Intel to Test News360’s Native Mobile Ads System

Smartphone apps not just for consumer marketers anymore

Even business-to-business brands seem to be getting a grip on the mobile world. Intel this week is launching a month-long campaign on News360, a mobile news aggregation app. The tech company is using the app to promote its new IT Business Report mobile app.

The fact that a B-to-B marketer like Intel—mobile is often depicted as a consumer space—is buying News360's ads underscores how major companies are increasingly giving relatively obscure smartphone apps a shot at their business. In a saturated apps market, News360 needs to prove itself, as brands have countless options to choose from. To that end, the 3-year-old mobile developer, which claims roughly four million users, is now jumping on the buzzy native trend in its pitches to advertisers.

Intel's advertorial-like appeals will initially be seen by the app's users in their news feed while marked as "promoted by." Generally speaking, the app's news feeds display content based on users' preferences as well as personal interests they opt in to share from their Facebook and Twitter accounts. When an advertiser like Intel appears alongside actual news, the viewer can click through to a blown-up page with long-form copy. One marketing piece from the campaign is titled "Intel Innovation Center: Where Failure Is an Option."

Intel wasn't available to comment, but it was likely sold on data from a month-long, similarly styled B-to-B campaign on News360 from Cincom Systems. According to News360, the Cincinnati-based tech firm recently garnered a 13 percent click-through rate (CTR) on iPhones, while seeing a 5 percent CTR among iPad users. Brand engagement was also intriguing, as iPhone readers spent an average of 1 minute, 30 seconds on the content while iPad owners typically spent 1 minute, 15 seconds.

Marilyn Cox, a marketing director at Cincom Systems, suggested that targeting mobile users based on specific reading habits, such as tech news, was a powerful tactic.

"[Our] content is specifically designed to target high-level decision-makers and business professionals," Cox said in a statement. "They're not the people you just find on Facebook."

And these days, if brands can't find people on social media channels, mobile apps are probably a good medium to try next.

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