Advice for mobile marketers: don’t fear the phone call

Invoca Phone ContactI’m better than most at finding what I need on the internet but this morning it wasn’t working for me. I was desperately trying to find the 2015 version of my favorite planner. I found it listed on the Barnes and Noble website with a note saying it was only available in stores. Pop in my zip code and yes! My local store has it in stock. Fill out the form to get a text confirmation and done. Back to work.

Only, two minutes later I got a text saying, “can’t find it”. Now this particular style comes with a variety of covers so I began to wonder. . . would the salesclerk be savvy enough to let me know if he had the butterfly cover but not the flower cover I asked for? Only one way to find out; I called the store and asked. None in stock.

Back to the website to find the phone number of the next closest store. Another phone call and this time I found what I was after. In hindsight, I should have simply started with a phone call but that’s the funny thing about our high tech world – the phone just feels like a hassle, until you use it.

Invoca, the call intelligence company, just put out an infographic entirely based on one startling fact; mobile phone owners actually use those devices to make phone calls. Freaky, huh?

The mobile phone searcher is a different beast than the one who uses his computer to search.

Google says that 73% of mobile searches result in an action; a phone call, a visit to a store or purchase. And 89% of local mobile searches convert offline rather than online. There’s an immediacy to mobile searching that we don’t see on the PC.

Invoca’s infographic also tells us that 75% of customers believe a phone call is the quickest way to get a response and 70% have called a business directly from the search results page.

Trouble is, most marketers are spending their PPC budgets driving customers to a website or web form instead of to a human being. And we all know how much customers hate filling out webforms on a mobile phone! Yuck.

Here’s a quote from the Invoca ebook “Paid Search for the Mobile Era“:

In industries that sell high-consideration purchases, inbound calls are booming because smartphones make calling an easy next step. Click-to-call empowers customers to search, click, and call. They don’t have to fill out a lead form on a small touchscreen. They don’t have to wait for a sales rep to call them back. It’s a seamless experience that immediately puts customers in contact with businesses.

Invoca Infographic

Bottom line? Don’t fear the phone call. Driving customers to hit dial with a PPC ad is a smart way to do business. One word of warning; if you do set up an inbound calling campaign, make sure the workers on the other end of the phone not only know the calls could be coming but have the information they need to properly deal with customer questions.

There’s nothing worse than a successful ad campaign that doesn’t deliver on the promise.

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

Singapore Students Create App That Rewards You For Ignoring Your Phone

An industry trade group in the city-state of Singapore is behind a new mobile phone app that will curl the toes of digital advertising companies.

In an effort to get smartphone users to stop staring at their devices and start talking to one another, the Singapore Computer Society awarded $ 24,000 to three students who developed an app that immobilizes handsets when two or more smartphones are placed together.

The app is called Apple Tree because an image of a tree begins sprouting on the mobile screen if the phones remain untouched. Apples grow on the tree and can be harvested and exchanged for rewards like discounts at local shops. The longer the phone is ignored, the more apples grow and the more can be harvested.

The app will be available as a free download to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday next year. It was the winner of the Splash Awards that judged entries on the theme: "Bringing Singaporeans Closer Together."

Apple Tree, however, may be poison to companies trying to make a digital advertising footprint in the region.

Singapore has invested $ 23 million to develop digital advertising, and Internet advertising is forecast to grow there, according to PWC, which predicts digital ads will account for $ 264 million by 2018.

Adweek : Advertising & Branding