean that as far as goals for the reader, it’s really what the magazine is about. We’re hopefully a stronger brand; we’re faster at processing things and in delivering information and inspiration to our readers; and we’re just constantly trying to get better. We’re embodying the values of the brand, which is self-improvement.” Richard Dorment, editor-in-chief, Men's Health13th Sep 2018 Features
Visit our Youtube channelFIND OUT MORE
FIPP newsletters allow you to keep up with industry trends, research, training and events across the worldFIND OUT MORE
What’s happening now, what’s coming next