Going Native

PACE_nativeadvertising-01Call it “sponsored content”… call it “native advertising”… whatever you call it, there’s no denying that this type of paid content marketing is all the rage, as more and more companies and brands are utilizing it as part of their overall marketing strategy. In fact, investment in native ads is expected to triple between 2013 and 2015.

PACE_social iconsTo read more about the rapid growth of this new marketing channel, check out this good article from Krystal Overmyer on Skyword.com. In it, she looks at the dramatic growth of native ads in 2014: over 850 brands purchased native ads in December on the top 100 consumer and B2B websites, compared to 688 brands that purchased native ads the previous July—representing a 24 percent increase in native ads between July and December 2014.

Native advertising refers to how companies work with online publications to create paid content that takes on the appearance of editorial or other content on that platform. As Overmyer explains, “native ads could include promoted tweets or suggested Facebook posts; it could also take the form of a 1,500-word piece on… the New York Times.”

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Examples of different types of native advertising, courtesy of mechtron.com

Generally, companies expect and see better results with native ads than what they would get from more traditional display ads or other promotions. Native ads are more “readable” and easily shared across the internet. According to MediaRadar CEO and co-founder Todd Krizelman:

This has led to much higher response rates and improved aided and unaided brand awareness.”

It’s not really a new phenomenon – just reworked and reimagined for the digital age. In earlier times, “native advertising” was called “advertorial” – and at PACE, we’ve been offering it to clients for years as an effective additional strategy to complement marketing campaigns. Over the years, we have repeatedly heard from clients – particularly our real estate clients – who report that they have seen more traffic from customers who mention the “story they read in the Sunday paper” as opposed to the ad we placed. Today, we’ve adapted that strategy to apply to online publications, as well. Whether in print or online, whether you call it “advertorial” or “native advertising,” the content has to be good. It can’t just be fluff, but must give the reader something of interest and value, while effectively promoting the brand or business, as well.

We’re on board with native advertising at PACE, and ready to help your business tap into this hot marketing trend.

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Welcome to our newest PACE team member!

A great big WELCOME to Katie Cope, the newest member of our PACE and Cara Martin team!

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Our new PACE Account Coordinator, Katie Cope

Katie joined us this week as an Account Coordinator and will be working closely with our account teams on a variety of client projects. Katie comes to us from the Boston area, where she was working as a Client Services Specialist for Propel Marketing, a digital marketing firm. She earned her MA in English from UMass, Amherst, and her BA in Political Science and Literature from American University in Washington, D.C. In her spare time, Katie might be found running (she was a top-third finisher at the Spartan Race New England for 3 years in a row!), playing tennis, or working out at the gym. She is also a mosaic and pottery artist and an active member and contributor to the Arbor Day Foundation. And now in her spare time, no doubt she’ll be exploring her new home base of NYC.

We are thrilled to have Katie on board and looking forward to having her on our team!

How Do You Know if Advertising Works?

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Legendary ad man John Caples

“There is no better test of an advertisement than whether or not it actually sells the product! In fact, it is the only true way of determining if your advertisement works.” — John Caples, Advertising Hall of Fame

Truer words have rarely been spoken in marketing circles.

John Caples was a legendary ad man (Mad Man) who is probably best known for writing one of the most famous advertising headlines ever when he was a young copywriter in 1926:

”They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano but When I Started to Play!”

The copy that followed was long. Several hundred words long, designed to solicit students for a correspondence course at the U.S. School of Music. And the ad was an instant and classic success, inspiring many imitations over the years.

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The ad that changed an industry

Caples went on to become an expert in direct-response advertising. According to his obituary in the New York Times:

Mr. Caples was credited with pioneering many aspects of advertising, including copy testing and extensive research. He debunked humorous advertising copy, saying that ‘only half the people in this country have a sense of humor, and clever ads seldom sell anything.’ He also advised copywriters to ‘use words you would expect to find in a fifth-grade reader’’ because ‘the average American is approximately 13 years old mentally.’

Mr. Caples was elected to the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Fame in 1977 and passed away in 1990. But his pioneering thoughts and practices about advertising live on.

At PACE, we adhere to some of Caples’ big ideas about advertising – including the quote above. What’s the point of advertising if not to sell product? To move people to action? In fact, it’s a philosophy we’ve adopted in one of our own agency taglines:

At PACE, we move people.

Another time, in a more cutesy way of conveying this and to reflect our agency specialization in working with real estate clients, we said:

 PACE brings faces to spaces and places.

In other words, the ads and marketing campaigns we create at PACE are strategically developed to get results. To move people. To bring faces. To generate real traffic. Real results.

We’ve been doing this for over 65 years now: providing successful, results-oriented marketing solutions for our clients. The tools have changed over the years, but we remain adept at moving people through targeted marketing strategies, compelling creative, and meticulously executed campaigns across a mix of marketing channels. Simply put, we moving consumers to take action. Getting them from their place to your place. Actively engaging with your business. And buying. Some call this “direct response.” We prefer to call it action-oriented marketing. And it’s at the heart of every campaign we develop.

We’d like to think that Mr. Caples would be proud.

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