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Kraft And Meredith Team Up On Native Ads In Email
Powered by LiveIntent, Kraft recipes get delivered via native advertisements in Recipes.com daily emails.
Meredith Corp. has long sold traditional banner ads in its millions-strong email newsletters. More recently, the publishing giant has been moving quickly in its embrace of native advertising. Now, the publishing giant is bringing native to email, with Kraft Foods as the flagship advertiser.
“Native has been big on our radar over the last year. We’ve been thinking how do we integrate our advertisers with our editorial content,” said Andy Wilson, SVP and Chief Digital Officer at Meredith by phone. It found a willing partner in Kraft, which works closely with Meredith on several marketing fronts as well as the distribution of its own magazine.
Meredith sends some 450 million emails each month. “We have high engagement rates with our email,” said Wilson, “and we knew there was lots of opportunity there.”
Kraft already has significant digital reach of its own with one of the biggest food sites, giant email newsletter lists and deep presence on social media. “We have over 96 percent household penetration, but it’s important for us to think about how to extend that across all of our brands and stay in touch and engage with consumers,” said Dana Shank, associate director at Kraft Foods, who oversees partnerships and online of Kraft North America’s CRM assets.
“We have seen our own content have much better engagement than ads, which are already high,” she explained, “and we were thinking about the value of content, especially in email, and thinking about ways to extend that with other publications.”
Enter CRM ad targeting platform, LiveIntent, which was working with both companies. Kraft wanted to promote their recipes in ways that would generate high engagement. Meredith was looking at ways to introduce native into email. LiveIntent made the match.
For two weeks, the campaign served six Kraft recipes in Meredith’s Recipe.com daily email. The newsletter features recipes tailored and targeted by theme.
The ad targeting was powered by LiveIntent, which harnesses its own data as well as first-party data from Meredith (it knows which recipes particular users tend to engage with — for example, if they only click on chicken recipes) and Kraft’s first-party data to match and deliver the best Kraft recipe for each email newsletter theme and individual subscriber.
LiveIntent’s platform has always been CRM integrated and with native they saw an opportunity to deliver content from its customers like Kraft using first-party targeting data. “Email is requested, so we believe that our technology is very well suited for native because we can target people rather than by pixel,” said LiveIntent CEO Matt Keiser.
No one would offer up specifics on performance, but all say they were encouraged by the results. “The recipes that are served to Meredith’s readership using optimization technology from LiveIntent have performed well and met/exceeded our current benchmarks for customer engagement,” Shank told LiveIntent.
With nearly two-thirds of marketers saying they’re planning to increase native advertising budgets this year, we can bet this is just the beginning of the marriage of native and email.