Commentary

Search Spoils Me

Marketers at more than half of U.S. companies believe phone calls remain a resource for high-quality leads. When I need to find information at a store, it has become so much easier to pick up my mobile device, bring up Google voice search, and say "Home Depot, Huntington Beach, Store hours." In response the voice assistant tells me "here are the store hours for the Home Depot store in Huntington Beach." Underneath that listing, a "Call" tab provides a click-to-call direct line to the store.

The convenience of click-to-call features on mobile devices not only appeals to U.S. consumers, but to U.K. consumers as well. In the United Kingdom, up to 59% of consumers searching for information about automobiles on their mobile device look for a business phone numbers to place a call. 

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The need for convenience prompts companies like Acquisio and Telmetrics to develop call-tracking tools to measure leads. One from Acquisio released this week aims to give search engine marketing (SEM) agencies, resellers and partners the ability to track, report and optimize performance from paid-search campaigns based on phone calls generated through preferred call-tracking platforms. The program relies on extensions to retrieve the call data for each campaign, ad group, and keyword.

A ticket sales Web site with search spend exceeding $250,000 per month ran a test with a sample of campaigns and a $20,000 monthly budget on Acquisio BBM. Optimization began Sept. 1. While BBM for call tracking generated 24% more call volume and lowered cost per call by 20%, the optimization also generated better leads for their online sales. The tools yielded a 20% increase in online sales and an 18% decrease in cost per online sale.

Services based on delivering phone calls to local SMBs require bid management and call-tracking tools. By providing tools designed to work with any third-party call tracking vendor, Acquisio can support any agency with tools that support marketers relying on phone calls to drive business performance. It already works with Avanser, Bionic Click, Century Interactive, Delacon, Ifbyphone, Marchex, Mongoose Metrics, and ResponseTap.

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