The addition of a company's phone number in mobile ads (mobile click-to-call) was first initiated by Google last year through its AdWords services, Search Engine Land reports.
It allowed advertisers to take advantage of "warm leads," letting users who performed a local search on a mobile device view a company's phone number within the ad. This created an instant connection for the consumer and provided marketers with the ability to track campaign success.
Call measurement solutions company Telmetrics recently predicted the monetization of mobile local search to take off even more in 2012, as stated in its local search trends forecast.
"Mobile is the true pay-per-call platform as there is an immediacy about mobile local search that drives higher response rates and the dominant mobile ad response is a call," said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. "With mobile, consumers are ready to make a purchase right away and advertisers are seeing the valuable link between a call and a purchase."
Other predictions made in its report included the rise of in-app call tracking and a shift to mobile-first strategies.