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Native advertising: Content & context with mobile

Highlights
  • Mobile has an upper hand in native advertising as it is intrinsically built to provide a contextual & personalised experience
  • Consumers looked at native ads 52 per cent more frequently than banner ads
  • Native advtg will give marketers more room to grow, and be creative, in 2014

Native advertising has received rather bad rap in the past, with privacy and mislabelling named as some of the top concerns in the industry. But now with reports predicting that native will become a USD 2.85 billion dollar industry, we seem to be moving past some of these issues. To me, this is great news.

We all know that mobile is increasingly playing an important role in the Asian consumer’s media diet and that mobile advertising has the ability to influence decisions during a purchase. When it comes to native advertising, mobile has an upper hand as well, seeing that it is intrinsically built to provide a more contextual and personalised experience.

Simply put, native advertising refers to ads that are delivered in context of the consumer experience. Native advertisements are created to blend into the user’s browsing behaviour and some types of native ads, such as those using Google AdWords and appearing on Google’s search results pages, have been around for a long time. Now we are seeing a lot more ads that deliver more in-depth editorial-type content directly to consumers using the principles of native advertising i.e. in context for their online behaviour.

A study conducted by IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough last year showed that native ads were much more engaging than visual ads, and that consumers looked at native ads 52 per cent more frequently than banner ads. The study also pointed out that native ads tend to drive higher brand lift than traditional banner ads. In fact, native advertisements registered nearly 18 per cent higher lift for purchase intent when compared with banner ads.

Native advertising that also leverages the unique features of smartphones such as location based data, built in gyroscope functionalities, personalised in-app content etc to seamlessly blend into the user experience, will make up a bulk of mobile advertising in the coming years. Native advertising on mobile also enhances the user experience by providing more context to the advertisement and allowing for greater levels of interaction between brands and consumers. Additionally, it provides marketers with a wider avenue to deliver quality content that appeals to individual customer needs.

Native advertising will give marketers more room to grow and be creative in 2014 taking advertising on mobile to a new level. With smartphone shipments hitting their highest levels yet and the strong growth of larger-screen devices such as tablets and phablets, mobile ad spends will continue to rise steadily throughout the year. I believe that native advertising will prove to be great channel for marketers allowing them to set themselves apart from the competition and growing their consumer base.

Rohit Dadwal

The author, Rohit Dadwal, is the Managing Director of Mobile Marketing Association APAC.
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