Light Reaction and Marchex today pushed the ball forward on call monetization by announcing M-Call, a tool for mobile publishers to drive phone calls directly from mobile ads. It’s being launched in partnership by Light Reaction and Xaxis, both divisions of GroupM.
Marchex will power the new tool, which will be available to Xaxis clients, including GroupM agencies. This essentially brings powerful call analytics to hundreds of top-tier mobile publishers and premium ad inventory — a boon for call monetization’s overall adoption and validation.
“This is the first click-to-call product launched by a major mobile performance business,” Marchex CEO Pete Christothoulou told us, “and is really a signal to the advertising world that click-to-call is a primary and essential way to engage with the mobile consumer.”
In addition to pushing call monetization forward, M-Call is notable because of it’s alignment with another important mobile trend: Actionability. In other words mobile apps, landing pages and ads are becoming more commerce enabled.
This can be seen in Instagram buy buttons and Pinterest buyable pins. But as we’ve examined, e-commerce pales in comparison to offline spending, so the real “buttons” will be those that facilitate offline action and conversions. That very much includes phone calls.
Along those lines, we’ve seen Google’s call extensions, Twitter “cards” and most recently, Facebook call buttons. M-Call joins these tools at the right time with its own unique flavor, and does so by plugging into Marchex’s functional backbone and GroupM’s massive network.
The partnership is now effective in North America, with plans to expand internationally. In addition to global capacity, there’s a local angle that Marchex’s John Busby points out: Much of the global businesses that Light Reaction and Xaxis represent drives commerce at the local level.
Related: We’re hosting a free webcast next week, co-hosted by Marchex, to examine the call monetization opportunities and best practices. We’ll zero in on how it’s being applied to the high-value auto vertical. Register here.