Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Endorses Native Advertisng

In Customer Engagement, Featured on App, Marketing and Sales by Vaughn Highfield

Marissa Mayer, Flickr, Tumblr, Yahoo, 4A, native advertising, content advertising

Marissa Mayer pushes clever content creation on Tumblr to get back billion investment

It’s no surprise that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has taken a fair bit of flack about her decision to pick up the heavily-creative blogging network Tumblr for a hefty sum of $1.1 billion. It’s also no surprise that many investors and critics have wondered and questioned exactly how she intends to claw back that money from a site that – for a while at least – prided itself on not having adverts all over it.

After all, Tumblr founder David Karp described the site as a “beautiful creative palette that is unpolluted by ads.”

So, during the 4A’s Transformation Conference in Beverly Hills, California, Marissa Mayer deftly tackled the question of Tumblr’s fortunes by showing an endorsement for brands who make the most of native advertising and creating content that begs to be shared.

That’s right, advertising is going to be the key for Tumblr’s success. But this advertising won’t be what you’re previously used to, it’s clever, creative, and isn’t necessarily selling anything more than an idea and brand presence. If you’re not on board with native advertising, well, then you’re just not really on-board with how marketing should be working.

Mayer admits that it’ll certainly be a challenge to do. Brands will need to make adverts that are as “compelling and as beautiful as the art projects and poetry and other things that you see posted there.” But it’s promising to hear that so far the sponsored ‘Radar Ads’ that appear on user Dashboard feeds have been significantly outperforming standard content in terms of sharing.

“The average post on Tumblr gets reblogged about 14 times. The average sponsored post on Tumblr gets reblogged 10,000 times,” Mayer said. “So, there’s really an amazing amount of reach.”

Of course, it’s hard to translate this into pure RoI, but to think like that is to really miss the entire point of what marketing is becoming in the modern Internet age. When people can pick and chose if they even see your adverts or engage with your brands, it’s about creating content that they want to see and share. Not about creating content you want to show them.

Still, there are some companies out there who really understand how to get native advertising right, and perhaps they’d be a perfect fit for something like Tumblr’s next big goal.

Do you reckon this will be enough to help Yahoo turn around it’s fortunes?


[Image: jdlasica – Flickr]

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