Will Mobile Pocket Calls Bankrupt The Ad Budget?

What do marketers pay for when buying click-to-call mobile ads? Up to 76% of mobile display ad calls are accidental clicks or "pocket calls" that can waste a brand's budget, according to a recent study. Only 14% come from existing customers, and 10% from new customers.

The Marchex report, MPULSE, reveals that major mobile search engines filter out 32% of calls as unqualified leads, spam or misdials. Calls from voice search resulted in 45% of spam and misdials, although existing customers tend to use this feature to connect through major mobile search engines more often: 35% versus 20% for new customers.

The findings suggest that the high rate of error should prompt brands to purchase mobile display ads on a performance basis to improve ROI. Conversely, mobile directory partners receive a much lower percentage of spam and short calls, because consumers have clear transaction intent.

The analysis of more than 200,000 inbound calls generated through multiple media sources for more than 45 digital call advertisers draws on three conclusions regarding mobile performance for campaigns. Call types vary depending on media sources, the cost of service and spam calls, and test variables to achieve best results.



Marketers need to take into consideration the cost of customer service and spam calls when calculating a campaign's ROI, but not all calls convert into sales. This means that even campaigns or keywords with a low per-call price may run more when considering the impact of non-converting call connections for each cost per user.

The Marchex report suggests taking certain steps to decrease costs, but also provides data to assist in those decisions. For starters, the call type from a simple misdial to a new business lead can vary dramatically, depending on the origin of the call. Some 38% of calls from online and mobile directories were from new customers, and 10% of calls from mobile display partners were from new clients.

Data can help identify the problem, but what do marketers do once they are convinced of change? Marchex suggests giving consumers a variety of connection options, such as app downloads, QR codes, form fills and click-to-call.

Marketers need to test different conversation paths for mobile calls, such as the ability to call from an ad or call from a landing page, as well as the performance of ad campaigns across different formats and calls to action.

Leverage the ability to connect with consumers in more than one media with placements across a range of mobile Web pages, search engines and applications.

1 comment about "Will Mobile Pocket Calls Bankrupt The Ad Budget?".
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  1. Kevin Bullard from ILFUSION Creative, May 22, 2012 at 8:56 a.m.

    Oh boy! They don't want the fact three out of four "click to call" actions are butt dials...and less than 1 out of 10 is a new customer!

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