We’ve been pouring over the BIA/Kelsey report titled Call Based Ads: Eliminating the Unknown from Advertising and we found a couple of tidbits that were pretty interesting. Here’s a quote that blew my socks off (literally, they blew off and now I can’t find them):

“The rapid growth in smartphone penetration has put us on the cusp of a watershed moment in local advertising. 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.”

BIA/Kelsey is essentially saying that some businesses–especially local ones–will be so overwhelmed by the deluge of calls  mobile marketing will provide that they will be scrambling to deal with them.

What Will the Phone Call ‘Scramble’ Look Like?

Staffing – Imagine being a local tire retailer. Currently you receive, maybe, 40 calls a day. BIA/Kelsey says that calls to local businesses will double in the next 18 months. Those 40 calls just turned into 80 calls. That’s twice as much time on the phone. Twice as much time your employees are interacting with customers. This has huge implications for something as basic as staffing. Do you need to hire someone to answer phones? Or just another employee or two? These are real questions that businesses are going to be forced to deal with in the next 18 months.

Handling Calls – How do your employees sound on the phone? With double the calls coming into your business every day, that’s twice the number of opportunities to close deals and book appointments. However, it is also twice the number of opportunities to treat a customer poorly.

Close Rates – We track close rates for phone calls. The definition of a ‘close’ could be a booked appointment, a closed sale or someone who said they would come into the store. (Different businesses define a ‘close’ in different ways). Increasing close rates by even 5% or 10% can have massive impacts on revenue. With phone calls to your business doubling, small increases in close rates will have even more dramatic impacts on revenue.

Call Analytics – With calls becoming more frequent and more valuable, businesses are going to scramble to find a product that provides data surrounding phone calls. Call tracking is only the start. Of course businesses will want to know which marketing channels generated phone calls. But they will also want the call analyzed for re-marketing opportunities. They’re going to want to know close rates, conversion rates, call value metrics and, last but not least, they’ll want to know if employees are handling calls effectively.

Calls are quickly becoming king again.

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