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Marchex Institute's Mobile Advertising Study Finds Challenges, Advantages for Insurers

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Marchex Institute's Mobile Advertising Study Finds Challenges, Advantages for Insurers

March 23, 2015
By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

Mobile advertising in many ways is still a new tool for businesses. In much the same way that online advertising was met with skepticism when it first came on the scene, so too has mobile advertising—though perhaps not to the same extent. However, a new study from the Marchex Institute suggests that there are some major advantages to be had for mobile advertisers dealing in financial services and insurance. At the same time, there are also some key challenges to face in the field, and astute firms will have a better idea how to face these going into a campaign.

The Marchex Institute's recently-released study is based on the analysis of over a million phone calls going through the Marchex Call Analytics (News - Alert) platform, and revealed several key points for users. Among these points was one exciting notion: Millennial callers were very engaged by mobile advertising, with calls launched from a mobile search for both financial services and insurance companies indexed very highly for this group. Generation X, meanwhile, wasn't that far behind the Millennials on that front. Mobile advertising was found to have a particular impact for low and middle-income customers in insurance, while younger, wealthier consumers hit on financial services mobile advertising.

Marchex also noted that Spanish-speaking consumers tended to have both longer and more detailed phone calls, which indicated a stronger interest in making purchases. The average call was fully two minutes longer, and contained more “conversation switch” points that provided the basis for suggesting improved engagement and interest.

However, there was one point that works against financial services and insurance companies, and that's the concept of hang-ups. For both local and national call centers, callers hanging up on the call were a big problem. Local agents faced a hang-up one time in five, on average, while national call centers went up to one in four, with hold times proving a major cause of hang-up calls.

One key point emerged for businesses in these fields, however; an average of 56 percent of calls that went over two minutes—which is a sign of engagement—came from new customers. The rest were from existing customers, showing that such businesses might well be best served with heavy advertising to pull in new customers, as the new customers tend to be more engaged.

There's quite a bit to go on from this study; financial services and insurance companies alike can do well targeting new customers, with heavy advertising via mobile, but it has to go hand in hand with development on other fronts as well. It's not enough to just advertise; it's important also to augment the call center so as to reduce hold times. Consider the use of self-service tools like an interactive voice response (IVR) system to winnow down some of the simpler calls. Also consider the use of a callback system, giving callers an appointment of sorts for a return call from the company. This can be a big help in high-volume circumstances as it allows calls to be moved to a thinner-volume period.

Whatever is done, though, it's important to know that new generations of customers have new expectations, and if those expectations are met, it can mean some great results for the companies involved. The Marchex study just makes that point a little clearer.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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