Given the exciting news that Branch announced today, a number of clients and prospects have asked about our relationship with Branch and what it enables.
Mobile and Partnership Measurement
It wasn’t that many years ago that the vast majority of connected time took place on PCs. But that has changed dramatically as more and more people have integrated smartphones into every aspect of their lives. Mobile growth has been astounding.
Today, not only is the majority of connected time taking place on mobile, but the VAST majority of that mobile time takes place in apps versus on the Mobile Web.
(All images in this post courtesy of Branch)
That has historically presented measurement problems for partner tracking because cookie-based measurement in apps is problematic, especially on iOS devices. Tracking complexity has been the bane of app developers for years. In addition, whereas most PCs usually have one browser that is used for all browsing, mobile devices tend to have one (or more) for the mobile web and then each app usually operates as if it has its own browser instance as well.
All that fragmentation makes it tough to track in these environments, especially when the customer journey goes from the mobile-web-to-app or vice versa. For partnerships, it means that it has always been problematic to track a user in and/or across all connected environments.
What makes the need for mobile-friendly tracking in the partner space is that a brand’s most loyal customers tend to be the ones that download and use its app. According to Branch, they spend, on average, 7X more time in the app than mobile web users do on a typical brand website. They convert at a much higher rate, and AOV tends to be more than twice as high as for mobile web consumers.
Further, a study from Criteo shows that, for retail brands in North America that have an app, 71% of mcommerce transactions occur in app.
That’s WAY too much money to miscredit to organic sales if your efforts are driving it!
How Branch Helps
Branch offers a way to capture user data across all connected environments, including apps. By incorporating the Branch SDK into your app and website, you can follow your customer when their journey involves your app, your website, or both.
Once the SDK is integrated, Branch customers can use Branch links across their marketing mix, across banner ads, video, email campaigns, including their partner marketing activity. This expands your measurable marketing footprint to any customer journey that involves these media.
Further, because Branch is now an official Facebook Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP), they can also measure activity resulting from clicks in the Facebook environment. Facebook represents a very large fraction of total mobile browsing, so this is an important component of their solution.
All that tells the story from the perspective of the advertiser. But this integration also yields significant and immediate benefits for partners. When more purchases can be attributed to the partner marketing activity that drove them, that means more revenue for partners.
Our Relationship with Branch
Performance Horizon has created a full technical integration with Branch, enabling us to use Branch links and analytics with Performance Horizon measurement and insights technology to broaden your partner marketing measurement footprint.
With more comprehensive tracking, partner marketers benefit in three big ways:
1. Drive More Measured Sales From Campaigns: When a customer of Performance Horizon engages with Branch, they can significantly boost campaign performance by correctly attributing sales in mobile apps to marketing activity, instead of reading them as organic events. We currently have several tests in market to determine what comprehensive mobile tracking means in terms of increased tracked sales. Because we are a data and insights company, and always like to apply research best practices to work like this, we won’t reveal figures before our tests are complete, but preliminary results are very positive.
2. Increase Conversion Rates with Deep Linking and Deferred Deep Linking: We all know that the fewer steps it takes to get a user to the item or offer they want, the more likely they are to convert. Performance Horizon’s integration with Branch helps improve conversion rates for partner links because of technology called deep linking. With deep links, when one of your app users clicks an app link, they can be automatically redirected to the exact “page” in the app that features the item they want. Performance Horizon can then track any purchases made as a result of this action, report on them, and pay the referring partner. There are no interim steps, no “do you want to open the app?” notifications. This helps you hold on to a much larger percentage of your customers versus if you make them wade through alert screens or redirect them to a search page.
And with an additional capability called deferred deep linking, people who don’t have your app yet can be first directed to the right app store to download the app, and then automatically redirected to the right page in the app. From there, Performance Horizon can track the user’s purchases, report, and pay the appropriate referring partner.
3. Demonstrate Greater Value From the Channel By Capturing Cross-Device and Cross-Channel Sales: Joint Performance Horizon and Branch clients won’t lose track of users who are motivated to click based on partner marketing but then migrate from web to app or vice-versa. By ensuring that you can pair a user to the partner activity that motivated them to buy, you correctly get credit for more sales that you drove.
4. Capture and Integrate Partner Marketing Performance Data for Multi-Touch Attribution Measurement: More and more companies are recognizing the need to understand the impact of all of their marketing touchpoints across devices and channels. With Branch and Performance Horizon, you can seamlessly incorporate partner marketing data into your multi-touch attribution modeling. Any partner marketer that has ever been asked whether their sales are REALLY incremental will instantly understand the value here. Multi-touch attribution can finally be your ally!
5. Help Partners Make More By Tracking In-App Purchases: By including in-app purchases in partner performance data, Performance Horizon and Branch will help partners will see an immediate increase in revenue from the channel. When partners are driving purchases in apps, they should be compensated.
What to Do Now
Many of our clients are already asking about how to work with PH and Branch, and we’d be happy to provide details and get you connected to their team.
For Branch clients that are active in partner marketing or considering new investment in the channel, we’d love to help make your partner tracking comprehensive and accurate.
Get in touch with your Performance Horizon sales rep or Customer Success lead to learn more. Or just drop us a line at email@example.com.
In both cases, we have worked closely together to streamline the onboarding experience.
In the meantime, congratulations to the Branch team for all their exciting news.