How Native Ads Build Better Brands with Dan Greenberg


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“If you can design triggers into the thing someone’s already doing, you make advertising even more impactful.” Expanding the definition of advertising to include more human-centric and respectful ideas has been at the heart of Dan Greenberg’s work as CEO and founder of Sharethrough and as a leader in the native advertising movement. We discussed all of this and more this week on the On Brand podcast.

About Dan Greenberg

Dan Greenberg is the CEO and Founder of Sharethrough, the largest independent native advertising platform that powers in-feed native ads for publishers like Forbes, Time, and CBS and enables marketers like Coca-Cola and P&G to programmatically distribute branded content at scale. He dropped out of the Stanford Masters program to start Sharethrough and went on to popularize the term “native advertising” in 2008 and now serves as Chair of the IAB Native Ad Committee. He has been named to Ad Age’s 40 Under 40, Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc.’s 35 Under 35 Founders List, and honored as an Ad Age Media Maven.

Episode Highlights

“I have money and can steal time” is an advertising approach that’s fading. Dan notes that native advertising is more human as it demands mutual respect between the consumer and the brand.

When building a business becomes a movement. “This seed of an academic idea (respectful, human advertising) turned into a business and that turned into a movement,” says Dan. The rest is native advertising history.

How to create a movement. Dan was quick to stress that this doesn’t happen on its own. “It starts with conviction. It starts with community.” He then went on to reverse engineer the process behind how this happened in the native advertising movement:

  1. Live in the future
  2. Find conviction
  3. Name it and frame it
  4. Help other people find it

Speaking of the future, we also did a lot of talking about Web 3. Do yourself a favor and listen to the whole episode but Dan notes that Web 3 will be “owned by users, not the platforms.”

What brand has made Dan smile recently? In keeping with our Web 3 theme, Dan pointed to Gary Vaynerchuk and the engaging, human content he creates as a brand that’s made him smile.

To learn more about Dan, follow him on Twitter and check out the Sharethrough website.

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