Marketers expect healthy native ad spend growth, and figures from industry sources confirm this. In September 2014, Socintel360 estimated that US native ad spending would rise 46.7% to hit $3.2 billion in 2014. Double-digit growth was expected to continue through 2018, when native ad investments in the US were forecast to reach $8.8 billion following a gain of 23.9% that year.
Marketers have emphasized the value of native advertising in a world that is increasingly mobile, where screens are small and content is consumed via feeds, and October 2014 polling by Rubicon Project and InMobi found that the majority of digital ad buyers were taking advantage of this. Fully 57% of digital ad buyers worldwide said they were planning or running mobile native ad campaigns. Why the interest among this group? Buyers stressed the value that mobile native ads provided when it came to not annoying users, as 55.2% said they ran these campaigns because the ads blended with editorial content and were nonintrusive. Digital buyers planning or running mobile native ad campaigns also expected higher conversions and/or engagement rates. Still, one can’t ignore the 43% of digital ad buyers not exploring mobile native advertising.
Those who weren’t using mobile native ads were most likely to blame this on a lack of in-house resources and knowledge. Respondents also looked outside their office walls, though, and pointed to the absence of global standards around ad units as a reason for lagging behind the trend. Rubicon and InMobi asked mobile native non-users what—if anything—would get them to change their minds. Results indicated that to make the leap, digital ad buyers who weren’t executing mobile native ad campaigns were most likely to test mobile native advertising if they determined it would help their brand meet its objectives (47.2%) or it was easy to launch with the assets they had on hand (44.4%). eMarketer estimates that mobile ad spending worldwide will soar 91.7% this year, landing at $36.46 billion. By 2018, this total will near $125 billion. Based on Rubicon and InMobi’s findings, chances are that native will benefit from this influx of mobile dollars.