Phone Calls from Mobile Search to Hit 73 Billion in 2018

Phone Calls from Mobile Search to Hit 73 Billion in 2018Here’s an impressive mobile prediction worth “phoning” in.

Mobile search will generate 73 billion calls to businesses in 2018, up from 30 billion in 2013. That’s according to BIA/Kelsey‘s latest mobile local media forecast.

This “tremendous increase” in commercially oriented call volume to businesses and the resulting opportunities for local media companies are the primary focus of the new BIA/Kelsey insight report, “Phone Calls: The New Currency of the Smartphone Era.”

Key findings from the new report include:

  • BIA/Kelsey estimates $64.6 billion is spent annually across media on localized ads to generate calls to businesses.
  • The growth in call volume works well with local business’ sentiment towards calls, with SMBs naming them the most valued form of incoming leads according to BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitorâ„¢ survey.
  • One of the driving forces behind the growing importance of calls as currency is the growing sophistication of call analytics, to measure call quality and gain strategic insights from call data.
  • The value assessment of calls is highest in local verticals that place a high value on new customer acquisition (e.g., appointment-based local verticals such as financial services, home services, and professional services such as lawyers, doctors).

“There’s a shift underway in the tech and media worlds marked by a tighter embrace of phone calls as a lead form for paying advertisers,” said Michael Boland, report author and a senior analyst for BIA/Kelsey. “Calls have always been highly valued by small businesses and now the notion of calls as currency has accelerated in the smartphone era, where search has fused with the phone. Businesses that get in front of consumers with the right messaging and calls to action, like mobile click-to-call, can drive high-quality leads and achieve high return on ad spend. Tech and media companies that can help them get there are likewise well positioned.”

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