Mobile native ads now rank as one of the top developments in mobile advertising, and budgets are expected to increase significantly in the coming years. Those who have embraced mobile native ads have seen a multitude of benefits, particularly when it comes to engagement.
When January 2015 polling by Ovum for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence asked US mobile marketers about their attitudes toward key developments in mobile advertising, eight in 10 said native ads were important to some extent, with 30% saying they were very important. This put mobile native as the second most important development—passing HTML5, No. 2 in 2013—and behind responsive design by just 1 point.
Mobile native advertising usage was relatively low among marketers polled worldwide in 2015 by InMobi. Less than two in five respondents had run mobile native campaigns, and three-quarters said they spent 20% or less of their 2014 digital ad budgets on such efforts. More activity should take place soon; 57% planned to leverage native ads on mobile, and over half said they’d increase their mobile native ad budget by 25% or more in the next two years.
Among users and potential users, mobile native ads were especially popular for interacting with consumers, with six in 10 saying such placements engaged the audience better than other formats. Those who had used mobile native advertising or knew how to but had yet to do so also said the ads had a better look and feel (41%), increased brand awareness (34%), gave brands a more authentic voice (34%) and generated quality leads (33%).
Research released in October 2014 by Polar showed higher clickthrough rates (CTRs) for native ads run on mobile compared with desktop in the US and UK. Average CTR for native placements on tablets was 0.28%, and smartphones were right behind at 0.27%. Meanwhile, CTR for desktop native ads was just 0.15%. Consumers who accessed the sponsored content via smartphone spent the most time with it, at an average 3 minutes and 54 seconds. Time spent with tablet and desktop native ads was relatively even, at about 2 minutes each.