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First, there were these finches. Tanagers, actually. But they are known as Darwin’s finches because he collected them and helped to bring their unique evolutionary history to light. 

The finches were a set of genetically similar birds that each developed highly specialized beaks depending on the environment in which they evolved. Short stout beaks for eating seeds, long pointed beaks for nabbing worms — you get the picture. 

While fascinating in the natural world, this kind of divergent evolution has not been a good thing for mobile marketing. 

The separate worlds of app and mobile web marketing 

Like Darwin’s finches, app and mobile web marketing at many companies have evolved in isolation, each in their own unique environment. They both originated from an earlier version of partnerships in the pre-mobile era, but over time mobile has adapted to forage for installs, while web has adapted to gather sales. 

Unfortunately,  customer experience is suffering as a result — a fast path to extinction.

As a result of this divergence, websites and apps are built on different technology. Links and tracking setups don’t translate easily from web to app or from app to web. Platforms and tracking providers typically focus on just web or just apps (not both).  And the traditional way brands work with partners and measure their contribution just won’t work in the app world.

When user experiences are painful, mobile marketing suffers

Worst of all, the different goals of mobile and web create a fragmented journey for the customer. Here’s a painful example.

  1. You do a search for a jacket using your mobile phone, clicking through to the retailer’s app from the search results.
  2. You find a jacket you love and add the right size and color to your shopping bag.
  3. You open your favorite cashback app to search for deals. You find a discount code for the retailer and click the offer through the app. You are then brought to the retailer’s website.
  4. But wait . . . where’s the jacket you just put in your cart on the retailer’s app? Because you were routed to the retailer’s mobile site rather than the app where you started, you have to go through the full search process again.
  5. This is where you probably give up on the jacket. 

In this example, the retailer just lost business, and the cashback app lost a potential payout. Worse yet, you probably won’t be back. A whopping 88% of users are likely
to leave a website after having a bad experience, and 52% most likely won’t return.

Saving the species through deep linking

The solution to this problem is to better converge the multichannel customer journey. New deep linking technologies (such as Impact’s TrueLinkTM) make it possible for partners like the cashback provider in our example to link directly into an app, mobile web site or the app store. With deep linking, consumers can toggle seamlessly between the mobile web and an app without losing ground.

Survival of the fittest favors businesses that are able to combine the mobile web and app technologies effectively versus those that focus on one or the other in evolutionary siloes. 
Check out our ebook, What Darwin Can Teach Mobile Marketers, to learn more about divergence and convergence in the evolution of mobile marketing. Or reach out to an Impact growth technologist at grow@impact.com.

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