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Driving commerce with click-to-call and click-to-map mobile ads

Both click-to-call and click-to-map advertising are action-driven methods that capitalize on consumers needing quick information while on the go. With the rise of location-based marketing though, click-to-map could have a leg up in the long run depending on a campaign’s objective, according to some experts.

“As location-based targeting and attribution become more advanced, advertisers — especially retailers — will be forced to shift greater share of spend to mobile,” said Michael Lieberman, group account director at Joule, New York.

“Call-based advertising will still have a place for complex transactions or serving specific audience segments,” he said. “However, with younger consumers eschewing voice for messaging, its role in the future of mobile may be less prominent.”

Action-based advertising
Click-to-call advertising helps marketers track leads and conversions through a unique phone number. Click-to-map can be trickier to measure since marketers are able to see how many consumers looked up a location but are not able to tie it to a specific purchase behavior that can be used to measure ROI.

However, Mr. Lieberman believes click-to-map might be a more scalable solution for marketers because it takes advantage of the location-based strength of mobile. Although click-to-call can be tracked, it also requires call center expenses and resources.

It can still be difficult for marketers to close the loop on click-to-map mobile ads, but new technologies that help identify a consumer in a store are becoming increasingly available.

For instance, in-store Wi-Fi can let brands send targeted messages to consumers. If a message is only sent to consumers within a particular radius, marketers can swap from using click-throughs to conversions as a measure of success, which could potentially have huge implications for marketers weary about justifying marketing spend towards mobile.

Call on mobile
Although smartphone adoption is growing, there are still a significant proportion of feature phone users globally. Therefore it is important for marketers to remember the demographic they are targeting in addition to the campaign’s objective.

In markets with high smartphone penetration though, click-to-map can be particularly effective. In addition to driving in-store traffic and serving up relevant content, retailers can use the ad formats to pre-order items or check in-store availability.

“It is important for marketers to understand what the mobile touch points are for any given product or service,” said Eric Mugnier, U.S. senior vice president at M&C Saatchi Mobile, New York.

“By having a firm grasp of this, they will be able to advise on which technique to use,” he said.

“Using high-performance targeting, marketers will be able to deliver the most relevant type of advert to the most relevant audience in the way which suits the device, time and location when the advert is viewed.”

Lead by example
Click-to-call mobile ads can be used to lure in consumers who are looking for similar products and services because users can learn more information directly from the ad itself. Businesses that benefit from this type of ad sell high-consideration products and services such as insurance, utilities and travel. Local businesses are also prone to use this type of advertising because it gives users quick access to information, per Surojit Chatterjee, head of global mobile search ads product at Google, Mountain View, CA.

Conversely, click-to-map might be more helpful for consumers looking for additional information such as directions.

“We believe that the best mobile ads speak to the unique user contexts and device capabilities of mobile,” Mr. Chatterjee said.

The executive also points to several Google case studies that show the differences between mobile click-to-call and click-to-map and how each can be effective for marketers.

For example, Comcast used a click-to-call campaign that connected consumers to the company’s customer service team. The ads saw more than a 100 percent greater click-through rate on mobile than on desktop, likely because the ads helped solve a consumer pain point while on the go. Comcast now claims that 10 percent of all online sales come from mobile.

T-Mobile also worked with Google on a campaign that used location extensions to drive in-store traffic. By using location, the company claims that the ads had a 13 percent click-through rate and more than 160,000 click-throughs.

“We’ve found that people are often looking to take immediate action as a result of searching on their mobile devices,” Mr. Chatterjee said.

“In fact, nine out of ten mobile consumers that we surveyed in the U.S. take action after conducting a search,” he said. “When it comes to mobile, many of these actions are taking place in the real world rather than purely online.

Since your mobile customers are likely taking a variety of purchase paths online and offline to connect with you, it is crucial to add these actions to your mobile ads to take advantage. By making it easy for your customers to call or find directions to your store, you can start to understand how these actions ultimately impact sales, which will give you a better understanding of the full value that mobile drives to your business.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York