Published September 2016
Founded in 1966, Grupo Expansión began by providing business and finance news to readers throughout Mexico. Today, the company has grown to include a portfolio of 19 magazines and 12 websites, including InStyle, Elle, Travel + Leisure Mexico and CNNMéxico. As the largest online conglomerate in Mexico, Grupo Expansión reaches nearly 30 million unique readers each month.
Time for a change: Shifting gears to native advertising
Toward the end of 2015, the company felt it was approaching a crossroads. They knew online advertising would always be an essential component of their business model, but were seeing traditional banner ad performance decline. In user experience tests, readers either reported they weren’t noticing banner ads, or they were noticing them but found them frustrating. Looking to adapt their business model to better satisfy reader needs, Grupo Expansión began to explore native advertising as a way to create more engaging and seamless experiences — with both ads and content — for their readers.
The team quickly realized DoubleClick’s component-based native solution would allow them to easily and efficiently scale native ads across all properties and platforms. The first step toward fully transitioning to native advertising, however, would be getting advertisers on board.
Getting more advertisers on board with native
Grupo Expansión faced a challenge when approaching advertisers with native advertising: Many advertisers in the Latin American market were unsure as to what creating native ads really meant for a brand. Sebastian Patrón, Digital Leader of Grupo Expansión, said, “We believed that native ads would be a powerful and relevant way to leverage advertisers’ brands, but this format was new for the Latin American market, so we knew everyone would have questions.” While advertisers were excited about creating native ads, they voiced concerns about the corresponding KPIs. “We needed to give them new metrics on how users were interacting with their native ads and how these interactions impacted their brands,” continues Patrón.
“To prove to advertisers that their native ads were performing strongly, we gave them information about user engagement,” Patrón said. “This way, advertisers receive good data about KPIs around brand awareness and user attention.” Grupo Expansión explained how Native Ads on DoubleClick would flex to the look and feel of surrounding content and formats, a responsiveness that would lead to greater user engagement and viewability for advertisers.
Working closely with advertisers in the Latin American market to grow confidence in native advertising, Grupo Expansión offers a ‘complete circle’ offering. “We not only sell an ad unit with native styling, but we also have our branded content team create relevant articles that users read after clicking on a native ad,” Patrón said.
Native Ads on DoubleClick: Greater engagement, stronger performance
Pleased with how these native ads delivered by DoubleClick seamlessly fit into content across properties and platforms, Grupo Expansión was excited to share the promising performance results with advertisers. Within 5 months, CTRs increased by 100% on desktop and 81% on mobile web, in comparison with standard banners ads. Viewability also rose — by 36% on desktop and 23% on mobile web.
An unexpected but positive result was the increased range of advertisers that Grupo Expansión could work with to run native. Patrón elaborated, “Sometimes a smaller advertiser comes to us that doesn’t have a lot of budget. With native ads, they can offer a more relevant experience that drives performance.”
Moving forward at scale with DoubleClick
Given these promising results, Grupo Expansión is excited to scale their native advertising strategy with DoubleClick to all of their properties and platforms — continuing to run native ads across mobile web and desktop and extend to apps.
With DoubleClick, our operations have been centralized, and native has been very easy to run. By allowing us to apply different ad styles to a single campaign, we can now run one campaign across a number of sections of a website — and across devices.
Combining the ability to scale different ad templates for different sites with DoubleClick’s targeting capabilities ensures that native ads seamlessly fit into any Grupo Expansión site, both in terms of content relevancy and format.
“It doesn’t matter which screen the reader is on,” Patrón said, "What matters is that the ad matches the look and feel of the website or app and provides a seamless reading experience.” With Native Ads on DoubleClick, Grupo Expansión has made this priority a reality.