As online advertising transitions from desktop to mobile — research firm Gartner predicts that the global mobile ad market will grow 400% by 2016 to be worth $24.5 billion — it stands that startups operating in the wider mobile ad ecosystem are well-placed to benefit. To that end, click-to-call startup Freespee is announcing a neat tie-in today with NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm-listed Tradedoubler that will see the performance marketing network offer advertisers clickable phone numbers and, crucially, call tracking analytics in their mobile (and desktop) display ads.
It builds on Freespee’s proposition that if an ad can offer a painless way to initiate a phone call, those that take up that offer are likely to convert, and that for many types of businesses, especially local ones, a sale invariably takes place via a phone call no matter from where or how the lead is generated. Therefore it makes sense to not only build technology that makes that user-journey — online ad to phone call — as frictionless as possible, but also trackable. Otherwise it’s very difficult to know where to put your ad dollars. Furthermore, mobile ads are the perfect candidate for click-to-call, lest we forget that smartphones make calls, too.
Freespee says that Tradedoubler, which claims 140,000 website publishers and 2,000 advertisers use its performance marketing network, is utilising its platform and API to offer click-to-call and analytics. “The beauty of Freespee is we don’t have to reinvent the wheel – we can add clickable, trackable phone numbers to our desktop and mobile ad formats with just a couple of lines of code,” says Rob Wilson, CEO of Tradedoubler.
Canned statements aside, it looks like a decent client win for Freespee, and builds on the startup’s recent momentum that saw it raise €3.3 million (approx. $4.3m) last October in a new round of funding led by pan-European early-stage investor Sunstone Capital. This brought the total raised by the company to €5.2 million.
At the same time Freespee announced the launch of its own ad network, dubbed Freespee Ads, to compliment its Freespee Analytics product, which focuses on providing analytics to measure and track the success of mobile click-to-call ad campaigns. The latter comprises “management functions, real-time number provisioning, call tracking and conversion attribution” to enable advertisers to optimise campaigns based on which destinations generate the most calls and actually convert to sales.