Is native ads a sales driver?

In today’s world marketers are looking for new ways to reach their audience and increase their sales performance. But this is more and more difficult. Topics like banner blindness or ad blocker show that reaching new customers has never been so hard than today. For this reason, new advertising formats were invented. One of these is native advertising. But could native advertising fill the gap which other formats couldn’t? And more important: Is native advertising only for awareness or also for performance the right format?


What is native advertising?

Before we look at our main question, let’s briefly explain what the term “native advertising” is referring to.

Native advertising definition

The term “native advertising” describes a paid advertising format, which has the same look and feel as the other media formats on the same page.

This means that it is very difficult to see these advertisements with one single look. In most cases they have a small icon or a tiny note in the top corner.

Probably you know native advertising from article recommendations. This is also the most popular form of native advertising. But there are other forms as well, like:

  • In-Feed ads
  • Complete articles

Whenever editorial content is mixed with paid content in the same style and the distinction between them is hardly recognizable, we can speak from native advertising. 

Perfect for awareness …

Native Advertising is a good tool to get in touch with potential customers for the first time. Mostly the users are in an explorer mode, when they see a native ad and click on it. 

This is perfect, if you want to increase the awareness of a site or a brand.

… but hardly for sales

But in this explorer mode, the users mostly don’t have a concrete problem, for which they search for a solution. Therefore it is also difficult to sell them anything directly at this stage.

This is the reason why I think that native advertising is not the right format for the well-known “hard” last-click sales. Instead you should target for more low-commitment actions, such as signing up for free whitepapers or webinars. With these leads you get potential customers in your sales channel and hopefully they end as actual customers.


Yes, native advertising can be a sales driver. But not a direct one. You have to make a detour about the lead management process. Native Advertising is here perfect for lead generation, but you should also not forget the following processes, like the lead nurture process. 

What do you think? Am I wrong? Tell me in the comments.

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