Quixey introduces new mobile advertising format that links to functions within apps

Deep-linking specialist Quixey (a 2013 Fierce 15 award winner) is aiming to open up a new avenue in mobile advertising with the launch of what it calls "Deep View Cards," which provide native advertising for applications that link users to core functions and mimic the user interfaces of those apps. Quixey claims that because the cards are programmatic and not tied to a static website but instead to an action a person would take within the app, the cards are a more effective way to engage with mobile audiences.

Quixey has been testing Deep View Cards for six months and is rolling them out first in the U.S., China and India. Quixey said it currently has partnerships with U.S. and global companies including Adelphic, Alibaba, AskMe, Opera and PocketMath; publishers such as Times Internet and with advertisers on social networks through Flightly. To date, Quixey has served more than 300 million Deep View Cards to its advertising partners.

Deep View Cards help advertisers get their content discovered and also use the relevant app functions to attract users to click through, which Quixey claims boosts engagement. In an A/B testing campaign on industry-leading ad platforms, the company claims Deep View Cards delivered 130-150 percent higher engagement in click-through rates compared to other campaigns.

In an interview with FierceWireless, Quixey CEO Tomer Kagan explained that the company has found over the past few years that simply providing deep linking -- which allows users to find a specific place or function with an app -- is not enough. He said the "basic assumption of deep linking is flawed" in that it's assumed there's a 1:1 link between a state within an app and a state that exists on a static web page. For example, there might be a portion of a Yelp or Urban Spoon web page that never makes it into those companies' apps because a location had too many poor reviews. There is also no way to map from inside the Uber app when a car is coming to pick a person up to what that might be like on a web page.  

"What's the equivalent of the Yahoo homepage to the app?" Kagan asked rhetorically. "Apps by definition are dynamic and are all about generating real-time information."

So in thinking about how to bridge this gap, Quixey decided to start with apps and pretend the web didn't exist, Kagan said. Instead, the company focused on the functions of apps and rendered those functions in cards that were linked to a specific query. In other words, the cards would show users exactly what they were going to get in terms of an in-app experience if they clicked on them.

Deep View Cards are designed to get people to either download apps they don't have or allow them to make use of functions that exist within apps they currently have downloaded.

Quixey touted the experience of SeatGeek, a customer that is an events ticket search engine, which wanted to improve the return it was getting on its ad spending. SeatGeek used Deep View Cards to take traditional ad formats and personalize them to better fit its services and offerings. The cards were able to dynamically showcase SeatGeek's constantly changing lineup of events and generate personalized ads to link customers to appropriate upcoming events in a nearby venue. For example, users in the San Francisco Bay Area would be shown a Deep View Card that depicts various upcoming San Francisco Giants baseball games. Quixey said that SeatGeek saw a 20 percent improvement in its click-through rate and a 150 percent improvement in its conversion rate by using the cards.

Quixey is currently working with dozens of app developers on Deep View Cards advertising, but Kagan said that he thinks that will grow into the hundreds and thousands. Quixey also strikes different kinds of deals using the cards. The company works with ad networks and demand-side platforms that generate advertising creative for developers, and Quixey takes a cut from the ad networks themselves. Quixey also works directly with developers, and Kagan said that in the last month developers have agreed to advertise $5 million worth of advertising using Deep View Cards. Quixey can set up the advertising on its own or work with demand-side ad platforms.

The partners that Quixey is announcing are a "very, very small fraction of number of networks, publishers and developers we're signing up," Kagan said, adding that Quixey is "looking to create quite a few multiples" of those partners.

The cards are launching in the U.S., China and India because, as a company that crawls through apps and learns about functions and what is most relevant, Quixey does that well right now in English and Chinese, Kagan noted.

"We're focused on getting it down in these markets before expanding," he said, adding that the three markets make up a large chunk of the global population. "As these markets progress and mature I am sure we are going to start adding more."

"For us, the whole basis of this entire format is that it outperforms" other advertising formats, Kagan said. "We have to make sure it outperforms."

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