I’ve probably been writing about the importance of calls, call-based analytics and pay-per-call (PPCall) for about eight years. While call tracking has been around for decades, PPCall is still a relatively new phenomenon.
As an ad model PPCall had a false start about seven years ago because it wasn’t embraced by the big sites like Google and Yahoo. Two major developments have helped revive PPCall: its usage to drive performance-based leads from traditional media (e.g., print) and the rise of smartphones.
PPCall has become a relatively standard mobile advertising option on some networks. And Google has seen massive growth in the use of its Click-to-Call offering: growing from 10 million monthly calls a few months ago to 15 million today.
Call tracking, as the foundation of PPCall, has also been given a huge boost by mobile. However it has far broader application than advertising. Calls are now a critical tracking and attribution tool for both PC and mobile ad campaigns. In PC-based search advertising, for example, Kenshoo offers “call conversion optimization,” which exposes search keywords that are actually driving phone leads and thus better performers.
Call tracking offers greater visibility into “what’s working.” Moreover, mobile ads without the benefit of call tracking or click to call optimization are almost wasted. See, e.g., Don’t Stop At The Click: The Importance Of Tracking Everything In Mobile.
Having said all that there are also nuances, challenges and “best practices” to be understood. It’s simply not the case, as some would argue, that we’ve entered a brave new world of calls and that they will simply take over as the dominant currency of (mobile) advertising. Calls and call tracking are a critical tool and medium but not a marketing panacea.
Next Thursday (June 28) at 10 Pacific/1 Eastern I’ll be moderating a free webinar and panel discussion on call-advertising, phone leads and call tracking. It’s sponsored by Twilio, which provides cloud based telephony infrastructure. The speakers will be:
- Josh Reznick, Founder and CEO, Datalot
- Rick Finch, VP and General Manager, LendingTree Autos
- Todd Fisher, Co-founder, Call Tracking Metrics
They represent a variety of perspectives and use cases: publishers, analytics and local lead-generation. It will be a broad view of the use of calls in a range of different situations. In addition there will be discussion of call tracking best practices.
It should be a great discussion — and it’s free. To attend you must register.