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Forecast: Mobile to push call-based ads higher
As more consumers move to mobile, businesses are finding more leads calling in via smart and feature phones. If fact mobile calls to businesses are expected to out-pace calls based on desktop search more than six times over.
"The rapid growth in smartphone penetration has put us on the cusp of a watershed moment in local advertising," said Matt Booth, chief strategy officer and program director, Interactive Local Media, BIA/Kelsey. "Mobile is about to unleash a massive increase in call-based ad inventory, which will be so vast that many established companies will scramble to align their advertising portfolios to accept call-based ad products."
The new forecast indicates calls to businesses from search queries will hang just under 14 per month (2013) while calls from mobile phones will reach nearly 81 per month. Marchex reports mobile was responsible for more than 80% of calls to their business - 90 million calls.
Peter Christothoulou, president of Marchex said, "Mobile is the big driver and accounted for 83 percent of the 90 million calls we connected in Q1 2012. Local and national businesses are both getting into this market. We are already seeing some national brands allocate as much as 20 percent of their digital advertising budgets to generate calls and expect this to continue to grow."
On average in 2011 the report shows US based businesses received 10.9 calls because of desktop search queries while mobile accounted for 34.7 calls (monthly) - these include mobile search queries.
This is a strong indicator that businesses using call-based ads need to include mobile functionality to help engage customers calling in.
The full findings will be released during a panel at the BIA/Kelsey Mobile Local Media San Francisco event on June 27.
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