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For many of us, the Marchex story has been a difficult one to understand. But now the fog is lifting.

Today, Marchex announced it is pursuing a split into two companies. The move spins off the company’s domains and clicksbusiness from its true core, mobile products.

Now, pay-for-call and call analytics, which has made Marchex one of the biggest mobile advertising companies around, will become a single business. Marchex started incubating its mobile ad side just a few years ago and has seen it grow more than 10x, from $10 million to a $120 million revenue run-rate, and profitably. (See the Q3 release here.)
If you still can’t follow, what Marchex is trying to do in mobile is the equivalent of Google’s AdSense coming together with Omniture — but for calls.

We’ve got to hand it to these guys. They’ve been able to quietly mastermind analytics to understand call outcomes and optimize mobile campaigns based on what they see is working. And they’ve done it under the guiding notion that “guess what?” people actually like using their mobile phones to talk.

“Clearly, mobile is where the world is going,” said President Pete Christothoulou. “That means phone calls coupled with call analytics prove value and drive deep insights that clicks simply cannot.We see hundreds of millions of consumer calls to businesses and, with that scale, have unique insights that allow us to tune our algorithms to drive big jumps in customer performance.”

A review of the Marchex platform suggests the company has pulled together theright pieces to finally take pay-for-call prime time. Here’s why:It offers a large mobile network for its customers’ mobile campaigns coupled with call analytics. And advertisers only pay for quality calls.

To achieve this, the company has gone well beyond traditional call tracking. This is real analytics at work. Marchex understands how to block bad calls from reaching customers; how to drive really good calls; what’s happening, specifically, during those calls; and how to dynamically maximize mobile campaigns.

Marchex is doing this in local at scale with many SMBs and they have a huge national footprint.In some cases, they’re driving a large part of the digital budget for many large national brands.

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