ADOTAS – Pocket-dials and accidental clicks account for the majority of calls businesses receive directly from mobile display ads, according to a report from online and mobile ad company Marchex. In its new MPULSE report, the company (which provides technology designed to block spam calls and exceptionally short calls) looked at 200,000 inbound phone calls to businesses that resulted from mobile searches during the first quarter of 2012, and it found a lot of junk: 76 percent of all calls from mobile display ads were what Marchex considered “bad” — accidental clicks and the dreaded pocket/purse dial. With voice search/automated directory assistance, the study found, 45 percent of all resulting calls were “bad” calls. With online directory partners, it was 37 percent, 34 percent for mobile directory partners, and 34 percent for major mobile search engines. Looking at the positive side of things — the successes businesses have had through mobile — mobile and online directory partners were tied for the lead in one particular metric: 38 percent of the calls that resulted from each of those two sources were from new customers. Read the full report on the Marchex site.
Marchex also offered five suggested best practices for mobile advertising. First, it advocated for “a variety of connection options to suit their intent,” whether they be click-to-calls, apps, QR codes or anything else. Second, it called for testing for the customer’s ability to call from a number of sources. Third, it advised a wide reach, utilizing web pages, search engines and apps. Fourth, it called for testing and analysis of a campaign’s performance, and fifth, it suggested analyzing the kinds of calls coming in and figuring out, through call centers, whether those calls lead to sales conversions. However — and the Marchex report doesn’t say this explicitly — it would probably be a good idea to, in general, create mobile ads that are actually designed with the physical specifications of the device and the user’s head-space while using a mobile in mind.