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Branch branches out, offering deep links to apps from dynamic remarketing ads
The company said its new Deep Linked Feeds for Dynamic Ads is the only such solution that works on all operating systems in all situations.
Palo Alto, California-based Branch makes its living with deep links, which directly lead a user to specific screens in apps from web pages, web ads, emails, other apps and other sources.
Unlike the web, there is no universally available linking format in apps that everyone supports.
Today, Branch is branching out (sorry) to offer Deep Linked Feeds for Dynamic Ads. If you look at a web page for red sneakers on a mobile website, for instance, dynamic remarketing ads for red sneakers can follow you on other web pages or on apps that you visit. They’re dynamic because they pull up the latest product info about the sneakers.
(Some marketers assert that “remarketing” means following you via email, while ad follow-ups are “retargeting,” but here we’ll use the term Branch employs for these kinds of ads — dynamic remarketing.)
The Branch deep link in that dynamic remarketing ad takes you to the screen for red sneakers in that retailer’s app. If you don’t have the app, the marketer can specify whether the link should instead take you to the appropriate app store to install the app or to the red sneakers page in the retailer’s mobile web site.
Personally, I only shop on desktop/laptops, since I prefer a larger screen. If I did use mobile devices to shop, I probably wouldn’t go through a retailer’s app, since I would have to download each one. But Branch says that native apps have a threefold higher conversion rate than the mobile web, and brands often see apps as providing a faster and more customized experience than the mobile web.
Here’s a visualization from Branch summarizing the argument for deep links from dynamic ads:
The ad could also have been on the desktop web if the marketer is using some cross-platform ecosystem like Facebook’s. A user logged into Facebook on the desktop, for instance, can be targeted if he/she is also logged into Facebook on a mobile device.
Marketers already add deep links to dynamic remarketing ads, but Branch notes that those require coding and other customization so that they’ll work on all OSs and in all contexts.
By contrast, Product Manager Will Lindemann told me, Branch’s new solution is the only one that can be applied at scale, for every OS, ad network, remarketing platform (like Criteo) and context. It’s also built around the product feeds, which maintain up-to-date info on the item and price, and the platform offers a variety of attribution info.
Addressing all those conditions, he added, was “a non-trivial exercise.”
In the blog post announcing Deep Linked Feeds, Lindemann noted:
“With Deep Linked Feeds, you can upload your product feed to Branch, configure your deep link settings, and get back the product feed you need — with deep links automatically injected into the correct columns. There’s no need to pore over documentation that differs for each platform, set up additional SDKs for deferred deep linking, spend hours configuring attribution tags, or set up multiple feed formats from platform to platform or device to device.”