Mobile-only media such as mobile search and display are the source of a majority of phone calls to businesses, according to an Invoca analysis of 32 million phone calls throughout 2014. But are these media referring high-quality calls?
Looking at the top marketing channels driving calls, the study indicates that mobile search was by far the largest source of calls, referring 45% of the study’s sample over the yearlong period. It isn’t surprising that mobile search is such an influential driver of calls given its convenience and the popularity of click-to-call functionality in search results.
Beyond mobile search were desktop display (11% share of calls) and desktop search (9%), followed by mobile display (8%). So while mobile trumps desktop by a large margin in search-driven calls, display-referred calls were slightly more the realm of desktop than mobile.
In looking at the discrepancy between search and display-referred calls, it’s worth noting that research released several years ago found that mobile local search ad clicks were most often followed by a phone call, while display ad clicks were most frequently followed by accessing maps and directions.
The analysts note that call durations are an indicator of high buyer-intent, such that the duration of a call is a key indicator of call quality. Mobile trails on this front, with mobile search-referred calls lasting 3 minutes and 58 seconds on average and mobile display-driven calls 2 minutes and 58 seconds, both shorter than the overall average of 4 minutes and 7 seconds. That may not necessarily reflect low-quality calls, though, instead perhaps being indicative of the on-the-go mentality of mobile callers, whose searches often convert quickly.
Offline channels – which drove 16% of the calls analyzed – generally averaged longer durations. Newspaper-referred calls averaged 6 minutes and 10 seconds, more than a minute longer than desktop display, the best-performing online source. Calls driven by magazines, direct mail and directories also saw durations higher than the average. As the study authors note, the level of effort in calling from a print ad reflects high buyer intent.
- Tuesdays received the highest volume of phone calls, 48% more than Sundays, which had the lowest;
- One-quarter of calls came from landlines;
- The recreation and leisure and insurance industries had the highest call volume;
- The home services industry had the longest average call duration (6 minutes and 48 seconds), followed by the insurance industry (5 minutes and 26 seconds);
- Notably, while 79% of automotive calls came from offline channels (with TV a prime source), automotive calls lasted just 1 minute and 52 seconds on average;
- Offline sources also accounted for an above-average share (44%) of financial services calls, although mobile search was the single largest source of calls (21%); and
- Radio accounted for 7% of insurance calls (versus 6% of calls overall), with insurance being a key advertising vertical on radio.
About the Data: Invoca analyzed 32 million phone calls, a representative sample of calls that ran through its platform between January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. The calls spanned over 40 verticals and sub verticals.