BIA/Kelsey Expects Fireworks for Call-Based Ad Market

According to a new report published Monday by BIA/Kelsey, a prominent firm that advises companies in the local media space, the call-based advertising market – which includes all ads that use call-based lead tracking – is going to see “explosive growth” in the future.

BIA/Kelsey believes that key growth drivers include the emergence of increasingly sophisticated call analytics and the unprecedented growth of mobile. All told, these factors will combine to result in one major consequence: a dramatic increase in call-based advertising inventory.

The report in question – “Call-Based Ads: Eliminating the Unknown From Advertising” – highlights data from BIA/Kelsey’s ongoing Local Commerce Monitor study, in which small-business advertisers consistently report that a phone call, even more than a personal visit to their store, is the most valuable type of new business lead.

In 2011 the average U.S.-based business received 10.9 calls per month from desktop search (and all downstream properties through SEO) and 34.7 calls per month from mobile (including mobile search). In 2013 the average U.S.-based business will receive 13.8 calls per month as a result of desktop search and 80.9 calls from mobile.

“The rapid growth in smartphone penetration has put us on the cusp of a watershed moment in local advertising,” said Matt Booth, chief strategy officer and program director for Interactive Local Media at BIA/Kelsey. “Mobile is about to unleash a massive increase in call-based ad inventory, which will be so vast that many established companies will scramble to align their advertising portfolios to accept call-based ad products.”