Calls Are On the Rise for SMBs
:: By Mark Sullivan ::
There is no denying the effect mobile devices are having on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). According to a recent study, inbound phone calls for SMBs are on the rise. In Q1 of this year alone, calls are up 16 percent. Steady inbound call growth is being seen across varying industries, from auto repair shops and hair salons to dentist offices and medical clinics.
A stronger U.S. economy and increasing mobile device usage is driving much of the uptick. More calls than ever are being sourced from mobile devices like smartphones, where getting connected is as simple as tapping click-to-call. The ease of click-to-call was created specifically with the mobile consumer in mind - and the popularity is driving businesses to take the next steps toward gaining more insight into what spurred these phone calls in the first place. The trend is likely to continue and underscores the increasing importance of mobile marketing for small to medium businesses who rely on phone calls as their primary inbound lead channel.
Even though it seems archaic, phone calls are still the sought after form of communication for a majority of SMBs. According to BIA/Kelsey, mobile search is estimated to generate 73 billion calls to businesses in 2018, with SMBs considering phone calls to be the best way to garner incoming leads. Of course, in this day and age, the majority of these calls is going to be coming from mobile devices. BIA/Kelsey also estimated in their U.S. Local Media Forecast 2015 that location-targeted mobile advertising revenues will grow from 6.7 billion in the U.S. this year to $18.2 billion in 2019. SMBs should take advantage of this growth in mobile to get in front of their customers with the proper messaging and actions to drive leads.
However, mobile ad adoption is an investment of time and money for SMBs. SMBs have a lot on their plate and, even though they desire to oblige, they are stretched thin for resources. But, when it comes to marketing, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. It’s time for SMBs to embrace growing technology to fully understand where phone calls come from and how to convert those calls into leads. This is crucial to the success of digital marketing efforts.
Mobile adoption is essential because customers are mobile. One of the best ways for SMBs to gain actionable insight and visibility into their inbound calls in through effective tracking and call analytics. Since clicks and impressions aren’t the sought after conversions they once were, a majority of SMBs are trying to address this challenge through greater insight on which mobile ads are paying off.
Greater insight into call analytics can ultimately improve customer experience and retainment while allowing for data-driven marketing and better lead generation decisions. SMBs can help close the ROI loop without breaking the bank and start focusing on the mobile marketing campaigns that can take advantage of inbound call growth — and stop wasting money on the ones that can’t.
Mark Sullivan is Director of Analytics for CallRail. He is passionate about arming small business owners and agencies with the right tools to create exceptional sales success in an extremely tough and often fragmented online environment.