Contact: Holy Grail Metrics?

Now that online ad performance metrics and pay-per-click pricing raise the accountability bar for everyone, new technologies are reaching for that same return on investment granularity offline. VoiceStar's Pay-per-Phone Call (dare we say PPPC?) technology is already letting online publishers charge between $3 and $35 per completed phone call from a banner ad.

Each ad pushes a discrete toll-free number so that VoiceStar can link call traffic to specific placements or price offers. VoiceStar routes calls to the advertiser, so consumer interaction can be recorded or tagged with caller details and information on whether the interaction was converted to a sale. ppc is nice, CEO Ari Jacoby claims, but PPPC is better suited to high-priced purchases that require the human touch.

The system also offers what he describes as "the holy grail of return on ad spend," an analytics suite that compares effectiveness across all mail, print, and online campaigns.

When Jacoby was at Reed Business Information years ago, surveys showed that media buying was based on comfortable relationships with reps and the generalized anxiety over not advertising alongside one's competition. The Web, however, has changed the game forever. "Publishers will need to provide real-time metrics and analytics and show what really happens in their campaigns," Jacoby says

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