Mobile advertising continues to shake up traditional ad investments for a variety of media. For call tracking, the shift continues to move dollars from national to local ads. Some 61.6% of the pay-per-call share resides in local ads vs.national -- the opposite of a year ago, according to analysis from Telmetrics, which measures pay-per-call ad tracking.
Early adoption in pay-per-call tracking originated in national advertising about three years ago, but the most growth today comes from local, small businesses. Pay-per-call ads experienced the most growth from mobile, jumping more than 30 times since last year.
Telmetrics tracked about 348% more pay-per-call ads in Q1 2012, compared with the year-ago quarter. The durations of the calls also have increased, suggesting that more advertisers are optimizing campaigns and programs looking for higher-quality leads, according to Bill Dinan, the company's president.
"Mobile marketing has opened the door to call-based segments for SMBs," he said. "We have reached the point where SMB marketers can monetize the activity. Calls are worth more, marketers understand it, and they are willing to pay for it."
On average, call durations rose 20.1% since Q1 2011. Mobile call durations remain the longest at 3.5 minutes per call, followed by Yellow Pages at 2.8 minutes per call, Internet Yellow Pages at 2.7 minutes per call, and paid search at 2.2 minutes per call.
There also was a perceived barrier to entry for those offering pay-per-call services to small and medium-sized businesses. Along with direct media, mobile changed that, Dinan said. Between 35% and 40% of growth today from call traffic from seeing an online ad comes from mobile, and about the same for print Yellow Pages -- followed by billboard, direct mail, and PC-based search.
Mobile and local convert well to actions, making it a valuable market segment for pay-per-call ad tracking, which will grow as smartphone and tablet devices proliferate. About $12 billion of advertising revenue will go through mobile this year worldwide, partly as a reesult of device proliferation, according to a GroupM study.
Smartphone adoption continues to spike. "People ages 75 years and older are also adopting smartphones, which breaks down the barriers we once knew," Dinan said. "IT puts content in the hands of more consumers."