Mode Media Survey Reveals How Branded Content Impacts Consumer Purchase Intent

Mode Media teamed up with Nielsen on a survey to understand how branded content affects brand impact across a group of advertiser campaigns on desktop and mobile platforms. The results, released on March 8, revealed some interesting insights about the impact of branded content on people using mobile devices, as well as  best practices for branded content creation.

Here were the key findings:

Mobile Users’ Purchase Intent:

Mobile users were more likely to purchase goods vs. desktop users after viewing branded content. Purchase intent among people using a mobile device reached 24%, vs. 19% of desktop users.

Perception of Branded Content:

On average, Mode’s branded stories were perceived as: 76% interesting; 70% exciting, 66% natural, 34% excessive and 31% forced.

Time Spent:

On average, those surveyed spent nearly 2.5 minutes with each branded story which represents the same amount of time as consumers spend with editorial content (according to Mode Media internal research), and 8 times more time than with rich-media advertising. 

Purchase Intent:

On average, respondents were 21% more likely to purchase the brands to which they were exposed. Less-established consumer brands tested as high as 41% purchase consideration increase after native ad exposure.


On average, 81% of respondents indicated that they enjoyed the branded content; 75% said they were likely to view additional sponsored stories, and 63% would share the content with others.

The research findings would appear to suggest that viewing branded content on a mobile device can have a big impact on consumer purchase intent. This isn’t too surprising, given the fact that mobile devices are with us all the time and deliver personalized content on-demand. A lot of this content is branded and served up in native formats.

Impulse purchases, it would seem, are going to become fairly de rigueur -- that is, if the mobile checkout and payment process becomes easier and more seamless.

Well-produced branded content, at least in this survey, looks like it can deliver the goods, so to speak.

“We are seeing an increase in marketers using branded content in the marketing mix because it’s organic integration along with interest-based targeting, creating a seamless and effective way for brands to connect directly to their target audiences,” said Dan Lagani, Mode Media president and chief revenue officer, via email. High brand scores and content likability findings show the potential for organic and immersive brand experiences to improve brand metrics without being excessive or forced, he stated.

The study was conducted on a sample of 2,400 women ages 18 to 44 who viewed native branded stories on Mode client ConAgra’s Orville Redenbacher’s participated in the survey, among other brand marketers.

Mode Media has 144 million unique users a month, and 220 million unique users worldwide, according to comScore Multi-Platform, December 2015 and comScore Desktop only, December 2015, respectively. 

Lagani stated the research proves that branded content is a good way for marketers to engage consumers authentically and at scale, while providing valuable insights.

And who knows? The research may help marketers trying to develop campaigns to entice millennials, who are notoriously interested in authenticity and inspired by brands doing "good" and people they can relate to.

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