Successful Brand Marketing Plans Include In-App Native Ads


Eddie de Guia, Co-Founder & Managing Director, PubNative

No brand will ever want to advertise on mobile if the ads through which they are represented are intrusive, disruptive or low quality. For this reason, mobile native advertising has gained considerable attention in the past 12-18 months, and this is good news for advertisers, publishers, and users alike.

An increase in mobile spend, without affecting any of the other channels, will considerably increase the overall ROI of a cross-channel campaign, according to the recent SMoX report from MMA. Further, mobile is a strong driver of campaign performance across the entire funnel.

Now, add the power of native advertising. The ads are relevant and driven to the right audience segments via either keywords or audience insights, but also fit the form and the function of the content in which they’re shown.

We understand the mobile opportunity, but why focus on in-app native advertising? Here’s why.

Modern Day Mobile Advertising Doesn’t Deliver to User Expectations

The mobile browsing experience is littered with poorly scaled, distorted, misaligned ads. Often, users cannot read the message, or the ad is not aligned inside the content where it is shown — or even worse, the image is cropped.

Why is there so much fragmentation?

  1. The mobile ecosystem is very diverse in terms of screen sizes, which vary from small smartphones to large, and to tablets and other mobile devices. These devices can also be used in different orientations.
  1. Apps are diverse, as well. As the mobile ecosystem evolved, operating systems evolved as well, and with them the apps used by consumers. Each app experience is different and there’s no one-size-fits all advertising solution.

Understanding the In-App Native Advertising Opportunity

Enter native advertising. Native ads seamlessly fit the device, but more importantly, they blend into (or even complement) the content they are shown in.

Native ads in apps can add depth, interest and even functionality, when used properly. So why has the industry been slow to evolve — why are many marketers still relying on banner ads when we know they don’t work?

Is it the fear of the unknown? Actually, most marketers and advertisers are more familiar with native advertising than they may realize; many already understand and use native advertising on Facebook and Google. In fact, much of Facebook’s advertising success can be attributed to their prowess in native, which has given them the leg up in mobile advertising. The undisputed social giant makes almost all of its $3.56 billion in quarterly revenue in advertising and 73% of that in Q1 2015 came from mobile.

Yet marketers need to start thinking about reach extension beyond popular social networks. The good news is twofold: the learning curve isn’t as steep as some fear, and in-app native offers a viable solution for reach extension.

There are applications other than social leveraging native in rich ways, but brands may not know or think about them as they’re planning campaigns. Demand Media uses native within a content-oriented app environment, while Gameloft offers compelling native ad experiences in games. is working ads into their email app and Tango is a great use case for native advertising within a utility-oriented app (specifically, messaging).

And they don’t do it because it looks good, although that’s a great thing for publishers who want to keep their users happy.

They do it because it’s effective.

In this case study with one of our publishers, a Spanish messaging app called Quack Messenger, we learned that users were interacting with the native ads four times more than with the standard unit they were using before!

Setting Yourself Up for In-App Native Advertising Success

Getting started with in-app native advertising is easier than you may think.

Your creative needs are the same types you’ve already created for your Facebook ads: a square logo, the title or brand name, a short and long description and (optionally) a larger banner image.

After creative, the next step is obviously targeting– but again, if you’re running mobile campaigns, you are already familiar with the available targeting criteria, including demographics, device types, user IDs, and your own first-party data.

Because each publisher and app is unique, you may also want to take into consideration the format. MMA has done a great job of describing the current formats available in the market.


  1. Native advertising is not new. It takes different forms depending on the device on which we view media, whether that’s an outdoors billboard or a mobile phone.
  2. Mobile may very well be the most frequent point of interaction between a consumer and a brand today.
  3. Native advertising enables brands to have a reputable and impactful appearance in the otherwise fragmented mobile landscape.
  4. Mobile native advertising complements other marketing activities and it’s simple to set up.

Share your questions or comments below!

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