Smartphones Make Calls Too!

Today’s smartphones offer an amazing menu of features to consumers. They also offer exciting new media/technologies to advertisers. As an event marketer, it is hard not to be tempted by the latest mobile ad solutions.

However, sometimes it is the older, simpler and lower-tech tool that can provide the best results because of scale and ease-of-use.

For example, consider the much richer potential benefits of QR codes vs. SMS, and then consider the relative use and penetration of each. SMS is still by far the dominant mobile content activity in the U.S.  According to the latest comScore data for the three month average period ending March 2012, 74.3% of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device. 

But there is one more activity that is older, simpler and lower tech than SMS….making a phone call.  Yes, it can be easy to forget that today’s advanced mobile phones still make calls. They do, and more importantly, people still make calls as part of the purchase funnel! 

I have used the click-to-call feature many times after doing a search on Google for something I want to buy.  It is easy and convenient. Wouldn’t you want to receive a call from a potential attendee, exhibitor or sponsor? Consider adding click-to-call to the menu of potential call to actions you consider for your mobile ads.

In a recent article in Mobile Marketer, Brendon Kraham, team manager of global mobile sales and strategy at Google, said “Today, click-to-call ads drive an average of 10 million calls every week for Google advertisers.”

Click-to-call won’t be right for every situation, of course, but it may work for certain marketing applications for your show. 

Cristopher Levy is managing partner of Encore Media Partners. Encore is an audience strategy, marketing and media buying agency covering traditional, digital and mobile platforms, which specializes in local, national and global trade and consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences. Reach him at

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