Twenty-five percent of calls to insurance companies end in a hang-up after an average of a two-minute wait, according to the “Financial Services & Insurance: 2015 Mobile Advertising Performance Report,” from the Marchex Institute, a division of Marchex Inc., a mobile advertising technology company.

The report considers phone calls from consumers to financial services and insurance companies that originate from click-to-call mobile-search advertisements, directories and mobile webpages, Marchex said, and measures consumers’ purchase intent, as defined by the length of the conversation and conversion rates. Agents and brokers did a better job of engaging callers, keeping customers on hold for a sixth less of the time and only reporting a 20 percent hang-up rate.

Of the 18 companies that participated in the study, 14 were insurance companies, 10 of them are in the Fortune 100 and three are Fortune 500. The study is based on 1.8 million phone calls from consumers who conducted mobile searches or clicked on mobile ads for banks, lenders, auto insurers or life insurers. The calls were analyzed by the Marchex Call Analytics platform.

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"Our data shows that financial services and insurance brands are already experiencing profound changes related to the broader online-to-offline trend: that it is now typical for a consumer to search on their mobile phone for an insurance provider or bank and make a phone call or an in-person visit based directly on that search result," said John Busby, Marchex SVP of consumer insights and co-author of today's report. "Millennials are playing a huge role in this trend that mobile-influenced offline purchases are expected to be the biggest portion of consumer spending from mobile, twenty times larger than m-commerce."

Highlights from the report:

  • Mobile advertising by insurers was found to be very effective for connecting with Millennials and Generation X.
  • Mobile advertising by insurers tends to reach low- and middle-income consumers, which Marchex said was not surprising, as younger people are early in their careers and tend to be less affluent.
  • Mobile advertising by other financial services companies is attracting consumers who are younger than the general population and more affluent.
  • Callers to insurance companies from mobile advertisements have a lower rate of home ownership than the general population, but financial services callers tend to have an average rate of home ownership.
  • For Spanish-speaking consumers, the median phone call was two minutes longer than those from English speakers, which can indicate strong purchase intent, Marchex said.
  • On average, 56 percent of callers that make a two-minute or longer call to insurance or financial services companies are new customers.

“Mobile advertising is an absolute necessity to reach the younger consumer and insurers really do need to use click-to-call and call analytics technology to know where calls are coming from, otherwise they are flying blind as to where to advertise,” Busby said. “And they need to pay attention to the experience when someone places a phone call and not let them have a long hold time. It’s really lame for an insurer to spend $10 million on advertising and then not answer the phone when someone calls.”

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