12 Native Advertising Experts You Can Learn From NOW

Content Marketing Native Advertising
Chad Pollitt

Influencer lists are a dime a dozen, usually thoughtlessly curated in pursuit of ego-stroking and social shares… but this selection of native advertising experts is different.

Ever read about someone on an influencer list that piqued your interest, only to click through and find their latest tweet is from last year? Has a list post of “Industry Insiders You Need to Follow Now” ever gotten you excited to read thought leadership from a company CEO, only to discover they haven’t actually published in over two years?

Though it happens often in the marketing echo chamber, it won’t happen with the industry experts highlighted below. Not only are they all current on publishing and social media, but they also come from a variety of disciplines that are all, in some way, relevant to native advertising. 

(note: list does not indicate any sort of rank order)

Allen GannettAllen Gannett

Founder & CEO, Track Maven

Core Focus: his recent book, The Creative Curve, which is designed to show you how to engineer mainstream success by understanding the mechanics of what Gannett calls the “creative curve” i.e. the point of optimal tension between the novel and the familiar.

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: We’ve been conditioned to believe that creativity is reserved for the rare lightbulb moment and/or geniuses. Not to mention, creativity is a draining process. Gannett believes everyone can be more creative, and his book paves the way with a data-informed, methodical approach.

Notable Achievement: included on both Forbes and Inc.’s “30 Under 30” lists

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn, Personal Website

Andrea FryrearAndrea Fryrear

President and Lead Trainer, AgileSherpas

Core Focus: Agile Marketing

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: The agile approach provides marketers with a defined process to apply to their daily work and teaches them how to create efficiencies in pursuit of continuous improvement. If you’ve ever felt like you’re wandering through campaign after campaign and are longing for a roadmap, Fryrear will point you in the right direction.

Notable Achievement: Author of “Death of a Marketer,” a detailed walk-through of four Agile methodologies that can help marketers thrive in their uncertain environments.

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn, Personal Website

Cruce SaundersCruce Saunders

Founder & Principal, [A]

Core Focus: Intelligent Content & Content Delivery Technology

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: As an expert on multi-channel marketing, content engineering, content asset valuation, intelligent content, machine learning, AI, cognitive systems and much more—Saunders has some next-level ideas and observations about the future of content.

Notable Achievement: author of “Content Engineering for a Multi-Channel World”

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn

Ben YoungBen Young

CEO, Nudge

Core Focus: Audience Attention Metrics

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: Although a bit dated, this chart illustrating “Areas of Concern About Digital Advertising” suggests US digital advertising professionals are very worried about measuring their work. Stepping in with a solution is Nudgea content marketing analytics platform that tracks, measures and optimizes your content investments. Nudge reports on content consumption metrics such as reach, average attention minutes, scrolled, engagement, and more.

Notable Achievement: Co-founded New Zealand’s leading digital agency Young & Shand, known for being first on emerging platforms such as native content, SnapChat and Instagram.

Watch: Young speaks about Nudge on Cheddar

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn, Personal Website

Melanie DezielMelanie Deziel

Founder, Story Fuel

Core Focus: Brand Storytelling

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: Deziel’s advice to brands who want to invest in storytelling tactics often includes elements of native content and advertising as a way to strengthen a brand’s relationship with its customer. In fact, she even publishes Overlap League, a bi-weekly email newsletter packed with native advertising news, events, jobs and inspiration.

Notable Achievement: co-creator of the famous Netflix/OITNB piece during her time as Editor of Branded Content at New York Times.

Related Reading: this recap of Deziel’s talk at Content Marketing World 2018

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn, Personal Website

Chad PollittChad Pollitt

VP of Marketing, inPowered

Core Focus: Native Content Amplification

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: Pollitt and the rest of the team at inPowered are pioneering a future with no tolerance for interruptive advertising by going all-in on native. Using an innovative engagement-based model, clients only pay when users spend a minimum of 15 seconds with promoted content. Follow Pollitt to consume his sought-after insights on inbound marketing, native advertising, content promotion and more.

Notable Achievement: Co-founded Relevance, the world’s first website dedicated to content promotion, news and insights.

Related Reading: The 2018 Native Advertising Technology Landscape (via Native Advertising Institute)

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn, Personal Website

Johanne EliassonJohanne Eliasson

Editor, Native Advertising Institute

Core Focus: Native Advertising News & Insights

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: Based in Denmark and fluent in four languages, Eliasson not only upholds The Native Advertising Institute’s high quality standards and laser focus on native topics, but also cranks out original content of her own on a regular basis. Peruse all 16 pages of her archives to see for yourself.

Notable Achievement: edited the 100 Significant Women in Native Advertising eBook

Connect: LinkedIn

Grace KayeGrace Kaye

Chief Strategy Officer, Brainlabs

Core Focus: Programmatic Online Display

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: It’s no secret that programmatic is one of the best ways to amplify native content. Kaye’s regular blog posts cover the nitty-gritty of programmatic topics such as ad creative, multichannel bidding, targeting and more.

Notable Achievement: this high-performing post on Marketing Land touting the benefits of programmatic native ads

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn, Marketing Land Blog


Jaime PhamJaime Pham

Content Marketing Evangelist, LinkedIn

Core Focus: Corporate Content Marketing

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: If you’re a medium or large company, Pham’s experience with native advertising best practices (especially as they pertain to utilizing the suite of LinkedIn content marketing solutions) is advice and work worth following.

Notable Achievement: Pham was a finalist for the 2017 Native Advertising Marketer of the Year Award

Related Reading: The Secret Sauce – How Linked Uses LinkedIn for Marketing

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn

Clare CarrClare Carr

VP Marketing, Parsely

Core Focus: Audience Attention Metrics

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: One of the biggest ongoing challenges in native advertising is finding ways to capture and analyze the results of the work. In her role at Parsely, Carr continuously studies what makes companies, campaigns, people, and stories worthy of attention… and how to measure said attention.

Recommended: Carr’s free eMarketer webinar, The Value of Audience Attention – What Happens Before the Conversion

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn

Nick CiceroNick Cicero

Founder & CEO, Delmondo

Core Focus: Social Video Analytics & Audience Insights

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: Thinking you should get on board with Instagram Stories, Facebook Live or Snapchat but not sure where (or why) to even start? Follow Cicero for regular doses of native video inspiration and insights.

Notable Achievement: recipient of two American Advertising Awards

Related Reading: Delmondo’s Instagram Stories Benchmark Study (Summer 2018)

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn

Clare O’BrienClare O’Brien

Head of Media Effectiveness and Performance, ISBA

Core Focus: Advertising Industry Advocacy

Why It’s Relevant to Native Advertising: In her role at ISBA, O’Brien leads the Content and Native Working Group. To prepare for and facilitate those conversations, she auto-curates a digital paper to track what’s being discussed and tagged as #nativeadvertising from the Twittersphere. Follow her on Twitter for an easy way to stay abreast of native trends and topics.

Related Reading: Content & Native Measurement is Missing Evaluation Metrics

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn

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