American Marketer


Why mobile native advertising is key for connecting with users: MMA

December 22, 2015

Native ads are proving to be vital on mobile Native ads are proving to be vital on mobile


Mobile native advertising is proving to be an effective mobile ad strategy, with campaigns from Dunkin’ Donuts, Pandora and EA seeing significant results compared to other forms of mobile ads, according to the new Guidance Report, Mobile Native Advertising from the Mobile Marketing Association.

The information suggests that native advertising is vital on mobile with an average click-through rate six times higher than traditional ads. A recent native ad campaign from Pandora located on Celtra and Hearst Magazines UK mobile properties saw 150 percent higher expansion rates compared to standard expandable advertisements.

“Mobile native advertising is a powerful opportunity for brands to engage deeply with their customers and research has shown it to perform better than mobile display,” said Greg Stuart, chief executive officer at Mobile Marketing Association. “If you look at the impact of native as measured in our SMoX research series, native was hugely effective and priced at around 50 percent its real value.

“That suggests that marketers should really invest significantly more in native while that pricing exists,” he said. “The report shows how native has moved from being thought of as a novel strategy to more mainstream.”

Success stories

The format of native advertising is proven to be successful and favorable with mobile users. For instance Yahoo’s premium content streams, native ads were had a 23 percent higher quality scores and saw three times more engagement than mobile banner ads.

Game developer EA saw positive results from surveyed consumers following a campaign in which the brand provided a sponsored luxury game board within the Scrapple mobile app game. The campaign proved a good fit content wise, with 93 percent of those surveyed and claiming so, and 82 percent claiming to have enjoyed the game more so due to the sponsored board.

EA's Scrabble board native ad campaign

Dunkin’ Donuts launched a native advertising campaign in which the brand drove foot traffic to nearby locations through ads in the Waze app. The campaign drove over 1,000 store visits to bricks-and-mortar locations.

Native advertising categories

The MMA has broken mobile native advertising into groups such as in-feed social, in-feed content, in-feed commerce, in-map, in-game, paid search, recommendation widgets and custom.

In-feed social native advertising campaigns integrate within users’ social media feeds, taking the form of a sponsored post, which looks similar to user-generated content and incorporates information from the platform. Whereas in-feed content is located seamlessly within publishing or media content, and coincides with the look feel or subject of the page.

Pandora's native ad campaign on mobile publishing platforms

Feeds on various commerce platforms featuring product listings and promoted items are considered in-feed commerce such as platforms Etsy, Amazon and Shopkick. Mobile apps such as Google Maps, Waze and Four Square are where in-map ads are located which can organically drive in-store traffic to nearby advertiser locations.

In-game encourages users to choose to engage with a marketer by award points and rewards through watching a video advertisement. Paid search allows brands and retailers to seamlessly integrated with search feeds, with promoted results featured at the top of the page.

Recommendation widgets allow for publishers and other mobile platforms to suggest similar brands, and creates a seamless traffic cross over with a click of a button. Custom is any mobile property built by a marketer such as editorial, music, apps, games or videos.

“The MMA Mobile Native Guidance Report specifically outlines a number of actionable best practices that brands should think about as they create native campaigns that are focused on the four key tenets of relevancy, transparency, creative optimization and measurement,” Mr. Stuart said.

Final Take

Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer