Late last week Marchex put out its quarterly data report. That document carried the eye-catching headline that 76% of calls generated from mobile display ads were accidental or unintended. I covered that issue and some of the findings at Internet2Go.
Here’s Marchex’s graphic showing call metrics. It reflects bad calls, existing customers and new customer calls by channel:
You should know that these data were obtained from Marchex advertising campaigns. None of this is organic traffic or calls. So it may not be entirely representative of all consumer behavior. However there were 200,000 calls analyzed to generate the data.
Online and mobile directories appear to be better at generating new business than mobile search. More calls coming from mobile search ads were existing customers than new business, whereas the opposite was true for directory sites (i.e., yellow pages and similar).
The “mobile directories” here are mostly likely apps, whereas mobile search is browser based. What all this implies is that people are searching for phone numbers or contact details for businesses that they already know more than using mobile search engines to find new businesses. New business lookups, according to this data, are happening in these mobile directory apps more frequently — and online. I find these data surprising.
I know from talking to directory publishers that a larger percentage of their online traffic is category based than “name in mind” queries. I had believed the opposite for some time. In other words more people are coming in without a specific vendor or merchant in mind and then doing a lookup or search.
The data above suggests that a larger percentage of people using mobile search (there’s no discussion of PC search) already have a name in mind and are simply trying to retrieve it. Accordingly mobile search advertisers are paying a “toll” for existing customers in a relatively high number of cases.